View Full Version : Magnesium supplementation

Nov. 18, 2009, 09:21 PM
Hey all,
So i'm doing a research paper for one of my senior classes, and i'm trying to do it on Magnesium supplementation in horses under strenuous work (IE, Eventers)

It was originally going to be something along the lines on people supplementing when it wassnt necessary, but after a bunch of research, my thesis is turning out to be more along the lines of people supplementing for the wrong reasons.

There are a bunch of supplements for magnesium out there that say one thing, but are not backed by any research, and there are a bunch of research papers and experiments about magnesium that say other things.

SO! my question to you all, if you care to share, is do you supplement with magnesium, and why?

Nov. 18, 2009, 09:56 PM
I use Quiessence for my 15 y.o. TB gelding. He was being kind of silly-spooky and over-reactive. Completely not-vet route, I was shown a website for a German Mg supplement and the company's theory about MG and adrenaline, etc, etc. Well, Quiessence was a lot cheaper than the German product, and readily available so I gave it a shot. I've been happy with the results, he just seems to be more focused and less likely to flip out over minor issues.

Nov. 18, 2009, 10:00 PM
When I bought my TB as a 6 y/o, he was getting magnesium oxide twice a day because he had been "cold-backed." I've read that it can act as a muscle relaxant, but I've long since taken him off of it and haven't had issues.

Hampton Bay
Nov. 18, 2009, 10:11 PM
I have two hot, nervous, and tense mares on Mg supplements. Both of the mares seem more relaxed and less insane on Mg (and I have put them on, then taken them off, adjusted the dose, etc to be sure).

I really think it does help with muscle tension in some horses because Mg deficiency can show up as muscle tension. If the tension is the result of a deficiency, then the Mg will help.

I tried Quiessence though and it did nothing, even on a double dose. I use epsom salts now. The difference in my big mare was HUGE when I switched.

Nov. 18, 2009, 10:13 PM
There are a bunch of supplements for magnesium out there that say one thing, but are not backed by any research

Take out "for magnesium" and you have described 95% of the supplement industry juggernaut in a nutshell. :)

Nov. 18, 2009, 10:49 PM
I tried Quiessence though and it did nothing, even on a double dose. I use epsom salts now. The difference in my big mare was HUGE when I switched.

I'm curious as to how much epsom salts you give. I've always thought epsom salts work as a laxative. Do you not notice that in your horses after you give it to them?

Nov. 19, 2009, 06:15 AM
I've just started supplementing my young guy with Mg in the last 6-8 weeks and have seen a HUGE difference. Certainly hasn't fixed his neuroses, but has helped him not fixate on things and get as worked up over the "monsters" when we are under saddle and on the ground. Much more able to focus and is handling jump schools much better. I was using SmartCalm Ultra from Smartpak based on what others had said about it, but have now switched to just ~1oz of plain ole epsom salts. You do have to be a little careful of the laxative effect at first in some I think, but it didn't bother my jumbo giant one bit. Certainly can't beat the price either.

Nov. 19, 2009, 07:59 AM
I tried Quiessence with my very cranky mare and saw no difference at all. As time goes on, she's less cranky, so I'm chalking it up to time under saddle and work.

Nov. 19, 2009, 10:56 AM
this is awesome! Thanks so much. these responses are just what i need for my paper.

Take out "for magnesium" and you have described 95% of the supplement industry juggernaut in a nutshell. :)

And yea, haha i know. about 99% of supplements are not even approved by any organization. Just a claim and a manufacturer to back it.

Thanks so much guys!

Nov. 19, 2009, 11:37 AM
Well magnesium is an ingredient in most electrolyte supplements, so if I want to feed electrolytes, I seem to have to feed some magnesium as well.

Nov. 19, 2009, 11:41 AM
I supplement with UGard, which has Magnesium in it. I don't know if it's the mag or the other ingredients, but my horse is happier....

Nov. 19, 2009, 12:55 PM
I supplement with UGard, which has Magnesium in it. I don't know if it's the mag or the other ingredients, but my horse is happier....

In this case the Mg is added to relax the smooth muscle of the gut as well as to act as a buffer to the stomach acid. It is not "real" supplementation as a nutraceutical to effect an "undefined" condition. UGard at least has numerous years of understanding behind it from human medicine.

Nov. 19, 2009, 01:01 PM
I started feeding my tense, spooky mare Quiessence about 2 1/2 years ago and it helped. It was not instantaneous, and perhaps some of the mellowing was just age and training, BUT, she used to have very hard muscles. Unlike my other horses who you could press on their muscles and have some give or softness, she was like a rock with fur. That has decreased since she's been on the Quiessence, and she feels more normal, and has been able to work through some significant issues around flexibiltiy. Massage helps too, but she's no longer rock-like.

