View Full Version : Riding in Magnesium Chloride
Jan. 19, 2009, 07:17 PM
Has anyone put this down in their arena? Does it really keep you from having to water? will it keep the sand from freezing? Where can you buy it from? Does it effect your horse's feet?
Jan. 19, 2009, 10:11 PM
I have used it with great success. It DOES prevent freezing.
The problem with it is the expense. I spent $400 doing my smallish arena and after several freezes, thaws and rainstorms, it was GONE (soaked in to the ground)! It lasted around 6 weeks, total .... :no:
If only someone could make it affordable, I'd gladly use it again. I liked it LOADS better than Calc. Chloride.
Jan. 19, 2009, 10:13 PM
I was told that it was not suitable for outdoor arenas for that exact reason-- it washes into the subsurface after just a few rains. Good for indoor arenas, though.
Jan. 20, 2009, 01:30 PM
Works excellent in an indoor. Waste of money for an outdoor since it washes away so quickly.
I have been having trouble finding it in my area too. There are some bagged ice melters that contain Mag. Chloride, but it is not the only ingredient.
My indoor is currently dusty and I desperately need to find something local.
Jan. 20, 2009, 02:31 PM
They laid down a whole bunch of mag chloride down in the indoor where I board in the fall, and then proceeded to water the crap out of it, washing all the mag chloride out of the footing.
They have not reapplied, and they're not watering, so the arena is dusty. It's awful.
I guess I can't tell you what it's like to ride in it, but I can tell you to NOT water it once you've laid it down. I think it would be a waste of $$ in an outdoor since it washes out with the first rain or snow melt.
Jan. 20, 2009, 02:35 PM
Exactly, do not water after application.
I just ran out to get some lunch and the little place I stopped at had a bag of "Miracle Melt" at the front door. Of course I had to check it out and it is a combo of Mag Chloride and Calcium Chloride. I asked the owner where he bought it and he said Sam's Club.
I have used Mag/Cal combo before it it works nearly as well. Off to Sam's Club for me after work.
Jan. 20, 2009, 02:57 PM
I have been trying it, but I seem to be doing a rain dance by spreading MagIce out on the ring....and so, every time I spend the $$$ on MagIce, we get a long, torrential storm, which washes it away.
It does help w/ dust in the summer, but the same problem.
I am thinking I'll try cheaper salt next year, or perhaps a mixture. I've just put down 8 bags in the past 2 weeks, and it has made the top 3/4" to 1" of surface softer. I need to apply closer to 20 bags for a proper application, but at almost $17/bag, that is just too expensive. It does seem to keep dust down more with the lower application rates.
Jan. 20, 2009, 09:29 PM
you cannot use it outdoors, nor do you water it. it works great when used as per the manufacturer's recommendations. google "mag dust control" and you will get the link to the mfr's site. great stuff, just need to apply it correctly.
Jan. 21, 2009, 03:10 PM
The stuff available at Sams and Home Depot is not the
same Mag Chloride used for dust control.
I called the manufacturer (since I was suspicious of the
vast pricing difference) and they told me that the product
sold in the home improvement stores is only suitable for
melting ice. You need to put it on 2-3 times as thick as the
stuff sold specifically for dust control.
I use 600 lbs for my 70X200 indoor and that lasts me from
Dec through March.
Jan. 21, 2009, 08:16 PM
Call the hwy department and see if they will come spray it. That's what we did and in a little used indoor it is still nearly dust free after two years (and we are talking can't see 20' in front of you and nasty black boogers before.) I LOVE IT!
The MAG Man
Jan. 23, 2009, 09:40 AM
I am guy who pioneered and developed the use of MAG for riding arena use nearly 20 years ago. My business is snow, ice, and dust control, and I'm also a stable owner and have owned horses for 55 years.
As an industrial and roadway dust control expert in my business, I was long familiar with calcium chloride use in arenas but it is problematic due to hoof drying and it's a strong suspect in leg splints. That is not to say that all people using calcium chloride will have a problem, but all cigarette smokers don't get lung cancer either. In my view the risks outweigh the benefits when riding on calcium chloride treated surfaces.
With regards to magnesium chloride, we buy a few different MgCl2 products from multiple manufacturers; both liquid and dry forms. We sell only MAG brand by Dead Sea Works for equine footing use and there's a very specific reason that only that brand is offered for arena dust control by us: pH.
All magnesium chloride is not alike, and most contain varying amounts of impurities. Some have additives to them that are not proven for equine use and exposure and they have no toxicological data nor track record. There is a lot of snake oil and fu-fu dust out there and many of the claims of product performance are outrageous, patently false, and outright deception. It frankly sickens me to see them. Anytime a supplier refuses to provide you with a certified statement AND GUARANTEE with his signature on it of (http://www.ivstandards.com/tech/articles/consumer/coas.asp)what the ingredients are you are buying, you should be very wary. What is to hide? We are not talking about the secrets of space flight here; it's dust control! What is so secret that they refuse to disclose what they are selling? When ingredients are not disclosed it's because they are hiding something. If they have a "patented formula", then the patent covers disclosure.
