Magnesium Oxide for horses
Today is 3 months since we started a course of Magnesium oxide for Sophia, or what we now refer to as the miracle cure.
Okay, I agree, this may look like something that you would not want in your suitcase going through customs.
It is probably easier to explain our situation. Sophia was very close to be passed on as too stroppy. We had heard of stroppy mares but had never really had the problem until Sophia came along. We put her stroppiness down to her upbringing and the fact that she had not been ridden until she was 6 years old. Not only was Sophia stroppy she was also terrified of everything and was nervous wreck on rides. The jumpiness was become a danger and re-homing was looking a real possibility, as a last resort someone mentioned to try Magnesium oxide. There are lots of calmer’s and products available and this is where the research started to see how they actually work.
Now these are only our opinions and so called expert opinions vary on calmer’s and what we now call our miracle cure “ Magnesium”
Magnesium plays a huge part in horses and is possibly the most important mineral. It works in conjunction with calcium and maintaining a good level of both provides a balanced horse. However magnesium is lost quite easily through sweat, urine and stress and if grazing does not offer adequate replacement then it is quite easy for a horse to have low magnesium levels. That spring grass that horses love is great tasting but low in magnesium and unless fields that are grazed regular are treated and fertilized correctly then they will become a poor source for Magnesium.
It was explained to me by a local vet in simple terms and this made us consider a natural product. He told us; In their natural state a horse will graze and continually move, the horse will find varied herbs and plants and will graze on varied grassland, so there will be no real over use of the land. The problem is that we now fence and limit animal’s ability to roam and must therefore provide them with things that they would normally eat to maintain health. On Magnesium It was explained to me to try and imagine that someone made me jump, and that second or two of adrenalin rush, it usually passes after a few seconds as the adrenalin is replaced. With a horse, Magnesium is needed to give back that calming feeling and unlike humans, it can take a lot longer, especially if the horse has a deficiency. A threat on a horse’s life in the wild will give a huge adrenalin boost that will be enough to propel the horse from the danger. The horse will not just run a few steps and turn, it will run until it is exhausted or has used its adrenalin boost and then it will need to replenish its magnesium levels to attain a calm state again. Unfortunately this is something that can take a while.
Sophia the stroppy mare ! ( the one on the left)
This made us think about Sophia. The minute she had a spook, she was then constantly on edge and could not seem to calm down. We thought that before we started using calmer’s we would have a go at a more natural approach and give her Magnesium supplements. We purchased a magnesium lick, the other horses sniffed and turned their nose up, but Sophia could not get enough so we went one step further and after getting some information we contacted http://www.naturalhorsesupplies.co.uk/ in the UK for some advice and to order some to try. We had lots of Questions and Nikki was very helpful in guiding us in making the right choice.
Since purchasing from Natural Horse Supplies we have asked Nikki to give us her opinion on Magnesium and other Herbal products for Horses.
We asked Nikki .
How popular is Magnesium ?
“magnesium oxide has always been one of our top sellers. We recommend customers try it first as a calmer, as if it is going to help, you should see an improvement within a couple of days. We also have many customers who feed it to improve hoof strength, particularly with barefoot horses”.
What is the difference between 85% and 99% ?
“Magnesium oxide (heavy) is very pure (99.2%) pharmaceutical grade. Calcined magnesite goes through an extensive purification process to make the heavy mag ox. The 85% mag ox is just the calcined magnesite before this process. Both provide a good source of magnesium, but you need less of the purer product”.
Magnesium has been proven to us but are there any other natural products that have a calming effect on horses ?
“Valerian root is a very effective calmer, but is banned by some competing bodies. Our Herbal Calm is a popular blend of chamomile, vervain and valerian. Agnus castus is also very useful for stroppy mares and riggy geldings”.
How long have you been selling natural horse products and what made you choose to do this ?.
“We have been trading for over 6 years now, and started with just mag ox, seaweed, brewers yeast, garlic and linseed. We now have over 40 herbs and 16 blends, as well as an extensive range of homeopathic remedies. It was originally for extra income whilst I was working as a supply teacher, but within a year I left teaching to run the business full-time. 3 years ago my husband also joined the business and it is lovely to now be a limited company!”
What are your best selling products?
“Magnesium oxide has been our top seller for a long time but seems to be overtaken by agnus castu powder now. We also sell a lot of boswellia which is a natural alternative to bute, and our mobility blend glucosamine/boswellia/msm”.
How do you consider natural products against chemically made formulas.?
“We always recommend taking veterinary advise in medical cases, but our herbs and blends can help support the horse to maintain good health, as well as assisting in healing. I would love to be able to give my horses access to a hedgerow full of different herbs and other plants, but this is not possible on most livery yards! I feel that using herbs is a good alternative”.
Natural Horse Supplies serves many customers that work in the equine world, including farriers, barefoot trimmers, vets, chiropractors, etc
So, Magnesium oxide as a calmer is, in our opinion, the miracle cure that has made Sophia the happy and content horse that she now is. We do think that balanced horses are generally happier in themselves. It is important to understand that if we restrict the natural diet of a horse, then we must offer substitutes of the natural products they need. We now have four very happy, very healthy and very content horses. A lot of this can be put down to a healthy, natural diet and natural substitutes.