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  1. #61
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    Jan. 30, 2009
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    I have a mare that I have had for a few years, that was very hot, spooky, and with very tight muscles. She is so difficult to ride that I pretty much gave up after several years of trying different methods to get her to relax. She was also somewhat like this on the ground as well. I put her on the 10 day trial of the MagRestore, just to see if it might help her. After 4 days I could start to see a difference in her, and I continued until the 10 days were up. I was able to start riding her again, and I only have her on a maintenance dose of 1 scoop now, but it was a huge difference in her in a short time. I had no expectations that it would work, in fact I had tried Quiessence in the past with minimal change. You can debate whether it works or not, but there is no placebo effect with horses, and it either works or it doesn't. After researching this a little more, the area I live in is very low in magnesium in the water and soil, and the supplement I feed doesn't have much either. I decided to put all 5 of mine on a maintenance dose, since they eat the same feed. The one mare had a big change in relaxation, one of my mules was much less pissy about brushing, 2 of them have more relaxed muscles, and one I didn't notice much change. As a group I notice less spooking and running in the pasture, they seem calmer and generally happier. And wet saddle blankets did nothing at all except amp my mare up. I would have thought something similar if I had not had a horse like this mare, but there really are horses out there that cannot be fixed that way. You can do a trial for <$20, if it works, great, if not, your horse was not deficient, keep looking. Your horse will tell you whether it works or not, not someone on a chat group.


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  2. #62
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    Jan. 29, 2013
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    I have my mare on a magnesium supplement - she has/had a back injury and has muscling problems - won't go into it in great detail, but magnesium DOES help her. Vet confirmed. I notice a big difference when she's on it versus when she's off. I've had her off of it for most of the last two months since she's been off (ground too yucky, plus too many horses to ride)



  3. #63
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    Feb. 21, 2013
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    Hi all,

    Sorry if my post was not helpful. I wanted to be very clear about where I come from so there was no falsehood so I hope none of you feel duped. I thought it was interesting that such a broad range of uses were mentioned and I hoped people would find some basic info helpful and enable you to look further into any point of relevance.

    I’ll try to clarify a few things and leave you guys in peace!

    My comment about intestinal health was intended to address concerns with magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) scrubbing the gut, because people would be justifiably wary about supplementing a normal healthy horse with a laxative on a permanent basis.

    The study with stress ulcers in mice I mentioned is:
    Henrotte, J. G. et al. (1995) Effect of pyridoxine and magnesium on stress-induced gastric ulcers in mice selected for low or high blood magnesium levels. Ann Nutr Metab 39(5):285-90

    You are quite right to ask for ‘red flags’ but the beauty of magnesium is that there are few with a normal healthy horse. You should not feed additional magnesium with a horse with poor renal function (because they use their kidneys to regulate magnesium levels). Do not supplement to a horse suffering with magnesium based urinary stones (struvites). And of course you should ensure a plentiful supply of water. Magnesium is a natural dietary supplement with very few contraindications for use.

    To Win1 regarding enteroliths... Sorry as mentioned I am UK based and I am not well informed of US regional complaints. But as with urinary struvite stones I would indeed say that a horse suffering from struvite intestinal enteroliths should have all of the relevant dietary components minimised – magnesium included. It’s an interesting topic. It is known that urinary struvite stones form as a result of increased urinal pH rather than the magnesium content per se. The neutral ion balance of MAH means that unlike other forms of magnesium, it does not actually alter urinal pH and therefore is not a cause of urinal struvite stones (Classen et al 1987). Although I’d hasten to add that supplementation should still be stopped if the stones do appear as a result of a UTI. I do not know whether intestinal enteroliths are caused in the same way by the alkalising effect of naturally occurring magnesium, or whether they are more directly related to dietary content? Similarly I would presume that intestinal enteroliths can be of varied composition and are not always struvite? In which case the ability of magnesium to actually protect against calcification may also be interesting?

    Regarding anecdotal support; yes of course I take your point, but this is why I described it as anecdotal, so no confusion could be made. Observational knowledge is extraordinarily important and science would struggle to function without it. A scientist cannot perform research without an initial theory to test. The fact is that over the last couple of decades a vast number of horses have been supplemented with magnesium and people/vets/trainers have seen obvious improvements to their horse’s temperament. And if we look into what we know about magnesium then there is a wealth of knowledge that explains that this is no fluke or placebo. I’m sure Equine research will continue to progress but there is a little around e.g. -
    “Magnesium reduces heart rate under mental stress. Result: 1 day after transportation and arrival in unfamiliar surroundings, the heart rate at rest was significantly lower in the test group compared to the control group. In conjunction with subsequent training, magnesium improves effect of the heart. Result: After 4 weeks for training, the heart rate after standardized work was significantly lower in the test group compared to the control group. The inference is that a magnesium supplement fed to horses before stress situations and physical strain seems to be useful.”
    C. Frischmuth et al. (1993) Effects of magnesium supplementation on heart rate and on ECG of crossbred horses passing the mare performance test at the Hessian Landgestüt at Dillenburg. Magnesium pp.229-235

    Headshaking: Customers have reported huge improvements in headshakers (happy to see some posts here with horses that have been helped too :-) ) but at the moment we can only hypothesise as to why this is because we know so little about the pathology of headshaking itself.

