My electrolyte protocol at the ride:
I give one dose in her mash for 2-3 days prior to travelling in her ride. Once at the ride, I'll give one dose in her mash the night before riding (I usually arrive the afternoon before the ride). I'd rather give electrolytes in mashes than syringing, but at some point she stops reliably eating her mashes - usually the morning of the ride - this is when I start syringing. The morning of the ride, IF she has been drinking/and or urinating and the urine color is good, I will give her one syringe (1/2 dose). At every water stop where she drinks, she gets one syringe (1/2 dose) followed by one syringe of water to rinse her mouth. At the lunch check, if she has been sweating a lot and is continuing to drink well I will give 1-2 syringes (1/2 - 1 dose). After lunch I continue with 1/2 dose (1 syringe) after every watering. After the ride is finished I will give 1-2 syringes (1/2 - 1 dose).
You could experiment with putting a full dose of electrolytes in a syringe and only giving 1/2 a syringe - but I don't like the idea of putting a small amount of extremely concentrated saltiness into my horses mouth. I like the fact that I'm diluting it. Four syringes seemed to be the magic number for me - I never ran out of electrolytes on the trail, but my saddle pack wasn't so bulky that it was unmanagable either. If I do the Tevis, I will get a couple more (at least 3 or 4 more) of the plastic sqeezee bottles to premix the electrolytes and put at least one at each vet check. I'll also buy one or two more sets (4 syringes) of syringes so I can do a quick switch-a-roo at a check, or replace syringes if I lose a set on the trail.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association