Keeping Your Horse’s Electrolytes in Balance
The Last Ride Arizona discusses the importance of Balancing Your Horse’s Electrolytes
Electrolytes are essential minerals found in the blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. Since they affect hydration and blood pH, they play an important part in a number of body processes. Among these are muscle contraction and nerve conduction. While there are a number of different minerals that are considered to be electrolytes, the ones that are of the greatest importance for horses are sodium, chloride and potassium, all of which are lost in sweat. So, how can you be sure your horse has enough electrolytes and how can you best prepare your horse when you know there is an upcoming event that will likely lead to the loss of electrolytes?
The only way to replace electrolytes is through diet. While access to a salt block can be beneficial, research has shown that most horses do not consume enough to meet their daily requirements. In addition, since electrolytes cannot be stored in the body, it is also not possible to “preload” your horse with electrolytes long before an event. Therefore, most experts agree that the best option is to include daily electrolyte supplements in the horse’s grain. 50 to 75 grams of loose salt divided between two feedings should be the right amount for most horses, but it is always best to consult with the veterinarian before making changes to your horse’s diet.
Even with the best of care, the time will come when you equine companion will need to be put down. When that day comes, you can trust The Last Ride to transport your companion’s body in a respectful and careful manner.