Owning and riding a horse is wonderful but like with everything else, it can have its challenges. With the soil being depleted of vital nutrients, stresses of every day life, injury, travel and so much more, your horse may need a little extra TLC to overcome many of the behavioral and physiological challenges that are common for horses.

Let’s explore a vital mineral that can have a huge impact in the health, performance, and wellbeing of your horse.

Magnesium (Mg) plays a number of important roles in your horse’s body. It is a vital mineral used in over 350 biochemical processes and involved in thousands of others.

For example, magnesium is required for cellular energy or energy production. It also plays an important role in muscle and nerve function. Horses deficient in magnesium can show signs of nervousness, excitability, wariness, and have muscle tremors.

Magnesium is known to help reduce equine obesity. It can also lessen the risk of laminitis in horses that are prone to it.

Magnesium is also necessary for:

  • Metabolism of other minerals
  • Regulation of blood sugars
  • Maintaining strength of bones and teeth
  • Helping protect against inflammation and free-radical damage

An increasing number of veterinarians are recommending magnesium to treat a variety of conditions and symptoms that are commonly found in horses.

What are the Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is known to help with:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Horses that spook easily
  • Wariness
  • Excitability and irritability
  • Muscle tremors, spasms, and twitches
  • Stress
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hoof problems
  • Laminitis

According to equine therapist, Pauline Moore, because magnesium is needed for such a wide range of processes, signs of a magnesium deficiency can present in various ways. Moore states that ten horses living in the same paddock may show signs of magnesium deficiency in ten different ways.

Per an article in Equinews, “there is actually very little magnesium found in the extracellular fluid (about 1%), which is why testing blood for magnesium deficiency is relatively inaccurate. Gross deficiency of magnesium could be life threatening but is rarely seen in horses. The current uses of supplemental magnesium are aimed at resolving subclinical deficiencies, the very ones that are difficult to test for but whose signs are recognizable.”

That is why it’s very important to know what behavioral and physical signs to look for as well as know which types of magnesium are best suited for your horse.