Grass and Electrolytes: What’s the connection? Dimples happy and well on GrazeEzy

 

Most horse owners think ‘electrolytes’ are purchased  from the feed store to administer to their horses when they’ve worked up a sweat.

Whilst this is still true, a broader understanding is required in order to avoid all the frustrating health and behaviour issues, not to mention serious dents in bank accounts from endless treatments trying to fix problems that appear to be physical in nature but which in actual fact are physiological.

 

 

 

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals that are dissolved in the bloodstream and body fluids which carry either a positive or negative electrical charge.
The body has to maintain electrical neutrality at all times. In other words there has to always be the same number of positives as negatives.

Multiple, very clever and complex feedback loops involving various glands, hormones, the kidneys and other organs work hard to maintain neutrality and keep the pH of the body at 7.365.
Nerves and muscles interact through these electrical impulses.

This is where the grass your horse consumes throws a spanner in the works. You see grass doesn’t have nerves and muscles to run. So grass doesn’t care if it ‘pigs out’ on potassium and nitrogen so it can grow nice and green and lush. It has no need for sodium to regulate its fluid balances and help form strong bone.

If we humans also have no idea, we pour on more nitrogen, urea, potassium and phosphates to make the grass grow faster and greener! Big mistake!

Talk to farmers in spring. They will be prepared for the impending electrolyte imbalance consequences of spring growth (‘Milk Fever’, ‘Downer Cow’, ‘Grass Staggers’ and Bearings in sheep).

Your horse probably won’t be so dramatically affected but the same changes in the grass do affect horses.

The Problem is...

Spring and Autumn carry with them the following problems for many horse owners...metabolic syndrome, laminitis, head-flicking, spookiness, over-reactiveness, reproductive problems, swelling of lower limbs or cheeks, hormonal problems, allergies, respiratory problems, the list goes on.

Spring grass has a higher potassium and water content than grass later in the season. The high water content exacerbates the lack of sodium as it dilutes the body’s internal concentrations.

Take steps to get the potassium content of your horses diet down by...
  • Not feeding lucerne, kelp or molassed products. Check what you are feeding to make sure you are not inadvertently adding to the already high potassium load.
  • Make sure your horse gets non lucerne/non clover hay all spring until the grass dries off. Mature grass has a higher fibre and magnesium content and a lower potassium content.
  • Minimise spring imbalances by adding salt to their feed (horses have a smooth tongue and are not inclined to lick nearly enough from a salt lick) and GrazeEzy (you can only feed so much salt).


Testimonies...

'At last I have my lovely horse back and he can walk, trot and canter perfectly on the lunge without throwing his head in the air and charging off. All that money spent on ultra-sound scans and hock x-rays which showed nothing when all it took was some diet changes. GrazeEzy is now helping him cope with the grass we have!'
Heather, WA

'‘Before’: my horse was ‘on edge’. Whilst hacking he spotted a ‘monster’ grew to 20hands and bucked me off! After 10 days on GrazeEzy he’s calm, relaxed and no more ‘monsters’'!
Vicky, Qld

'Benny has improved 150% since the GrazeEzy and extra salt. He is now even happy to stay in the paddock when his buddy is taken away without calling, cantering round and stressing. Awesome ! HIGHLY recommended.'
Alex, Auckland