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  1. #1
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    Default Epson salts to replace a Magnesium supplement

    I posted in one of the older threads but figured I should post a new thread just in case.

    I have been called out to work on a younger TB gelding that is having soreness due to tension issues, I will be massaging him for the second time this weekend. She was discussing his diet with me and mentioned that she is feeding Epson salts for Magnesium, she switched over from the performance equine stuff to plain old grocery store epson salts to try to help him out more with the tension under saddle....I dont know the horse very well but apparently it is a childs horse so I was just wondering how smart this is scientifically....

    any opinions or links to articles would be excellent!



  2. #2
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    The problem with epsom salts is that you have to feed volume wise SO much more (think 1/2c +) to even start to gain benefits of the mag. Even then, its not in a form that is easy for the body to break down so even though you are feeding 1/2 c etc the horse is not absorbing it. Ive also found with my horses and other friends that I know that there is more of an issue with loose manure from the epsom salts again because you have to feed so much whereas I have not found that as a problem with the MagRestore.

    Do you know WHY she switched? Was she feeding 40g of the MagRestore? If shes having issues with not getting the desired results, I would recommend she call Carla at Performance Equine to talk to her about other things she can do. Sorry but the MagRestore is highly bio available and easier for the horses body to actuall absorb and use. Even though the epsom salts are cheaper, in the long run, you get what you pay for, IMO.

    Is it a smart move? Me personally I would say no way. But its not going to hurt the horse unless he is starting to have loose manure. But if hes having issues with muscle tension to the point it is causing soreness, no way would I be feeding the epsom salt. It can work for horses who arent that low in the mag but from the sounds of it, he needs a much more therapudic level.
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!



  3. #3
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    Epsom salts is commonly used as a laxative.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  4. #4
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    If you want a good magnesium supplement, look for chelated magnesium. you can feed much lower quantities and get more of an effect than something with mag sulfate.



  5. #5
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    Default

    thanks for the responses, I wanted to know a little bit more about the situation before I spoke with her about it as to not offend her. It just seemed like a very strange move. I went on the MagRestore website and saw that like him one of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency is horses that have soreness that do not respond well to massage... which seems very much like him from what I can tell thus far into treatment. I would rather have her spend money on the supplement he needs than having me out weekly :S I dont mind making money to support my own horse but having her horse happy is far more important than that!



  6. #6
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    What about the mag oxide that can be purchased very inexpensively at feed stores? It does come in large bags, but it is very reasonable. I don't know, however, how it compares to other forms of magnesium for horses.
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptownevt View Post
    What about the mag oxide that can be purchased very inexpensively at feed stores? It does come in large bags, but it is very reasonable. I don't know, however, how it compares to other forms of magnesium for horses.
    Mag oxide is inexpensive, yes, and seems to be effective. I'd certainly use that before considering epsom salts (unless what I wanted was the laxative effect). Mag citrate, mag aspartate, mag gluconate, mag malate, chelated mag... all cost more. Epsom salts cost even less, but the mag sulfate doesn't seem to be very bioavailable, so it's probably best to save those for use as laxatives. That brings you back around to the mag oxide. There have been quite a lot of studies on magnesium absorption in humans, so it's not difficult to discover which sources seem to work best for us, but when it comes to horses there are a lot of magnesium supplements out there, but not a lot of research comparing the effectiveness of various forms.

    Dr. Eleanor Kellon has done quite a lot of work on this subject, especially in the context of supplementing laminitic horses and IR horses. I think a lot of her writing is available online.

    From my own experience: If your horses are at all picky about their feed and supplements, it's usually best to find a supplement that's effective in very small quantities so that you don't find yourself coming out to the barn in the morning and finding all the feed eaten EXCEPT for a tidy little pile of powder in the bottom of the manger. Horses are awfully good at sifting and sorting through their feed... must be those prehensile lips!
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  8. #8
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    I've been using epsom salts for YEARS with no laxative issues. It's the magnesium that causes the laxative effect, so it's not specific to epsom salts at all. In the summer, one of my horses gets 1/4 cup 3x per day. 1/4 cup is equal to 10g magnesium.

    Sure it's not going to work for every horse, but what does? It works great for mine. I've used other magnesium supplements in the past with no results. I got results within 4 days with epsom salts. It's cheaper too.



