Our gelding, Billy, went down on his knees about 10 years ago just before my son’s Hunt Seat class at the Colorado state fair 4-H horse show in Pueblo. This handsome red gelding had seemed fine all morning, but the temperature spiked 30 degrees in two hours, taking us from the 60’s to the 90’s. We did not think anything of the uncooperative weather until, on the way to the in-gate with his boy, Billy went to his knees, and then to his side. If we had not pulled Billy up by the reins, he would have crushed the saddle. Billy had colic, the Number 1 killer of horses. The many kinds of colic all involve stomach pain. Two of the many causes include a sudden change in the weather and heat distress. Like dehydrated people who experience headaches and muscle cramps, heat stresses horses and they need constant hydration to help cope. Billy suffered a handful of other colics over several years until we figured out that he drinks little water. Today, Billy gets daily electrolytes, and an extra dose for any summer horse show. The electrolytes did the trick. Since then, Billy has been as healthy as … a horse! We prefer Vetline's electrolytes or for convenience, a monthly SmartPak shipment.
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