My 15-year-old, 850-lb (385-kg) Arabian gelding is my competitive endurance mount. I ride him 30 to 40 miles each week, depending on whether it’s competition season or not. He spends his days outside and his nights inside. His diet is composed of mixed hay (grass/alfalfa), low-starch feed, oats, rice bran, vitamins, and flaxseed. I believe my horse has experienced electrolyte imbalances in the past, and I want to be sure I am giving him the best electrolyte possible. I’ve heard about your Restore products. Can you help?
There are two Restore products, the powder Restore SR and the Restore Paste. There are subtle differences in the two products.
The new Restore SR contains coated sodium that it is released slowly over an eight-hour period. (The “SR” in the product name stands for "slow release.") In a recent research study at Kentucky Equine Research (KER), we found that when a dose of electrolyte is given it tends to stimulate the kidneys to start taking sodium out of the blood. With the slow release sodium, we do not see the same reaction of the kidneys, so more electrolyte stays in the body for use by the horse.
The Restore Paste has a stomach buffer to minimize irritation of the stomach from high electrolyte intakes, as is common during a competition.
If I were to choose an electrolyte for training, I would use the Restore SR. It can be given on a daily basis, or before and after a training session. Because contact with moisture starts the slow release of the sodium, it is not wise to mix the product with anything wet in advance of giving it to the horse.
Restore SR can also be used during a competition because the slow-release sodium would help to keep the horse hydrated throughout the day. The caveat is that it needs to be mixed into a syringe at the time of dosing so as to avoid the release of the sodium ahead of dosing.
If my horse had any stomach issues in the past with electrolytes during a competition, then I would use the Restore Paste. Restore Paste does not have the slow-release sodium because there is too much moisture in the paste.
Both Restore products are formulated for the needs of the endurance horse and balance well with alfalfa hay during a competition.