Recipe for Homemade Electrolytes
This recipe for homemade electrolytes was created by Dr. Kerry Ridgeway. http://www.horse-canada.com/articles/HSequiath.htm You crush the ingredients up and mix thoroughly. They can be stored dry in a baggie for use at rides. You mix the proper dose (about 2 ozs of the dry preparation) into applesauce, load the syringe, then squirt it in the horse’s mouth using a large barrel 40 cc syringe (such as wormer comes in). Always rinse the horse’s mouth with a couple of syringes of clear water to keep the salts from burning the mucous membranes as they may get caught between gum and cheek.
2 parts table salt
2 parts Lite salt
1 part Dolomite (natural calcium/magnesium) Tums antacids are also used in place of the Dolomite for the calcium and protection of the stomach.
So for example:
1 cup of table salt (non iodized)
1 cup of Lite salt
1/2 cup of crushed Tums (the generics are cheap at the Dollar Store)
The use of electrolytes has become somewhat controversial. From my point of view it is like most things, to be used sensibly and in moderation. Area with heat and high humidity will increase the need for electrolyte supplementation.
So when should you give electrolytes?
First the horse needs to already be eating and drinking well. Never electrolyte a horse that it is not drinking.
A horse that is not working should have free access to salt and minerals. It is not necessary to dose a non working horse with electrolytes. If offered free choice the horse will self regulate.
For the working horse consider electrolytes in the following scenerios:
Heat and humidity
Training the horse faster and farther, and activities that cause profuse sweating.
Hauling in warm weather over long distances.
What to avoid?
Do not dose with electrolytes without good reason.
Avoid the use of products that use di-calcium phosphate (equine’s don’t absorb this very well) and those that list sugar, dextrose or corn syrup as the first ingredient.These can cause a hypoglycemic reaction in the performance horse.