A little while ago I was contacted by Heather, one of our readers, about her product De-Lyte Bites, an electrolyte cookie designed to replenish minerals in the hardworking equine athlete. Because Gogo isn't exactly in ridiculous, desperately=-needing-electrolytes hard work, I agreed to take on some samples for a taste test instead. I received several packages of cookies, and distributed them amongst my pickiest eaters. I of course gave Gogo her fair share too, even though she is the equine equivalent to a garbage disposal. I have some fussy eaters in my barn, and was interested to see what I would find!
The cookies come in an easy to open package, four cookies to a single serving. This makes it easier to space out distribution over the course of a horse's workload - good if you are off to Tevis!:
De-lyte Bites are marketed as a complete and balanced electrolyte supplement. I can't speak for the nutritional information as it isn't clear on the website whether or not these minerals are sodium chloride and potassium chloride (and calcium chloride) or just sodium and potassium (I assume not but it just says 'sodium and potassium' on the website), but I will give one disclaimer: these are not treats for horses with metabolic issues! They have less than half of a teaspoon of molasses in each cookie but that is still too much for a horse with any sort of metabolic problem. There are a lot of sugar-free electrolytes on the market that are more suitable for IR horses and the like... although come to think of it, I'm not sure I know any metabolic horse who is capable of hard enough work to warrent electrolyte supplementation. So maybe this doesn't apply! (Acute laminitis being the exception. Then again.... if your horse is acutely laminitic you probably ain't goin' to the show today!)
My role in this review was to taste test. A product is no good if your horse won't eat it! The cookies are firm with a slight give to them - hard but chewy. Great for storage in your saddle bags on an endurance ride as they won't crumble or break! I even bounced one off the floor, and it sprang off and was fine! Our test subjects for the day were Bella, Pollux, Max the pony, and of course Gogo. Maybe Heather can clarify, but Max is a small/medium, and his requirements are different from a horse like Pollux who is about 1300lbs. Are there different doses for different sized horses and ponies? Different workloads? Something to consider!
Onto the taste testing.... Gogo of course thought they were deeeeelish:
She made 'hey this is very chewy!' faces, but wanted more right away. So she got two ;) Mmmmm!
Pollux, one of our pickier eaters who we suspect had ulcers when he came over from Europe last fall, also thought they were very chewy but definitely tasty (he had dinner on his nosey already):
I think I gave Max a heartattack when I showed up at his stall with a cookie, but I quickly bribed him over and he snarfed it right up:
And last but not least was Bella, another picky eater who also thought they were chewy but tasty:
For more information about supplementing your horse with electrolytes, visit thehorse.com's great article. Electrolyte supplementation is a very tricky business and potentially hazardous if done wrong. Aside from hard working distance horses, the vast majority of riding horses out there don't need anything beyond a little NaCL and KCl for hot days in work. Seek a veterinarian's advice for help determining if your horse is a candidate for extra electrolyte supplementation.
In conclusion, all of the horses that sampled the De-Lyte Bite cookies thought they were chewy but yummy, even the finicky eaters. In terms of helping replenish vital minerals in a hard working endurance/distance athlete, a portable, durable cookie is an excellent choice over annoying and messy pre-dosed syringes. They don't crumble or break, taste great, and are a good value for your money if you need electrolytes on the go. Mmmmm tasty!
Zac's 3 week update
18 hours ago