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The importance of magnesium for your horse

Posted in : on 13-06-2022

One of the horse supplements that is frequently written about, is magnesium. An important mineral that horses need for multiple reasons. The Dutch soil is naturally magnesium poor, which means that a deficiency is peeking around the corner. It also plays an important role in different processes in the horse’s body. Why is magnesium important for your horse? When do you give your horse magnesium and what form is best? In this blog, we’ll tell you everything about this important mineral for horses.

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that has different functions and is essential for your horse. The most important property is that it helps to relax the muscles, but it does more than that. Magnesium helps to absorb calcium in the bones and prevents calcium build-up in other tissues. It also plays an important role in the central nervous system and helps to proper energy metabolism. It also helps with stress and nonphysical relaxation. Especially with young horses that have just started training, but also after a stressful move, loss of a friend, and disease or pain is extra magnesium recommended.

Do you train intensively with your horse? Sports horses need extra magnesium and it is, therefore, important to supplement it. A horse loses magnesium by sweating and focusing, and an increased need for concentration increases the need for magnesium. The more your horse sweats and moves, the bigger the need is for magnesium for your horse.


What happens during a magnesium deficiency?

 The building blocks magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium are stored in the bone tissue of the horse. During the process of replacing an old bone with a new one, these minerals are released into the blood, making them available for other functions in the body. This is a dynamic process. In this case, the minerals are needed for other functions which means that the bone has fewer minerals in it. This process is called demineralization. This is the result of a long-term magnesium deficiency. The bone is less strong and there is an increased chance to get an injury.

A magnesium deficiency is hard to recognize. The horse walks stiffer and can get nervous. Without reason, your horse gets busier, including in their heads. You can also notice an increased muscle tension, that stays even after training. Sometimes you’ll notice cramps and muscle tremors. Horses with laminitis and insulinresistance can benefit of extra magnesium. An excess of magnesium leaves the body through the urine.

Absorption of magnesium?

Horses absorb magnesium by drinking and eating. Often there is too little magnesium present in both roughage and concentrates and a relative high amount of calcium. This excess of calcium inhibits the absorption of magnesium. In addition, the Dutch soil is often very poor in this mineral, which could lead to a magnesium deficiency. This is why supplementing magnesium is recommended. There are many different forms of magnesium, of which the cheaper variants are not always easily absorbed. This is why it is recommended. Choose a good quality magnesium such as magnesium citrate or magnesium chelate.

Magnesium chelate for horses. If your horse has a magnesium deficiency, it is recommended to choose magnesium chelate. This is the most absorbable form and has a high content of elemental magnesium. Did you know that magnesium also plays a role in sugar metabolism? With a magnesium deficiency, makes the cells more incentive to insuline. For this reason, magnesium chelate is also increasingly used in the treatment of horses with insulin resistance and laminitis.

Magnesium Citrate for Horses. Is your horse nervous, irritable or often stiff in the muscles? This could be due to a magnesium deficiency. In this case it is advisable to give your horse extra support with magnesium. Magnesium citrate is a form that is also very well absorbed. It supports the nervous system and contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle tone.

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