Recipe for Homemade Electrolytes
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.