Federal and State Right to Know Laws require, by law, that ingredients are disclosed. (http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/The_Office/AP2.14Revision.pdf) If you are buying peanut oil then you better darn well know that before one of the riders in your indoor who is allergic to peanut oil keels over goes into respiratory arrest on the arena floor!
Two decades ago I began to develop the protocols for MAG use by experimenting on my own ring. It came about after a visit to Israel where I was swimming in the Dead Sea and it occured to me that if I can swim in a 14% solution of MAG and it is therapeutic and beneficial for psoriasis and dermatological disorders, why can't my horses safely walk on a fraction of a per cent that they are exposed to in arena dust control?
After a year of trying different types, concentrations, and, methods, I found what worked and what didn't work. My wife was thrilled with me using her horses as guinea pigs as you can imagine! After about a year, I was confident enough to proceed with a full test in five barns each of which were a different riding discipline; Dressage, Hunter-Jumper, Therapuetic, Reining, and General. Each of those barns had a different footing and different need in the consistency, type, and desired weight of the footing. What works for roping is too heavy and thick for dressage and what works in a dressage ring is not liked for show jumping, etc. I talked to every farrier, trainer, and vet in every barn we ran the first tests in looking for any reports of adverse consequences. After a couple of years we felt that we were ready to take the product to commercial use and promote MAG for arena dust control. We have gone very cautiously and I use internet searches constantly looking for any reports of trouble with MAG in arena use. That is in fact what lead me to this post, so my commitment to doing this right is decades long. Any day I don't learn something new is a wasted day.
In the 20 years since I developed the protocols for MAG use, we have never failed - not once. We have a 100% success rate and that empowers us to back it up with a full money back guarantee that we will deliver on our promise of total dust control. No other company that we know of goes this far to back up their product. Ask the people you are buying from if they will give you your money back if their product fails. This is not a blanket endorsement for all retailers of our product because we use only a handful of authorized footing expert distributors who are properly trained to evaluate the footing and make recommendations. We have some footings that we will tell you up front we are skeptical that we can fix because of their composition. Some new footing additives we are still working on to find the right mix so this product may not be all things to all people, but if you work with a professional you're going to know that. Buy it from some part time sales person at Sam's Club who knows nothing about horses and you get the sort of advice that is posted above. And for the record, Miracle Melt actually contains no magnesium chloride whatsoever according to the MSDS sheet from the Manufacturer, (http://www.stcloudstate.edu/osh/msds/documents/gmw/04118.pdf)so please realize where I'm coming from when I say you have to know the ingredients of what you are buying irrespective of what people are telling you.
Why is MAG different if it is just magnesium chloride hexahydrate like all the others? MAG brand in particular is the only pH neutral MgCl2 product on the market. It's not intentional - it's a coincidence of the production method, but it is a very important factor in hoof and leg health when concentrated amounts are in contact with bare and shod feet.
This is not an advertisement. This is an explanation and caution to all stable owners to be careful to do your homework on what you are buying. DEMAND a full disclosure of ingredients of what you are being offered and watch out for smoke, mirrors, and a song and dance when you ask specifics.
Ask for references of five barns with you exact riding and footing conditions that have used the product you are looking at for five years and call them all and ask what their experience is.
I see thousands of people going off half cocked with partial information and winging it on their own with all kinds of things that they think is MgCl2 and it's not. Going to big box retailers and buying boutique ice melters is not going to give you the results you seek and moreover you may find that your actions will bring new evils to your barn; lameness, splitting hooves, wall checking and cracking, and in a few cases that I have seen; leg splints. That big lump on the inside of the lower leg may be the result of something you added to your ring - not necessarily the traditional reasons like a stone bruise or rocky paddocks.
I have treated thousands of rings for dust control and do this for a living. Whether this post stays up or not I don't know, but I do know that a lot of the posts here are telling me that they are playing Russian roulette with their footing by using what they think is right.
Just because it seemed to work does not mean it's the best choice. I'm not looking to open a debate here; I am simply sharing what I have learned about arena dust control over the last two decades of doing it for a living.
Jan. 23, 2009, 05:58 PM
And I get it from the MAG man, works great in the indoor and we'll do the outside arena if the Theraputic group are having a show to keep the dust down.
But it does not survive the next rain fall, though the grass loves it!
Dec. 12, 2013, 03:18 PM
4Martini wrote: "Call the hwy department and see if they will come spray it. That's what we did and in a little used indoor it is still nearly dust free after two years (and we are talking can't see 20' in front of you and nasty black boogers before.) I LOVE IT!"
