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Regional, Monthly All-Breed Horse Magazine • Since 1993
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Regional, Monthly All-Breed Horse Magazine
Distributed throughout the Greater Rockies Since 1993

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Copyright 2010 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Horses’ Salt & Electrolyte Needs 

During Hot Months

 

September 2010 Issue

 

     Your horse sweats more during the summer, making electrolyte supplementation worth considering. But electrolytes alone will not protect against dehydration.

     Your horse needs to have enough sodium — salt. One ounce per day (two tablespoons) is adequate for maintenance during cool months, but hot, humid weather calls for at least two ounces per day, and more if your horse is in work of any kind.

     One way to accomplish this: provide a plain, white salt block in close proximity. But make sure your horse licks it; many horses do not, due to tiny scratches that form on the tongue. Even better is to offer salt free choice by pouring granulated table salt in a bucket. You can also add salt to each meal. Use iodized salt only if your horse is not receiving iodine from another source. As for mineralized salt blocks, horses often avoid these because of their bitter taste.

     Be aware that electrolyte supplements should only be given to a horse that is already in good sodium balance.

     Electrolytes are designed to replace what is lost from perspiration and should contain at least 13 grams of chloride, 6 grams of sodium, and 5 grams of potassium. If your horse works more than two hours at a time, provide a dose of electrolytes after exercise by adding it to a gallon of water. And always, be sure to keep fresh, clean water nearby.

 

     This tip comes from expert Dr. Juliet Getty, PhD, of Bayfield , Colorado , a consultant and speaker on all aspects of equine nutrition. For more information, consultations, access to articles and newsletters, and a retail store, call 970-884-7187 or visit www.gettyequinenutrition.com.

Copyright 2010 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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