The calmative effect of magnesium has long been recognised by horse owners and its addition to the diet with positive results is now supported by scientific research.
In this article, we discuss the potential benefits of magnesium supplementation for any horse displaying nervous or anxious behaviours this season.
It was in 2015 that scientific evidence, gathered by the Waltham Equine Studies Group and their Australian collaborators, supported the premise that magnesium supplementation does indeed promote calmer behaviour in horses.
However, many horse owners have touted the calming benefits of magnesium for much longer than scientific research has been allocated to this area. But, in order to understand the benefits of magnesium supplementation this Spring, we must first understand magnesium.
Magnesium for Horses
Magnesium is often considered one of the most important minerals for horses - and for good reason. It is responsible for more than 325 enzymatic reactions in the body; supporting heart, nerve and muscular function, blood pressure and bone strength.
The challenge of magnesium arises when a horse is unable to consume and absorb their daily requirement. If magnesium isn’t provided from external sources, the horse’s body must steal mineral reserves from their brain, heart, muscles and nerves.
Magnesium Deficiency in Spring
Often, diet alone is not enough to fulfil a horse’s daily requirement for magnesium. Many commercial horse feeds don’t contain adequate magnesium and most pasture soils in New Zealand are deficient - perpetuating the problem through hay production.
However, during Spring, low magnesium levels are worsened by the conditions of Spring grass growth. The mineral imbalances within Spring grasses are in fact the reason why nervous and anxious behaviours peak during this time of year.
Hypersensitive behaviours, as a result of magnesium deficiency, can leave horse owners at a loss as to the solution to rectify them. The most common behaviours that are linked to magnesium deficiency or are benefitted by magnesium supplementation include:
- Sensitivity to touch or sound
- Fearful or resistant behaviours
- Inability to relax physically or mentally
- Bucking or rearing
- Spooking or other unexpected behaviours
Magnesium Supplementation in Spring
Supplementation has emerged as the most efficient and effective channel to meet a horse’s daily requirement for magnesium.
In New Zealand, Placide remains the leading magnesium supplement for horses - offering the highest quantity of magnesium that is rapidly absorbed in the digestive tract. Within just one week of use, many horse owners using Placide notice calmer behaviours in their horses.
Placide M & Ca has been specifically formulated to restore levels of magnesium and calcium during Spring. Containing organic chelated magnesium, with calcium and boron, Placide M & Ca restores magnesium and calcium levels, while promoting calmer behaviour.
Placide is the number one equine calming supplement in New Zealand. Containing organic, chelated magnesium, Placide works to relax muscles, reduce stress and support your horse’s health for improved performance in less than one week. Click here to find out more.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended as veterinary advice. At Placide, we encourage you to make health care decisions for your horse based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified veterinarian.