  9. #9
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    Which is why the MagRestore is such a good choice. 2 scoops (20g) is like a tablespoon? If that. Plus it really doesnt have a taste and is a true powder so sticks to most feed (except dry pellets). Also, there are NO fillers or binding agents in the MagRestore so when you feed 20g of it, you are actually feeding 20g of magnesium, unlike mag ox which has to have carrying agents, etc.

    OP, maybe after 3 massages or something and he doesnt respond, speak to the owner about your concerns. I would just tell her that you are concerned that the massages do not seem to be helping and tell her about the bioavailability of the different magnesiums and make a professional suggestion that you think a different supplement may be better for the horse than the massages.
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrazyTBMare View Post
    ... Also, there are NO fillers or binding agents in the MagRestore so when you feed 20g of it, you are actually feeding 20g of magnesium, unlike mag ox which has to have carrying agents, etc. ...
    Impossible. You don't feed pure magnesium. The magnesium atom is bound to SOMETHING. Magnesium can't exist in our environment without oxidizing, so it's either bound to something else or it's oxidized. Pure magnesium isn't digestible anyway. I don't know what the compound is in the MagRestore, but I 100% guarantee you that 20g of the compound isn't 20g of magnesium. It's just 20g of the compound.

    But even magnesium oxide, which is pretty much the highest % magnesium-containing compound you can get, isn't very digestible. So the %-magnesium in the compound is completely irrelevant to anything other than how much space it takes up to give you the specific amount of magnesium you're after.



  11. #11
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    Some of the chemistry on the MagRestore website is…interesting in that they refer to a molecule of malic acid attached to two molecules of magnesium. Magnesium is an ion, not a molecule. And, from what I can determine, and what makes sense chemically, is a 1:1 ratio of magnesium to the dianion of malic acid, AKA malate.

    The weight percent of Mg in magnesium malate is about 15%.
    The weight percent of Mg in epsom salts, AKA magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, is 9.9% (if you make the error of calculating the %Mg in anhydrous magnesium sulfate you'll get a higher %).

    When the magnesium sulfate reaches the stomach, you'll have magnesium ions, sulfate ions, and the water. When magnesium malate reaches the stomach, you'll end up with magnesium ions and malic acid. The magical chelating effect of the malate is going to be gone at the low pH of the stomach.

    Sometimes I think I should go into the supplement business. I'd probably make more money than as an evil chem prof, work less, and be able to write off my horse.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peggy View Post
    ...
    Sometimes I think I should go into the supplement business. I'd probably make more money than as an evil chem prof, work less, and be able to write off my horse.
    Ditto. The interesting science just amazes me sometimes. And my degree isn't even chemistry, it's chemical engineering. Very little chemistry there.



  13. #13
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    I dont need chemistry. My horses and their behavior on it works for me.
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!



  14. #14
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    I have fed epsom salts to horses that benefit from magnesium supplementation. Never had a problem with it and my horse ate it fine.

    I suspect if you fed too much, your horse would get diarrhoea but fed in small quantities it's probably not going to cause any issues.

    In fact, I've read before that feeding epsom salts is a good way to find out if your horse will respond to magnesium supplementation.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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  15. #15
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    all very good to know ladies!
    I guess the issue with the magRestore is finding it here in Alberta :S which is why she decided to alternate.



  16. #16
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    I feed Smart Calm Ultra and have seen amazing results with it. My little super hot, reactive, spazzy, jumpy, you-can't-catch-me, OMG if you put a blanket on me I will blow apart into a million pieces, watch how fast my legs can go, Paso Fino has settled down about 1,000% since starting on it a couple months ago.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sellefrancais View Post
    all very good to know ladies!
    I guess the issue with the magRestore is finding it here in Alberta :S which is why she decided to alternate.
    I am assuming you mean Canada? If so, Carla ships to Canada all the time. Performance Equine is currently the only supplier of dimagnesium malate (MagRestore).

    A truly deficient horse will need to start out with 40 grams of MagRestore. That is about 1 TB. 2x a day. If you were to feed epsom salts or even mg ox in that quantity #1 you would have to feed a great deal more volume and #2 it may cause stomach upset. When Performance Equne ran their studies on dimagnesium malate, the test horses were given 100 grams of magnesium. Only 2 had stomach upset from it.