    Magnesium and calcium balance… apologies for cutting corners but this is taken from the website ancient-minerals.com which is well referenced:
    “Magnesium deficiency’s causes can also include supplementation of other competing vitamins and nutrients. Today many people, especially women, supplement with calcium to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
    Calcium cannot be effectively utilized or absorbed without adequate magnesium.
    Yet widespread knowledge of the need for calcium is, unfortunately, not accompanied by a widespread knowledge of the need for magnesium. As a result, many are actively depleting their magnesium stores without realizing it—through their supplementation with calcium.
    An overabundance of calcium increases the body’s need for magnesium. And calcium cannot be effectively utilized or absorbed without adequate magnesium.
    It is commonly recommended to take calcium and magnesium supplements at a 2:1 ratio. However, according to several magnesium experts a 1:1 ratio (or even a ratio that favors magnesium) can sometimes be advisable, especially when certain conditions or illnesses or present, or when the diet is skewed excessively toward calcium intake, as is the case with many American diets.”

    My purpose was simply to make you aware that use of magnesium is not placebo and we do know enough that we are not just guessing at what’s going on. There is a huge amount of research out there for those of you who are interested. On top of equine and human stuff there is a fair amount of bovine work because of the prevalence of grass tetany (where too much calcium and too little magnesium results in a severe shock reaction), and there is some with pigs and poultry, often relating to weight gain and mortality because of the obvious economic benefit.

    Wishing you all well, Jemma



  4. #64
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    Mar. 8, 2008
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    Spokane, WA
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    I discussed it with my vet and he agreed that if the horse doesn't need it, it won't make any difference. My previous horse became increasingly difficult to ride and handle and her overall attitude went significantly downhill. I added SmartCalm to her feed and within 3 days she did a 180 degree change and returned to her normal self. No other variables (feed, turnout, riding time or intensity, weather, etc) were altered during this time frame. In contrast, my current horse was showing somewhat similar symptoms. I tried 2 different magnesium supplements (SmartCalm and MagRestore) and neither made the slightest bit of difference. Turned out she had ulcers, not a magnesium deficiency, so she doesn't get a magnesium supplement, but she does get some digestive support.



  5. #65
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    Apr. 25, 2002
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    My $0.02: my mare is on MagRestore & I can tell a huge difference when I withdraw it. In her case, a wet saddle pad will not help her specific brand of hotness. She works UP, not down. No amount or type of riding or longeing will settle her brain and help her relax when she becomes anxious to the point that she starts heading toward a panic attack. I have owned & ridden all kinds of (mostly young, at least at first) horses for around 30 years and I have never come across one quite like this, and I really do think that the mag makes a big difference.

    Without it she very quickly works herself into a sweaty, lathery, whinnying, tight, hard-muscled mess, and every minute I try to keep going and try to give her something constructive to do just seems to reinforce her fear of whatever it was that set her off. On it, she is much, much less likely to reach the full on panic stage. It's the difference between a few serpentines and transitions taking her mind off her worry and having a meltdown in progress before I've finished the first serpentine.



  6. #66
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    Aug. 22, 2009
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    I have searched like a mad woman through the primary medical literature and have yet to find a study demonstrating that magnesium does anything other than promote smooth muscle relaxation (and no, this doesn't extrapolate to mood relaxation ;-) there is no smooth muscle in your brain) - I'm talking a real bona fide clinical study in actual humans or non-lab animals. I cannot find anything regarding calming effects, yet it's all over the "internet" in lay people articles for such use with no real references.

    I scratch my head over this all the time and cannot figure out where the idea even comes from. Generally though oral magensium is safe but I wouldn't touch the IV stuff with a 10ft pole. Very very dangerous - especially with no solid evidence to say it will even help with what you are trying to accomplish.

    I think it's really good to hear open, honest discussion about it though.



  7. #67
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    Mar. 8, 2008
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    Spokane, WA
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    IMHO, the calming effects are due to muscle relaxation. My horse that it was effective with could definitely have been described as "tight" all over. I know if my muscles are tight, I am not happy nor able to perform at my best so it doesn't surprise me that tight muscles would cause issues in other animals. I suspect that is why magnesium was effective for that horse. My current horse was "tight" because her tummy hurt - ulcer medication fixed that, magnesium did not, which makes perfect sense.



