What contributes to magnesium deficiency?
(Magnesium products at bottom of page)
Every time a horse gets excited, its body uses magnesium to calm down and relax. The lower the magnesium level, the lower its' threshold for new stress. Thus, your horse becomes increasingly more sensitive to stress: more adrenaline, greater magnesium loss, greater sensitivity, etc. Soon its intracellular magnesium level is no longer 10 times that of serum, and the cells are in a chronic state of hyper excitability.
Anxiety, irritability, spooky, defensive behavior, random bucking, rearing and refusals are just the tip of the iceberg of magnesium deficiency symptoms.
Signs that may indicate a shortfall? Your horse may show some of these signs all the time or only during times of stress and competition when magnesium requirements are higher.
- Very tight, sore back not related to activity, fitness level or saddle fit
- Horse never really relaxes
- Cranky about being brushed or palpated especially over the back on either side of the spine
- Cranky about being blanketed
- History of tying up
- Muscle tremors or all over trembling not related to outside temperature
- Requires long periods of lunging before being able to focus on work
- Does not tolerate work well and works up, not down
- Bucks shortly after workout begins, seems fine at first then bucks or balks
- Would be described as 'thin skinned' or hypersensitive to touch
- Chiropractic adjustments, massage and body work do not have lasting effects
- Has difficulty getting round or picking his back up under saddle, moves hollow
- Difficulty focusing on work, poor work ethic
- Can't be still, repetitive movement, weaving, pacing, head bobbing
Magnesium- The Mineral Superstar
STRESS and stress hormones adrenalin, noradrenalin and cortisol- Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands. It is responsible for the 'fight or flight' response to stress.
Adrenaline burns through magnesium
Physical exertion, sweat, diarrhea, electrolyte imbalances
Diuretics (Lasix given on the track routinely and to speed event horses- barrel horses)
Excessive sodium and/or calcium supplementation or a calcium rich diet.
Imbalances in Calcium, Potassium and Phosphorus.
(Example-race horses- they are frequently supplemented with calcium to increase bone density and for calming) This can actually do the opposite as it inhibits the body's absorption of magnesium, therefore the body pulls magnesium from the muscles and bones to keep the magnesium level constant in the blood.
Approximately 60 percent of the body's magnesium is in the skeleton, 39 percent is inside cells(20 percent in skeletal muscle), and less than 1 percent outside the cells (mainly in the bloodstream) This makes testing for magnesium levels in the blood inconclusive because the body will work hard to maintain the proper amount of magnesium in the bloodstream.
Mares can pass on a deficiency to their foals in turn passing on the behavior associated with a short fall of magnesium.
Horses with a magnesium shortfall often crave excessive amounts of salt, increasing urine output therefore increasing the amount of magnesium excreted.
How much to feed each day?
IF your horse is showing signs of deficiency, it can take up to 4 servings daily of MagRestore ™ until symptoms start to dissipate. We usually see improvement within ten days. Maintenance dose after that varies but in general, goes to 1 to 2 servings of MagRestore ™ daily. Trans-dermal application (through the skin) is the most efficient way to increase magnesium status. Some horses may benefit from both oral and trans-dermal application. If a horse is exhibiting signs of a magnesium shortfall such as muscle tremors, tight muscles or has a history of tying up, we recommend the magnesium bath along with oral supplementation. Horses in heavy training have a much higher daily requirement, often double that of a non working horse. If your horse develops loose manure, cut the amount you are feeding in half or offer magnesium throughout the day in smaller portions. You can increase the absorption or bio-availability when you offer it in smaller increments with more frequency. Magnesium toxicity is extremely rare but it should be noted that horses with impaired kidney function should not be supplemented with magnesium without the supervision of your vet.
Why feed Magnesium to Horses?
Magnesium plays an important part in nerve and muscle function, and horses deficient in this important element can show signs of nervousness, wariness, excitability, jumpy, tight sore backs not related to saddle fit, muscle tremors and skin is hypersensitive. This gives magnesium its reputation for having a calming influence on equines. A deficient horse is likely to have a poor tolerance to work, fatigue quickly and are prone to tying up. They build up lactic acid more readily. This is why magnesium deficient horses sometimes have behavior problems...it's because they are prone to muscle cramping and have a poor tolerance for work, they fatigue quickly and have poor recovery from hard workouts. Magnesium is also known to play an important part in reducing equine obesity, and can lessen the risk of laminitis in animals prone to it during periods of strong spring grass growth.
Magnesium and the athlete
Research in human athletics-Muscle endurance and total work capacity, declines rapidly with nutritional deficiency in the area of key minerals like zinc and magnesium. “Magnesium is essential to a diet for athletes under a lot of stress or want to experience the ultimate rush,” says Dr. James Thor, National Director of Extreme Sports Medicine. “Several reasons, one is if you are working out in a gym, or continual stress excessive amounts of lactic acid in the muscle have been linked to higher levels of anxiety,” Dr. Thor adds. “Large amounts of magnesium are lost when a person is under stress and when magnesium chloride is applied to the muscles topically it promotes the release of lactic acid from the muscle tissue”. The combination of heat and magnesium chloride increases circulation and waste removal and this principle can be applied during breaks in competition as well as after the game in deeply relaxing baths similar to Epsom salt baths, but much stronger. A magnesium chloride bath helps draw inflammation out of the muscles and joints.
Transdermal magnesium chloride mineral therapy enhances recovery from athletic activity or injuries. "A whole new world of sports medicine is going to explode onto the scene when athletes and coaches find out that magnesium chloride from natural sources is available for topical use." Dr. Marc Sircus explains. http://publications.imva.info "In this new and exciting breakthrough in sports medicine coaches can now treat injuries, prevent them, and increase athletic performance all at the same time. Magnesium chloride, when applied directly to the skin is transdermally absorbed. Transdermal magnesium chloride mineral therapy is ideal for athletes who need high levels of magnesium. "This is wear transdermal application achieves the maximum therapeutic benefit.Magnesium and Laminitis
Magnesium supplementation has been advised by veterinary surgeons with excellent results. The supplementation serves not only to re-balance the diet in low magnesium areas or with high grain diets, but also to help in combating fat deposition in overweight animals (cresty necks). In particular, with laminitics, to aid weight loss where necessary, and aids horses with insulin resistance.
Dr. Steven Johnson…
…puts it better. "The range of pathologies associated with Magnesium deficiency is staggering: hypertension (cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage, etc.), peroxynitrite damage (migraine, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, etc.), recurrent bacterial infection due to low levels of nitric oxide in the cavities (sinuses, vagina, middle ear, lungs, throat, etc.), fungal infections due to a depressed immune system, thiamine deactivation (low gastric acid, behavioral disorders, etc.), premenstrual syndrome, Ca deficiency (osteoporosis, mood swings, etc.), tooth cavities, hearing loss, diabetes type II, cramps, muscle weakness, impotence, aggression, fibromas, K deficiency (arrhythmia, hypertension, some forms of cancer), Iron accumulation, etc."
Magnesium is essential in regulating central nervous system excitability. Magnesium-deficiency may also cause aggressive behavior, depression, or suicide.
“Magnesium calms the brain and people do not need to become severely deficient in magnesium for the brain to become hyperactive.”
At Performance Equine USA, we have combined the latest research with excellent products, oral and transdermal supplementation, to bring our equine customers a comprehensive magnesium therapy program.
MagRestore is veterinarian recommended for horses that have equine shivers, head-shaking and Lyme disease.
MagRestore (Chelate) is superior in quality to MagOxide and is 8 times more
Available in Powder or Pellet form
Not sure if your horse needs Magnesium or has a Magnesium deficiency?