    IMO - MagRestore is the only form that can actually reverse a deficiency. It is the most bio-available form you can get. I have tried others in the past (Quiessence (mg ox) and Ex-Stress (mag sulfate) and they did nothing. That was because I was only getting 10 grams per serving. What I did not realize was that my high anxiety horse was VERY deficient and she needed a heck of a lot more than 10 grams.

    She has been on MagRestore for over 1 1/2 years now and she has finally been able to not only build muscle but her muscles stay relaxed. She also requires much less chiro attention. I used to have her adjusted every 6 weeks because her tight muscles kept pulling her back out. Massage never really helped her. Now she goes every 3-4 months for chiro and even then, the adjustments are now minor ones. She gets massaged 2x a year and never palpates sore. I'm sold.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peggy View Post
    Some of the chemistry on the MagRestore website is…interesting in that they refer to a molecule of malic acid attached to two molecules of magnesium. Magnesium is an ion, not a molecule. And, from what I can determine, and what makes sense chemically, is a 1:1 ratio of magnesium to the dianion of malic acid, AKA malate.

    The weight percent of Mg in magnesium malate is about 15%.
    The weight percent of Mg in epsom salts, AKA magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, is 9.9% (if you make the error of calculating the %Mg in anhydrous magnesium sulfate you'll get a higher %).

    When the magnesium sulfate reaches the stomach, you'll have magnesium ions, sulfate ions, and the water. When magnesium malate reaches the stomach, you'll end up with magnesium ions and malic acid. The magical chelating effect of the malate is going to be gone at the low pH of the stomach.

    Sometimes I think I should go into the supplement business. I'd probably make more money than as an evil chem prof, work less, and be able to write off my horse.
    Could you possibly go into more detail from a chemist standpoint? is the magrestore worth the money? Or is the $2 bag of epson salt sufficient?

    Think creative writing student language LOL.

    TIA
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves
    "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swishy-Tails View Post
    a.Could you possibly go into more detail from a chemist standpoint? b.is the magrestore worth the money? c.Or is the $2 bag of epson salt sufficient?

    Think creative writing student language LOL.

    TIA
    a.Magnesium ion has a +2 charge. In order to make a stable neutral substance it has to be balanced with a -2 charged ion. If the combined substance dissolves then the ions dissolve and separate somewhat to completely. At that point it really shouldn't matter who the magnesium came to the party with, so to speak. That's my basis for saying that the identity of the -2 ion isn't critical. Let's try an analogy. You have a friend Magna who is a couple with Malcolm. She goes to a party and hooks up with Steve but then leaves with a large group of friends. Is she still Magna and not someone else throughout? Not a great analogy but I have to go deal with an instrument.
    b. IMHO No.
    c. Yes. I'm not willing to completely write off the maleate as it might be doing something synergistic (helpful) with the magnesium. But apples contain malic acid. Maybe some Epsom Salts with an apple chaser. Both are available at the 99-cent store.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peggy View Post
    a.Magnesium ion has a +2 charge. In order to make a stable neutral substance it has to be balanced with a -2 charged ion. If the combined substance dissolves then the ions dissolve and separate somewhat to completely. At that point it really shouldn't matter who the magnesium came to the party with, so to speak. That's my basis for saying that the identity of the -2 ion isn't critical. Let's try an analogy. You have a friend Magna who is a couple with Malcolm. She goes to a party and hooks up with Steve but then leaves with a large group of friends. Is she still Magna and not someone else throughout? Not a great analogy but I have to go deal with an instrument.
    b. IMHO No.
    c. Yes. I'm not willing to completely write off the maleate as it might be doing something synergistic (helpful) with the magnesium. But apples contain malic acid. Maybe some Epsom Salts with an apple chaser. Both are available at the 99-cent store.
    This all makes sense to me now, thank you dearly for your enlightenment. Now I can explain this to someone and make myself sound so scientific and brilliant.

    Magrestore isn't particularly expensive for a supplement, but it is when a 4lb bag of off brand epson salt is $2 at Kroger.

    My horse will soon be eating some Epson Salt with his ACV. I will report back with the results.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves
    "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver



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