What are the best electrolytes for horses?

Dr David Marlin

Dr David Marlin is a world renowned scientist and has been involved with horses his whole life. After completing his PhD looking at the effects of exercise and training on Thoroughbred racehorses David has gone on to work for The Animal Health Trust, as a consultant to the British Equestrian Federation, a member of the BEF’s world class performance scientific advisory group and as a chair of the International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology. He has published over 200 papers on topics including nutrition, exercise physiology and thermoregulation.

You can find out more at drdavidmarlin.com, an independent information resource for all equestrians featuring unbiased science-based research, product reviews, webinars, podcasts and articles covering all aspects of the equine world.

Equine Supplement Questions


Should horses have salt added to their daily diet all year round and if so in what form is best?

David Marlin – My view is that almost all horse diets are low in sodium and so I start by balancing the diet with salt. Ordinary table salt is fine as is more expensive Himalayan salt or sea salt.

Can electrolytes effect horses with ulcers?

David Marlin– Salt and electrolytes can irritate the stomach lining and cause ulcers, and in horses with ulcers it will make them worse. Fat coated salt and fat coated electrolytes which don’t irritate the stomach are available.

I could give my horse many supplements, but does he really need them? If so, how should I decide what he really needs?

David Marlin – Supplements are really only indicated where there is; a specific need or problem (e.g. soil or forage or feed deficiency or imbalance), an increased need due to health, an increased need due to age (young, growing, old), an increased need due to training or competition (e.g. electrolytes). If a supplement is effective then you should see a difference.

What are the best electrolytes you have come across?

David Marlin – I have to say the fat-coated ones that I have formulated. These are gentle on the stomach, have no palatability issues and are balanced to replace sweat losses.

Contact the Pure Feed Nutritional Team

For advice on feeding your horse to help them stay calm and focused when ridden, or for more information about Pure Feed contact our friendly nutritional team. You can email [email protected] or call 01458 333 333. You can also request a free diet plan for your horse. 

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