Wow – it's hot out there – think shade, water AND electrolytes!

Wow – it's hot out there – think shade, water AND electrolytes!

Many of us love the hot, sunny weather, and we can enjoy it as long as we drink plenty of water, and don’t stay out in the full sun for too long! 

Similarly, its especially important to ensure we look after our horses and ponies in this very hot weather, also ensuring they have plenty of water available, and areas of shade all day.

But when its really hot,  horses can sweat even when they are not working, and it’s the evaporation of this sweat which helps the horse to cool down and prevent overheating.  As this sweat evaporates rapidly, in hot and especially in hot and breezy conditions, you may not notice any sweaty areas, but they will have lost vital water, and important electrolytes in the sweat – and both the water and the lost electrolytes must be replaced to prevent dehydration and associated problems.

If the horse or pony does begin to dehydrate, even mildly, he will start to show symptoms of fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance, and ultimately show more serious symptoms affecting muscles and the ability to work.

So even for horses who are not working hard, but especially if you are riding or competing in the hot weather, or going to activities like Pony Club all-day rallies, it is vital to provide electrolytes each day to replace those losses, and encourage the horse to rehydrate and be able to perform at his best!

Interesting fact: a horse in moderate work, with some trotting and cantering in the arena for about an hour, in temperatures above 22oC can  lose around 5-7 litres of water, and around 45 -60g electrolytes!

Top Tip for feeding electrolytes: Mix well in a small feed, damped if required, rather than putting in their water,  as some horses may refuse to drink, and run a greater risk of dehydration!

Equine America Apple Lytes are the No 1 choice for both competition horses and leisure horses. They provide the correct balance of key electrolytes and with their famous apple and cherry aroma and are very palatable! Available as a powder or solution.

Horses at rest: 15g per day, ponies at rest 10g per day.

Horses in light/moderate work: 30g per day. Ponies in light/moderate work 15-20g per day

Horses in hard work: 30g twice a day. Ponies in hard work: 15- 20 g twice a day.