RECHARG­ING THE BAT­TER­IES

EQUUS - - Eq Tack& Gear -

Elec­trolytes are min­er­als---cal­cium, potas­sium, sodium, mag­ne­sium, chlo­ride, bi­car­bon­ate and phos­phate --- that play a role in most of the elec­tro­chem­i­cal pro­cesses that sus­tain life. And all are lost in prodi­gious quan­ti­ties when a horse sweats. For­tu­nately, a horse can re­plen­ish his in­ter­nal min­eral sup­plies as he grazes or eats his nor­mal feeds. Some­times, how­ever, ad­min­is­ter­ing an elec­trolyte sup­ple­ment may be ad­vis­able to help a sweaty horse re­cover faster. Which of th­ese horses is the best can­di­date for elec­trolyte supplement­ation?

a. the fit ath­lete com­plet­ing a 50mile en­durance course

b. the fret­ful trav­eler com­ing off a trailer after a long ride to the show

c. the “week­end war­rior” fin­ish­ing a trail ride on a hu­mid day

d. all of the above An­swer: d. all of the above. The common de­nom­i­na­tor among th­ese horses is that all are likely to have been sweat­ing for an ex­tended pe­riod of time—at least an hour or two—with­out the op­por­tu­nity to eat or drink. And all could de­plete their in­ter­nal elec­trolytes to crit­i­cal lev­els, po­ten­tially caus­ing fa­tigue, mus­cle tremors, heat stress and other prob­lems. Equine ath­letes such as even­ters or en­durance horses are ob­vi­ous can­di­dates for elec­trolyte supplement­ation, but any show or plea­sure horse who works and sweats ex­ten­sively in hot weather can also ben­e­fit.

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