Magnesium plays an important role in nerve and muscle function of horses; it is an activator of many enzymes and participates in muscle contractions. It is necessary for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, particularly for Calcium and Potassium. Magnesium works in concert with calcium and is also one of the major minerals found in bone.
When a horse becomes excited, its body will also use magnesium in the process of calming down and relaxing. The magnesium requirement of a typical horse is around 20 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight per day. Horses that are growing, lactating, or in heavy work may use more each day.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency:
Magnesium deficiencies or abnormalities in horses usually present through influencing neuromuscular function and cardiac tissue. Horses deficient in this vital mineral often show symptoms including:
- History of tying up
- Nervousness, wariness or excitability
- Muscle tremors or trembling not related to environmental temperature
- Does not tolerate work well and works up, not down
- Tight sore backs (not related to saddle fit)
- Difficulty focusing on work or poor work ethic
- Repetitive movements such as weaving, pacing or head bobbing
Sources of Magnesium:
Magnesium is found in varying quantities in forages and grains. It often tends to be deficient in spring pasture due to the fast-seasonal growth experienced. Concentrate feeds may or may not have additional magnesium, depending on the amount contained within the other ingredients.
There are supplements available such as Ranvet’s Settle’em Plus that contain sufficient levels of Magnesium. Supplemental magnesium can be either inorganic (magnesium sulfate or magnesium oxide) or organic (chelated magnesium).
Settle’em Plus contains all 3 supplemental magnesium’s (chelate, sulfate & oxide) and has been developed to help counteract hyperactive behaviour in horses.
Settle’em Plus also contains:
✔️ Vitamin B1- Known for its calming effect on hyperactive horses.
✔️ Vitamin B2- Supplements high grain diets which are naturally low in B2.
✔️ Vitamin B6- Supports protein metabolism and muscle development.
✔️ Zinc- Supports hoof health, coat health and bone health.
✔️ Vitamin E- Supports muscle and nerve function.
If you are concerned that your horses’ diet may be lacking in key nutrients, simply complete our diet evaluation form and have your horses diet analysed by one of our technical team.