If the forum readers use typical highway de-icing salt, they may find severe drying of the horse's hooves etc. (see below).
Therefore: please take extreme precautions should one use such types of product ... such as thoroughly washing the underside of the hooves and the lower legs after each exercise, and so forth.
Reason for precaution: The various state, county and municipal DOTs use Anhydrous Magnesium Chloride (MgCl<sub2>) which is often called a "brown liquid Magnesium Chloride" ... after they dilute the solid salts typically manufactured and imported from the Guangdong province of China ... and spray the "brown liquid magnesium chloride" solution on the roads
as opposed to using Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate (MgCl<sub2> . 6H<sub2>O) ... with my apologies for the unsupported chemical annotations in this forum.
One might wish to consider that the DOT uses the Anhydrous chemical formula because it is the "concentrated" form of Magnesium Chloride = 'more bang for the buck' if you will.
One might discover over time find that the "typical road salt" type of 'magnesium chloride' is not the correct concentration level of an hygrologic salt for use in any riding environment,
as the typical formulae ... while more aggressively lowering the heat-of-fusion of water ... also aggressively draws moisture out of all the ambient and adjacent mediums and surfaces.
One example of an "adjacent surface" would include the horse's hooves, frogs and pads.
Also ... during prolonged exposure to fugitive dust containing Anhydrous Magnesium Chloride ... the horse's and rider's skin and eyes would be part of the "ambient and adjacent mediums," as would eventually their lungs and upper gastro-intestinal tracts.
None of the typically-available/over-the-counter types of Magnesium Chloride (whether Anhydrous Magnesium Chloride or Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate or any other typically offered chemical formulae) chemically adjusted to the correct pH level.
One will find that the correct pH level is absolutely critical for equestrian riding or maintenance footing/flooring applications.
With my apologies, one could explain exactly how one must get the chemical formula of the Magnesium Chloride exactly right [see MAG MAN's comment for more details], perfect for equine riding and footing applications ... but unfortunately getting it absolutely correct might bore the typical horseman/horsewoman.
That is why I found many years ago to drop trying to advise/consulte using this type of product, as people are subject to replacing correctness with "seems good enough for me" types of substitutions.
You may also note:
the correct form of Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate ... although it still needed its pH level adjusted ... appeared in abundance in North America for many decades. Unfortunately, cost-efficient mining or extraction of this salt is now forbidden in the USA for various reasons,
and again it would be "way too much details ! " for the typical Equestrianists, horse owner, rider, trainer or stable owner/manager.
The MAG Man wrote: "I am guy who pioneered and developed the use of MAG for riding arena use nearly 20 years ago. My business is snow, ice, and dust control, and I'm also a stable owner and have owned horses for 55 years. As an industrial and roadway dust control expert in my business ... With regards to magnesium chloride, we buy a few different MgCl2 products from multiple manufacturers; both liquid and dry forms. We sell only MAG brand by Dead Sea Works for equine footing use and there's a very specific reason that only that brand is offered for arena dust control by us: pH ..."
YES! Thank you again for clarifying this topic.
You are of course ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!
How have you been, MAG Man? We have not spoken in many years, since we talked about this subject in some depth.
May I ask, have you also found that the typical horseman is not interested in getting it exactly right?
Frankly, I gave up on this type of product many years ago, as developing the product and the Branding of the product, its market introduction and saturation etc. seemed like a lot of work, just in order to get to the handful of atypical Equestrianists who are willing to invest the time + thought processes required, to take the time to learn why they should avoid the "seems like this cheaper stuff should work right for me" type of shopping.
Your Brand, MAG, is already developed and well-established, and your product absolutely is the correct chemical formula + pH level for equine footing and flooring applications.
I hope to hear that you are well and in good health, and that you have enough intelligent clients/leaders that their followers are now also considering "doing it right the first time" with your product ... instead of the "seems good enough to me" type of thought process which is rampant + endemic in the "horse business" today.
Just an old Indian/Hoosier farm boy, Mark
Not the director of anything except maybe a couple of legacy horses, thanks kindly for the offer but I already have a job, His work.
Dec. 12, 2013, 07:59 PM
I also use MAG from Dead Sea Works in my indoor and love it! I have one of the newer footing types which is a mix of sand, fibre, felt and some rubber so I am gradually adding more product until I hit the right amount. It's a work in progress and I will need more product that the standard.
Right now the footing is lovely and moist on top but also frozen, because I didn't get the chance to work the MAG into the footing and ride enough before this frigid weather.
I did find my supplier in Wisconsin for the poster that was looking. Google Knight's Chemicals, I think that's right. The pallets were immaculately wrapped and shipping was very reasonable.
Dec. 12, 2013, 08:29 PM
My first mag was from Israel. I'm not sure where recent Mag applications have originated. I have found no differences or health problems. And this is 17-18 years .;)