Has your horse ever come in from training and been sore and reluctant to move? Tying up can affect equine athletes from racehorses to barrel racers to eventers, and if it’s severe and recurring, tying up can also limit a horse’s career. If your horse has tied up in the past, understanding the causes behind this condition and how to help prevent it can go a long way in supporting your horse’s health and athletic career.
Symptoms of Tying Up
Tying up episodes can range in severity from mild to debilitating. After exercise, your horse may have firm and painful muscles, be reluctant to move and even sweat excessively. In more severe cases, a horse may have quick and shallow breathing, an increased heart rate, and may experience muscle tremors. Severe episodes of tying up may cause a horse to lie down or be unable to get up, and he may have reddish-brown urine.
You should call your vet immediately if you notice any of the above symptoms.
The Causes of Tying Up
Horses that experience tying up can be classified into two main groups. The first group experiences sporadic tying up, which often happens if a horse is pushed beyond its current conditioning level. The condition can be aggravated by electrolyte imbalances, as well as by Vitamin E or selenium deficiencies. If a horse has an active illness, like a respiratory infection, this can also increase his risk of sporadically tying up.
The second group of horses experience chronic tying up. These horses will have repeated episodes, and their athletic careers are often limited. It’s more difficult to pinpoint the causes behind chronic tying up. According to The Horse, potential causes include hormonal imbalances, electrolyte imbalances and Vitamin E and selenium deficiencies, though none of these potential causes has yet been proven. However, there is some evidence that electrolyte imbalances can significantly affect muscle function and may play an important role in chronic tying up.
How Un-Lock Helps to Prevent Tying Up
Un-Lock is a scientifically formulated supplement that contains electrolytes, essential vitamins and amino acids that have all been proven to improve performance, prevent cramping and tying up and even improve muscle recovery. The vitamins include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and selenium. The electrolyte content of Un-Lock helps to prevent electrolyte imbalances in equine athletes — another cause of tying up. And, the proprietary blend of amino acids helps to support muscle function and health.
You can feed Un-Lock daily for overall muscle support, and then increase the dosage leading up to and on the day of an event. Increasing the dose to four scoops per day can help to support a horse that is prone to tying up.
Additional Ways to Manage Tying Up
In addition to feeding Un-Lock, you can further support your horse and potentially prevent tying up through proper management. Feeding him electrolytes, especially if he’s in heavy work, can help to avoid imbalances (though Un-Lock contains electrolytes, taking care of this step for you).
Because stress and exercise sometimes seem to trigger tying up, maximizing your horse’s turnout time and avoiding training methods that excite your horse as well as stall rest can help to prevent tying up.
You should always consult your vet about medical issues like tying up. Un-Lock can play an important role in the management plan you and your vet design a for your horse.
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