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Don't Sweat It!

Post work rehydration- molasses water and Recharge. Especially important in hot weather, after work, transport, just a hot day.

Depending on your horse's type of work (endurance vs racehorse) will determine the exact type of electrolytes your horse should receive on a regular basis.This drink, however, will go a long way towards electrolyte replacement.

In the exercising horse, we need to replace electrolytes lost in sweat, to restore normal physiological function in the body tissues. If the horse is not losing excess electrolytes, then simple daily replacement of the main electrolytes (NaCl salt) lost through sweat should be enough. Good quality feed also provides electrolytes. Your horse will excrete unnecessary electrolytes.

Where people do get into trouble is "forcing" electrolytes (with pastes or liquid) into the mouths of dehydrated horses. Due to the unique way horses concentrate electrolytes in their blood and body tissues (which is different to humans), forcing electrolytes into a dehydrated horse, without replacing fluids as well (i.e. without ensuring the horse has drunk min 10L, can worsen dehydration.

The type of work your horse is doing will determine the type of electrolytes you should supplement, if necessary, on a daily basis. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Endurance horses can lose electrolytes and lose large volumes of fluid over extended periods of time. They can develop a higher blood ph, becoming alkalotic, and should therefore avoid electrolyte supplements that contain sodium bicarbonate, which could interfere with the availability of calcium. In contrast, sprint horses may develop a more acidic blood ph and will benefit from sodium bicarbonate supplements.

Knowing how much water your horse is drinking is important. Horses will normally drink 20-30 L in 24 hours under average temperatures. They can consume up to 40-50 liters of water per day under hot conditions. Horses will drink twice as much water when the water is cool (below 25°C), than if the water heats up above 30°C. Locate water tubs and troughs in a shaded area and ensure at least 50-60 litres of water is maintained to reduce it warming up - check your troughs! Encouraging extra drinking with molasses water is a good idea. (Just don't overdo the sugars!) i.e. teach your horse to drink!

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