Electrolytes in Horses

Thu July 7, 2022

We all know how hot it can be in Texas, and we all know that Texans love to be horseback. As we enjoy these summer months with our animals, it is important to remember that just as we keep ourselves hydrated to stay cool, we must keep our horses hydrated as well. All horses sweat, and this sweat contains electrolytes. Electrolyte deficiency can lead to dehydration with its associated health consequences, so feeding electrolytes daily replaces lost minerals and will help keep your horse hydrated by encouraging him to drink. 

 There are five main electrolytes required by horses, they are as follows: 

• Sodium 

• Chloride 

• Potassium 

• Magnesium 

• Calcium 

 Electrolytes are lost from the horse in urine and sweat. Horses produce sweat to cool down the body when exercising, and the sweat contains the five major electrolytes in differing amounts. The amount and type of electrolytes your horse needs to replace as a result of losses through sweat is dependent on the duration and intensity of work. A plain white salt block can provide sufficient salt for maintenance to light work. For more moderate work, salt should be provided twice daily through feeding options. 

 Harder working horses and those who may be competing in hot and humid conditions could be producing several liters of sweat per hour. These horses will need a supply of electrolytes to keep them hydrated and allow their muscles to recover more quickly. The most effective way of getting electrolytes into your horse is through their water. 

 Electrolytes are water soluble and dissolve quickly, however, their unique taste may require a bit of training to get your horse used to drinking them. Electrolytes aren't complicated. Think of them as gatorade and how you drink it to keep you feeling refreshed and hydrated. Double L Feed has a diverse line of electrolytes to fit your horses’ needs, whether it is daily maintenance or for intense preparation for competition. Stop by and visit with us to learn more! 

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