Make your own electrolytes


Home-made Electrolytes

I feed a combination of regular and lite salt. If I have them handy I will throw in some Tums.

I add salt to my horse’s feed most of the year. Sure, he has a salt lick but I don’t count on him getting enough salt that way.

When it gets really hot out, like it was last week, I make my own electrolyte mixture. Electrolytes are good when you need to replace minerals after a workout or when your horse is sweating a lot.

I love to use grocery store items when possible. Not only is it easier than driving to the tack store but it’s always a lot cheaper. I mean, have you ever gone into your tack store or onto an online horse supplies website and ONLY bought the one thing you went in to get?

Recipe

  • 2 parts table salt
  • 2 parts Lite salt
  • Some recipes also include 1 part Tums antacids to add calcium and protect the stomach.
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6 responses

  1. I do the same. I skip the tums though, because my horse gets mostly alfalfa, and don’t want to add more calcium/magnesium to his diet! Can see it would be wonderful addition for a horse on grass or oat hay. Also, the dollar store is an awesome place to shop for brand name (Tums) antacids… :)

  2. There was an item on the Horse.com about research indicating a link between feeding electrolytes and ulcers. About saving money, I shop the cattle/livestock aisle at Tractor Supply, the same ingredients tend to cost a few dollars less when there’s not a picture of a horse on the label.

    • Hi Beverly, I hadn’t heard that before. Perhaps that’s why some recipe’s include the Tums (calcium) to buffer the stomach. Like Jane, I also feed alfalfa so I haven’t bothered to add those. I also feed only salt unless I feel my horse needs the “replenishment” of an electrolyte dose.

      In response to your question, SmartPak has posted a response on their blog that was written by a vet — she recommends using electrolytes in feed to stimulate drinking and doesn’t feel that moderate supplementation is a problem. Here’s a link to their article. She does reference a study that was done on endurance horses that did show a correlation between stomach ulcers and electrolytes but these horses are also getting a higher and more frequent dosage than most horses. Of course, given that a supplement company is posting the answer, that needs to be considered in the overall decision!

      Holbrook TC, Simmons RD, Payton ME, MacAllister CG. Effect of repeated oral administration of hypertonic electrolyte solution on equine gastric mucosa. Equine Vet J. 2005 Nov:37(6):501-504.

      The researchers know that endurance horses have a high incidence of gastric ulcers, and that endurance horses receive electrolyte paste frequently throughout competition so they designed a specific study to test whether the two are related. Fourteen horses were divided randomly into equal groups and administered either 60ml water (placebo) or 56.7 grams of a commercial electrolyte supplement mixed with 60ml water by dose syringe orally once an hour for 8 hours. Gastric lesions were scored before and after oral treatments. They found a significant increase in ulcer number and severity, and concluded that this particular schedule of electrolyte supplementation (used commonly in endurance horses) may be harmful to the gastric mucosa.

  3. Pingback: Think you’re hot? Your horse is even hotter | EQUINE Ink

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