Nov. 19, 2009, 01:52 PM
Yep. I've supplemented my boys with magnesium, primarily the magnesium oxide version.


As a muscle relaxer for the crazy boy. He's very, very tense with his body and that in turn caused other issues. I don't think it helps and cures everything 100%, but it seems to have improved his flighty-ness just a bit ;). He's still crazy.

For Gus, the ol' man, he's got insulin resistance now... and well, it's supposedly suppose to help with that. I've also noticed that he's a bit more supple throughout and not nearly as stiff starting out. Not sure if it's the magnesim or 24/7 turnout ;).

Not sure if that helps at all with "eventing and magnesium" as the crazy boy is a pasture ornament and the ol' man is basically retired to w/t/c trail work.

Nov. 19, 2009, 06:17 PM
I can't help too much as I JUST got my SmartCalm Ultra in today (first dose tomorrow!) but I am hoping it will make a difference. My horse is tense in his body and can get worked up fairly easily undersaddle. I'm hoping the Mg will help him relax and focus better. I only got the one month supply, we'll see how it goes...

Nov. 19, 2009, 07:15 PM
Maresy is on SmartCalm, which has magnesium. It doesn't calm her as much as lessen her horsey ADD... She is easily distracted and just listens better when she's on SmartCalm.

I tried her on Quiessence, which isn't that different, and it made her nuts. I have no idea why.

Nov. 20, 2009, 07:11 PM
It helps me sleep better and helps with sore muscles. my doctor recommended it when I complained of insomnia.

I give it to my two laid back geldings to keep their tummies settled and their backs relaxed.

Hampton Bay
Nov. 20, 2009, 08:45 PM
The epsom salts, I give between 2T and 5T, depending on the weight of the horse. My 1200-lb mare gets 1/4 cup.

You have to feed A LOT of it to act as a laxative. It's not just epsom salts that act as a laxative though; any Mg supp will if fed in large amounts.

My mare was on Quiessence for a year, and at a double dose for a couple months toward the end of that year, with no real results. The epsom salts worked within 4 or 5 days.

I take epsom salts myself whenever I notice my muscles tensing up. It helps me within 30 minutes or so.

One reason it can work better than MgO is that it is already in an ionic form, which is how the body absorbs it. MgO has to stay in the stomach for a certain amount of time to be changed into the ionic form, otherwise the body cannot use it. So if you are feeding it with large meals, or if the stomach isn't acidic enough, it will pass through to the intestines without being changed into the ionic form and thus it cannot be absorbed.

Nov. 23, 2009, 01:32 AM
My horse has been on SmartCalm for several months. She was not nervous or spooky, but she went from being a very social, happy, fairly mellow (for a 4 year old!), cooperative horse, to a cranky, touchy, uncooperative horse over the course of a few months. We thought it was training issues, tack issues, hormone issues, etc., but "fixing" these didn't seem to make a difference. Finally, almost in desperation, I tried SmartCalm and within 3-4 days, my happy, sunny, mellow, cooperative horse returned and she has been on it ever since. No other changes were made to her diet, lifestyle, or training. The change was dramatic enough, and the "uncooperativeness" dangerous enough, that I have no plans on taking her off it to see if she no longer needs it. As the vet said, it won't do anything for them if they aren't Mg deficient (nor will it do any harm) and the soil in this area (and thus the hay) is known to be low in Mg.

I don't know if she counts as being in strenuous work....she is ridden 4 times/week for 45-60 minutes.

Nov. 23, 2009, 09:39 AM
My horse is fed a magnesium supplement because he tends to get muscle tight (per a previous owner). He has been on it the entire month or so I've had him and I do not know if it has made a difference or not.

I'd be interested to hear more about this epsom salts thing.. just feed it with their food? They eat them? guess I didn't know they were edible!:confused:

Nov. 25, 2009, 10:37 PM
Thanks everyone who replied and voted!
My paper is taking me far longer to write than i expected.. mainly because my thesis changed about 4 times.. But i'm finally almost done with the rough draft. My professor wants me to try to get it published, though i seriously doubt that would ever happen.

Nov. 26, 2009, 06:46 AM
I was wondering how much a 1500 lb horse should get? Smart Pak Ultra has 10,000 mgs of Magnesium per dose, should he get 1.5 scoops? thanks

Nov. 26, 2009, 01:59 PM
Shantor, can you share some of your paper/findings when you are through? That would be very interesting.

I would think there would be a lot of old threads about Mg supplementation and insulin resistance.

Dec. 2, 2009, 11:50 PM
Wow, interesting posts. Thanks, just stumbled across this one. Have been having trouble with an upper level event horse who recently developed ulcers (or recently showed signs of having them..). Nothing except a tube a day of (way too expensive) gastroguard has helped, although I was curious about mg... and epsom salts?

Would be very interested to read about your findings...