Why Does Your Horse Need Electrolytes?
Electrolytes for horses are necessary minerals that the body uses to regulate thirst, enable muscle movement, ensure proper nerve function and regulate ph levels in the blood.
Whether you are jumping fences, running barrels, showing or just trail riding, if your horse is sweating, they need additional electrolytes.
The charges carried by electrolytes allow them to conduct electricity–therefore, they assist in electrochemical processes within the body such as regulating the heart beat and muscle contraction. Electrolytes also aid in moving fluids in and out of cells as well as helping the body to absorb nutrients. Without electrolytes, the water a horse drinks cannot be properly retained and utilized by the body. The Naturally Healthy Horse
Sweating is natures “air conditioner” due to the evaporation process which has a cooling effect. When we sweat we lose electrolytes and so does your horse. We can also lose electrolytes as a result of sickness involving fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.
There has to be enough water and minerals in your horse’s body to keep the temperature regulated and allow for sweating to occur. Electrolytes for horses replace those lost during exercise and performing and encourage thirst response due to dehydration from sweating. Dehydration affects muscle performance possibly leading to exhaustive heat stroke, and colic which can be fatal.
Bottom line… your horse can DIE without electrolytes.
Signs of Electrolyte Imbalance in Horses
Common symptoms of electrolyte deficiency include:
- Muscle Weakness
- Reduced feed and water intake
- Reduced sweating
- Weight loss and dehydration
What is the Best Source of Electrolytes for Horses?
The best source of electrolytes for horses is of course, Nature. While horses can get some electrolytes from feed and hay, because of mineral depletion in the soils used to grow hay and feed, there is not enough to sustain adequate levels in your horse.
Unrefined Sea Salt is truly “Natures Electrolyte”. Sea salt contains the electrolytes lost in sweat such as chloride, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium. Sodium and chloride, also known as salt, are the two electrolytes lost in the largest amounts due to sweating. So giving a salt-based electrolyte makes sense to meet the horse’s needs.
Sea Salt Naturally is unrefined loose Himalayan salt that contains over 80 trace minerals including those needed to replace lost electrolytes. Allow your horse free access to loose salt instead of using salt blocks or mineral blocks. Horses can’t “lick” enough, quick enough to replenish their body from a block. Offer Sea Salt Naturally free choice year round to ensure that your horse gets what they need, as much as they need, when they need it.
How Do You Make Electrolytes for Horses?
The easiest and quickest way to administer extra electrolytes when your horse is showing signs of depletion is to add 2 ounces of Sea Salt Naturally to 12 ounces of water and mix. Put it in a syringe and dose orally. Make sure to have some fresh drinking water on hand without electrolytes in it as the reason to be giving electrolytes is to get them to drink more water.
Don’t forget that horses need salt in the winter, not just in the summer months when it’s hot. Horses can become dehydrated in the winter when they are eating dry hay and feed. They tend to not drink as much water when it gets really cold which can led to impaction colic. Offering free choice salt year round insures that your horse is getting the necessary salt and minerals to encourage adequate water consumption.