Equine Wellness: Health and Nutrition with Jean Klosowicz, Superior Equine Health and Nutrition Inc.

Water and Salt are essential

nutrients horses require all year round. However, when temper- atures soar, exercise increases, performance intensifies and life changes such as pregnancy oc- curs, then it becomes even more important to keep horses hy- drated and electrolytes in check. Good quality, clean and

palatable water should be made available at all times for horses. Performance and working horses

should always be allowed to drink water before, during and after activities. Even though some people believe that horses should be cooled down after ex- ercise before offering water, studies have shown that giving water at this time has no ill ef- fects. If water is withheld or if there is insufficient water intake, owners can expect their horses to exhibit decreased appetite, per- formance, and dehydration. Let’s talk basics: how much

Water is adequate? On average, a 500 kg/ 1100 pound horse at maintenance usually consumes 4-9 gallons of water per day or 25 L. This however can vary significantly depending on type of forage fed and the moisture content (pasture vs hay/grain), levels of protein and salt in the

The Heat Is On! The Importance of Water and Salt diet.

diet (both increase water con- sumption), temperature and hu- midity, health, age and physical activity. Did you know that lac- tating mares require 50-80% more water than a horse at main- tenance? So what happens if your

horse is not drinking water? Common clinical signs of dehy- dration usually occur when the horse is 4-6% dehydrated (ele- vated heart rate, change in gum colour/feel, decreased skin elas- ticity). At this stage of dehydra- tion, providing water will usually solve any issues. How- ever, if the horse is showing signs of a tucked up abdomen and sunken eyes, it’s time to call the vet to get intravenous fluids administered. Call your vet im- mediately if your horse has not been drinking for 3-4 days, as this is very serious and may lead to complications and death. To prevent this from hap-

pening good horse keeping prac- tices are essential during hot weather. Check tubs and water sources frequently, and regular scrubbing will keep the water clean of scum and palatable. You can also try soaking hay - a good spray down from the hose is all that is needed. Be sure to provide salt (preferably in loose form, 1-3 oz per day). The sodium balance is essential for maintaining a healthy thirst re- sponse and cellular balance in the horse. If you are giving iodized salt, all the better, to sup- ply much needed iodine to the

When trailering horses long

distance it is especially important to offer water every 2-3 hours. It is amazing how easily they can become dehydrated! And if your horse is at risk of refusing to drink water that is not familiar to him, be sure to bring water from home so there is no question of satisfying thirst needs while at competitions. What about your horse’s Salt

needs? Why is it so important to monitor salt intake? The major electrolytes lost in a horse’s sweat are sodium and chloride (salt). A horse that shows light sweat dou- bles his sodium requirement within one hour of work. The sodium requirement goes up by 500% if sweating heavily for one hour! These electrolytes are re- sponsible for: absorption of nutri- ents, brain, muscle and heart function; and prevention of dehy- dration. Maintaining optimal salt and water requirements in exer- cising horses also reduces the risk of heat stroke and muscle cramp- ing. Salt is best given as loose

According to Dr. Eleanor

Kellon, horses exercised for up to 2 hours will do well with only salt added to the diet (sodium and chloride). However, if your horse is performing beyond this, espe- cially in hot and humid weather, then consider using an electrolyte to supplement the potassium as well. The first hour’s dose can be given within 30 minutes of start- ing exercise, and the remainder given during or after exercise,

essential nutrients that minimize these risks and should be avail- able at all times for your horse. By paying close attention to these

two, you and your horse will be well on your way to a successful summer!

References: Dr. Eleanor Kellon: Salt to the Rescue.

Wishing you a great day!

Jean Klosowicz Equine Nutrition Consultant & Educator

table salt (with or without iodine). Relying on salt blocks is often in- effective at supplying the daily recommended amount of salt, however this varies with each horse. Remember that most feed and mineral supplements also contain salt, so factor this in when calculating daily sodium and chloride needs.

along with plenty of water. If given hours before, then it will be wasted in the urine and serve no benefit. The risks of dehydration and

heat stress are high at this time of year especially if you are heavily competing, trail riding, training, or running a breeding farm. Water and Salt are two basic but

Superior Equine Health & Nutri- tion Inc. 338 Hwy 638, Bruce Mines, ON P0R 1C0 cell: 705.260.0293, email: su- facebook: @SuperiorEquine

All articles are for general

information purposes only and are not intended to replace the ad- vice of a veterinarian, or provide a diagnosis for your horse.

Parkwoods Stables, Rockwood, ranked #1 in the annual hoofbeats Mystery Shop

Guelph, ON - Hoofbeats radio made the important announce- ment about the best final score of the “hoofbeats mystery shop” visits/tours, of the past season, in the broadcast on, on June 10, 2018. Parkwood Stable is a pri-

Fit is Everything.

vate equestrian facility, an hour West of Toronto, that is dedicated to raising Hanoverian and Warm- blood horses. They offer first class boarding, training and coaching, in well maintained, well designed stables, areas, rings and fields. Owned and operated by the Parkinson family, on a pic- turesque 100 acre farm. The stal- lion Faberges is handled with expertise, and offers a successful breeding program. There are also young horses, brood mares and

riding horses for sale. “Park- woods hosts events that welcome the general public, and you should consider attending one!” said hoofbeats producer, Kim Logue. The all interest, all access,

all age horse show launched this new Education and Information Program, to invite more youth participants. For the Mystery shops, a detailed, custom “walk- about-worksheet,” is used — that incorporates the requirements and recommendations of The Na- tional Farm Animal Care Coun- cil’s Equine Code, standards of the federal and provincial sport offices (Equestrian Canada and Ontario Equestrian), as well as CANTRA, Canadian Pony Club, OMFRA, and Equine Guelph;

Hoofbeats producers keep an eye open, as well, to the usual law and insurance aspects of each unique facility, in collecting the research, and in calculating the results. In the past 12 months, hoofbeats has investigated ap- proximately 50 horse facilities in Southern Ontario, and also broadcast many of the interviews. Since 2007, hoofbeats en-

sures that “horses are for every- one!” while promoting equine welfare, human safety and sound business practices. Programs also bravely explore the environmen- tal, expense and ethics issues, re- garding these pet-like, livestock, animals. Through these visits, and the resulting radio reports, hoofbeats continues to spread the joy of involvement with horses.

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