Can you provide me some basic rules of electrolyte selection and use?
(1) When looking at the label ingredient listing, sodium chloride (salt) and potassium chloride should be the first and second ingredients. Avoid electrolytes that have dextrose or sugar as the first ingredient because they won't get the job done. The sodium content of a powdered electrolyte should be >20%; for a paste it should be >10%.
(2) Endurance horses can be served electrolytes in various ways: (a) you can train your horses to eat the electrolyte mixed in their feed; (b) you can syringe the electrolyte directly into the mouth mixed with a carrier like applesauce or yogurt; (c) the electrolyte can be mixed in water, but caution should be used when doing this; the horse has to learn to drink water with electrolytes. Always offer plain water as well because you don't want the horse to not drink if he is thirsty and doesn't like the taste of the water with electrolytes.
(3) Electrolytes can be given the night before the race, at every pit stop during a race, and at the end of the race. The average dose would be 1 oz per serving; never give more than 2 oz at a time. Be sure horse is drinking well before giving electrolytes. You take a chance when giving electrolytes to a horse that will not drink. While it could make the horse thirsty (good), if the horse continues to not drink it will become more dehydrated (bad). When dosing with electrolytes, it is better if it is done when the horse has food in its stomach, as electrolytes can be irritating to the stomach lining.