Hydrating horses and ponies

By Peter Fishpool

It isn’t long until summer conceivably begins, and we have already seen some beautiful hot days in May with temperatures in the 20s. As the temperatures soar and the competitive season continues, we must ensure our horses and ponies are consuming sufficient levels of water, to maintain optimum health. Water is a macronutrient and supplying sufficient quantities is essential for horses and ponies.

drinking waterAlongside buckets of water, providing ample forage in the diet can help to retain water in the body, as grass and hay hold a natural water source, helping to keep our horse’s hydrated. The forage is able to line the stomach, acting as a ‘sponge’ keeping the digestive tract lubricated and moist, and preventing digestive acids from damaging the gastrointestinal tract.

Water is so important because it plays a variety of different roles in the body including acting as a solvent and as a delivery mechanism transporting vitamins and nutrients to cells. Water also enables horses to flush out toxins, regulate their body temperature and metabolise and digest their food efficiently and safely. Dehydration can have disastrous consequences for our equines’ health, causing a variety of problems including lethargy, depression, an increased risk of colic and even death.

Every owner should provide constant access to water for their horse or pony, whether stabled or in the field, and when the animal is sweating significantly, we should also provide an electrolyte supplement in their diet.

This is because equine sweat is isotonic, which means their sweat contains salts, known as minerals, including sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride and the losses of these minerals can cause tiredness, muscle stiffness, dehydration and in severe cases equine colic.

Scientific Nutritional Products’ Electrolytes with MSM and Vitamins can be added to the feed of horses and ponies after strenuous exercise, or a stressful environment which has induced sweating, to optimise natural recovery time after hard work. ‘Electrolytes with MSM and Vitamins’ replaces vital body fluids lost through sweating, correcting the balance of electrolytes and water within the body. The useful addition of MSM and extra vitamins gives your horse or pony the extra boost he needs by ensuring the right nutrients are available. Visit www.horsesupplementsdirect.co.uk




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