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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

August 1, 2015

Home Made Electrolyte Recipe

Recipe for Homemade Electrolytes

Thought this heat and humidity was a good time to re-post the recipe.   Dr. Kerry Ridgeway developed this wonderful elixir . You crush the ingredients up and mix thoroughly. They can be stored dry in a baggie for use at rides. You mix the proper dose (about 2 ozs of the dry preparation) into applesauce or gator aid and squirt it in the horse's mouth using a large barrel 40 cc syringe (such as wormer comes in).

2 parts table salt
2 parts Lite salt
1 part Dolomite (natural calcium/magnesium) Tums antacids are also used in place of the Dolomite for the calcium and protection of the stomach.

So for example:
1 cup of table salt (non iodized)
1 cup of Lite salt
1/2 cup of crushed Tums (the generics are cheap at the Dollar Store)

The use of electrolytes has become somewhat controversial. From my point of view it is like most things, to be used sensibly and in moderation. I've seen first hand the effects of not using electrolytes, and intend to use them in the future.

So when should you give electrolytes?

First the horse needs to already be eating and drinking well. Never electrolyte a horse that it is not drinking.

A horse that is not working should have free access to salt and minerals. It is not necessary to dose a non working horse  in this way with electrolytes.

For the working horse consider electrolytes in the following scenerios:

Heat and humidity
Training the horse faster and farther, and during profuse sweating.
Hauling in warm weather over long distances.

What to avoid?
Do not dose with electrolytes without good reason.

Avoid the use of products that use di-calcium phosphate (equine's don't absorb this very well) and those that list sugar, dextrose or corn syrup as the first ingredient. High sugars can cause a hypoglycemic reaction in the performance horse. Sugars in general should be avoided in the horse's diet as well.

In all things related to your horse's health, always consult your equine veterinarian as the ultimate source for your horse's specific needs as to dosage and frequency.


  1. Hi EG
    Is the recipe you posted for home made electrolytes water soluble? I'm guessing the dolomite wouldn't be. My horses take electrolytes (Enduramax at this stage) well in drinking water with molasses in it. We compete in winter so I have never felt the need to syringe electrolytes in paste. However I would like to reduce costs where I can (of course!).

  2. Anna I have never personally used the dolomite, rather the substituted version of crushing TUMS for the calcium component (and stomach buffering as well). I have used EnduraMax in the past but a full dose would always put her off her feed, so I had to halve dose. The homemade version has worked well for us, and of course is incredibly less costly. Put mine in applesauce let it sit a bit...then draw up into syringes and put them in the cooler at rides. Hope that helps!