Equine Performance: Understanding When and Why to Use Electrolyte Replacers for Horses

Aug 11, 2023Sebastian Feuster

Equine Performance: Understanding When and Why to Use Electrolyte Replacers for Horses

As equestrians, we share a deep bond with our equine companions, always striving to provide them with the best care and support for optimal health and performance. One essential aspect of equine care is maintaining the delicate balance of electrolytes within their bodies. Electrolyte imbalances can lead to dehydration, fatigue, and even more serious health issues.

To address this concern, Hestevard proudly offers two exceptional products in their Signature Range: the Hestevard Duralyte-R 15kg electrolyte replacement powder and the Hestevard Duralyte liquid 1ltr. 

Read on to learn more about the significance of electrolyte replacers, why and when to use them, and we'll cover more about the Hestevard electrolyte range and how they can help keep your horses performing at their best despite the loss of electrolytes through hot weather or intense training or competion.

The Role of Electrolytes in Equine Health

Electrolytes are crucial minerals that carry an electric charge when dissolved in body fluids. In horses, these minerals, including sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, play pivotal roles in various bodily functions. Maintaining the right balance of electrolytes is essential for nerve and muscle function, fluid balance, and overall metabolic processes. Horses can lose significant amounts of electrolytes through sweat during exercise, especially in hot and humid conditions. An electrolyte imbalance can lead to muscle cramping, fatigue, decreased performance, and even more serious health complications. This is where electrolyte replacers come into play.

How do horses loose Electrolytes

During intense training or competition, horses can loose between 10 & 15 litres of sweat - and that means a LOT of electrolytes being lost too! Add in to this mix, electrolyte loss from either urine, faeces or even their breath and you can see a horse is losing a considerable amounts of electrolytes. 

Some horses are naturally prone to be 'heavy sweaters' again increaing electrolyte loss. This can be assisted by making sure they are well clipped, if you use someone to clip your horse, then speak to them about making sure they are aware and discuss your specific needs rather than a standard clip. 

Duing summer months or extreme heat, then again this increases the amount of electrolytes lost - during unusually hot days, all horses will benefit from electrolyte supplementation even without any excercise or training - it really is critical to ensure electrolytes are being replaced.

When to Use Electrolyte Replacers

  1. Intense Workouts and Competitions: Horses engaged in rigorous training sessions, competitions, or endurance rides are at a higher risk of electrolyte imbalances due to increased sweating. Administering electrolyte replacers before, during, and after such activities can help maintain the horse's electrolyte balance and overall well-being. 

  2. Hot and Humid Conditions: In regions with high temperatures and humidity, horses sweat more profusely to cool themselves down. This results in greater electrolyte loss. Electrolyte supplementation in these conditions is crucial to prevent dehydration and heat-related issues.

  3. Transportation: Long journeys or stressful transportation can lead to electrolyte imbalances due to stress-induced sweating. Providing electrolyte replacers during transportation can aid in maintaining hydration levels.

  4. Recovery: After intense physical activities, horses need to replenish lost electrolytes to support muscle recovery and prevent fatigue. Electrolyte replacers can facilitate faster recovery and reduce the risk of post-exercise issues.

Hestevard's Signature Electrolyte Replacers: A Closer Look

  1. Hestevard Duralyte-R 15kg Electrolyte Replacement Powder: Hestevard's Duralyte-R electrolyte replacement powder is a versatile option designed to meet the unique needs of horses in different scenarios. This powder is specially formulated to provide a balanced combination of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Its easy-to-administer powder form can be mixed with feed or dissolved in water, making it convenient for various situations. The 15kg packaging ensures a long-lasting supply, making it an excellent choice for equine facilities, professional trainers, and horse owners with multiple horses.

  2. Hestevard Duralyte Liquid 1ltr: The Hestevard Duralyte liquid electrolyte replacer offers a convenient solution for on-the-go hydration. This 1litre liquid formulation is particularly beneficial for situations where quick administration is essential, such as during competitions or transportation. It provides rapid electrolyte absorption and is ideal for horses that may not readily consume feed or water. The liquid form also allows for precise dosage adjustment based on the horse's size, condition, and activity level.
    The liquid can be administered directly using an oral syringe and is highly palatable - even for shy feeders due to the Sorbitol/Glucose syrup base.

Where to Obtain Hestevard Signature Electrolyte Replacers

Hestevard is committed to equine health and performance, offering their Signature Range products through various channels for your convenience:

  • Equine Veterinarians: Hestevard products are available through equine veterinary clinics, ensuring professional guidance and expert recommendations tailored to your horse's specific needs. Hestevard Professional range, such as BozMerix and Pectigus ADVANCED / Exagus ADVANCED are exclusively available via Veterinary practices.

  • Equine Retail Stores: You can find Hestevard Signature & Elements Ranges including both Electrolyte Replacers in reputable equine retail stores, where knowledgeable staff can assist you in selecting the right product for your horse.

  • Hestevard Website (hestevard.com): For the utmost convenience, Hestevard products are available for purchase directly from this website including subscription based ordering too. We work along side our vets and that is why you will always be asked for the details of your vet when you set up your account on this site. This platform offers detailed product information, dosage guidelines, and the option to have the products delivered to your doorstep on a one off basis or ongoing subscription order for our Signature and Elements Range. 

Let's talk about water & keeping your horse hydrated

Electrolytes should never be offered on their own. It is critical that when feeding electrolye replacers to horses in your care, you must also offer fresh water, and ideally this water should be tepid. Why tepid? it is a considered view that offering cold water could trigger a colic reflex/response, and this is seen less if providing tepid water or offering electrolytes mixed with tepid water.

If you are offering electrolytes mixed in to water, it is still critical to also offer a bucket of fresh water. Horses are really sensitive to changes and taste is just one of those changes. By providing clean water, it is less likely they will reject the water and maintaining hydration is critical for all horses - you certainly do not want your horse to reject the bucket of water containing electrolytes and not have any other option for drinking.

Caring for our horses involves understanding their unique needs and providing them with the support required to thrive. Electrolyte imbalances can significantly impact a horse's well-being and performance, particularly during intense activities and challenging conditions. Hestevard's Signature Range offers two exceptional electrolyte replacers, the Duralyte-R 15kg electrolyte replacement powder and the Duralyte liquid 1ltr, both scientifically formulated to help maintain the delicate electrolyte balance in horses.

Whether you're a professional equestrian, a dedicated trainer, or a passionate horse owner, these products can prove to be invaluable assets in your equine care arsenal.

Remember, a well-maintained electrolyte balance is a cornerstone of equine vitality and performance.

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