The Real Scoop On Electrolytes for Horses

A healthy balance of minerals and nutrients can be difficult to maintain when the weather is hot, or there is an unexpected heavy activity that involves extended profuse sweating. The addition of an electrolyte supplement might be necessary to bring the large body of a horse back into balance.

What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals that are found in the blood of most living creatures and help them carry out the electrochemical processes needed to get things done. There should always be a good balance to ensure nutrients are being broken down right and that water can move in and out of cells normally. The most common forms of electrolytes are sodium chloride and potassium chloride. These salts end up breaking down into ions that carry positive and negative charges.

Why should I give electrolytes?

When a horse is subjected to extremely high temperatures for long periods of time, will be involved in a heavy competition, or has undergone a lot of physical exertion that involves sweating, electrolyte supplements can be a good thing. They will be losing a ton of electrolytes through the sweat and need to have them replaced.

What are the signs my horse needs electrolytes?

Anytime that your horse has been, or will be getting physically exerted or in a situation that involves extended periods of profuse sweating, electrolytes should be added. This can be done after the exertion or planned a few days in advance.

How are electrolytes given to horses?

Electrolytes can be added to feed, water, or placed on the gums in the form of a gel. The main thing to look for in quality is that it is easy for the horse to break down and use.

When to Avoid Using Electrolytes

A horse that is eating a good diet, kept in comfortable temperatures and not worked out strenuously should not need electrolytes. Adding too much can cause digestive difficulties in balancing minerals and nutrients. Only add this type of supplement when you are certain it is beneficial.

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