  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by leheath View Post
    IMHO, the calming effects are due to muscle relaxation. My horse that it was effective with could definitely have been described as "tight" all over. I know if my muscles are tight, I am not happy nor able to perform at my best so it doesn't surprise me that tight muscles would cause issues in other animals. I suspect that is why magnesium was effective for that horse. My current horse was "tight" because her tummy hurt - ulcer medication fixed that, magnesium did not, which makes perfect sense.
    But smooth muscle is not the muscle that you tense physically So it's not a muscle relaxant like say...methocarbamol or whatever else people inject their horses with. That is striated muscle (skeletal muscle). Smooth muscle is found in the lungs, kidneys and um...vagina. So it shouldn't work by that mechanism because it doesn't do that.



  9. #69
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Smooth muscle? No. But proper muscle function, yes, including the functions of contraction and relaxation, with a deficiency potentially causing muscles to cramp and/or spasm and/or generally weaken.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


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  10. #70
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    Mar. 8, 2008
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    This website shows an exempt from a Human Physiology text book regarding Magnesium's role in muscle function and specifically discusses skeletal muscles.

    http://members.upnaway.com/~poliowa/...elaxation.html



  11. #71
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    Aug. 22, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Smooth muscle? No. But proper muscle function, yes, including the functions of contraction and relaxation, with a deficiency potentially causing muscles to cramp and/or spasm and/or generally weaken.
    Yes, but that is only in significant magnesium deficiency. High levels of magnesium do not cause relaxation in that same muscle that I am aware of - so not sure what supplementing magnesium really does unless there is a true deficiency. I work in an ICU and have treated people with both dangerously low and high blood magnesium levels. I can tell you being relaxed mentally is not a presenting symptom of someone with a high blood magnesium level. I wish it was or perhaps we would use that instead of say...valium ;-)



  12. #72
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    You can't fight the flood of common opinion with facts and science, rockfordbuckeye. Can't. Magnesium is MAGIC, and therefore exempt from all those tedious medical truths.

    This website shows an exempt from a Human Physiology text book regarding Magnesium's role in muscle function and specifically discusses skeletal muscles.
    The reference to a medical textbook above is NOT an actual citation from a medical textbook! It appears to be part of a paper written by an RN (nothing wrong with that) but that excerpt/page is NOT from the actual textbook. And is full of speculation and high-school level conclusion drawing. NOT what I would call scientifically accurate, sorry.

    The most important ion in muscle relaxation is . . . calcium.

    http://physrev.physiology.org/content/80/3/1215.long
    Last edited by deltawave; Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:28 AM.
    Click here before you buy.


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  13. #73
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockfordbuckeye View Post
    Yes, but that is only in significant magnesium deficiency. High levels of magnesium do not cause relaxation in that same muscle that I am aware of - so not sure what supplementing magnesium really does unless there is a true deficiency. I work in an ICU and have treated people with both dangerously low and high blood magnesium levels. I can tell you being relaxed mentally is not a presenting symptom of someone with a high blood magnesium level. I wish it was or perhaps we would use that instead of say...valium ;-)
    Well exactly Deficiency might be large enough to cause problems, might not (and does the body, horse or human, feel just a bit nqr?) but adding more isn't going to increase the things it does, either on the relaxation side OR the contraction side. Can you imagine? LOLOL - super contraction/relaxation cycles, would that make a super horse?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  14. #74
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    The level of over-simplification of the role of calcium and magnesium in the activity of muscle that is put forward as "scientific evidence" of why/how it works as a calming supplement is laughable. Except it isn't funny. But it is, apparently, profitable.

    Perhaps READING PHYSIOLOGY TEXTBOOKS instead of googling "magnesium muscle relaxation" would help. It probably wouldn't take any more time than is often invested in googling to defend an indefensible position. Or, I guess if one is in a hurry, one can simply order a product and invest oneself that way.

    And for the record, I'm not against magnesium supplementation if hay tests low and intake is poor, etc. Magnesium, calcium, copper . . . these things are certainly important. I've done it a couple of winters empirically when my horses are getting hay that is not tested, along with supplementing most other minerals. Have yet to notice any difference in horse behavior in general.
    Click here before you buy.



  15. #75
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    Jul. 10, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nupafeed View Post
    ...
    Calcium cannot be effectively utilized or absorbed without adequate magnesium....
    Huh? Given that calcium is more enrgetically favorable in reactions than Mg, this make no sense.

    I swear that most of the Mg/Ca uptake/balance is based on plant research. I can not find one decent paper on this in human, or even mammalian, literature.

    I am sorry Nupafeed, but as a person who works on the synthesis of apatites (including magnesium and calcium base) in conjunction with bone etc. thermodynamics doesn't support the claim of magnesium is needed for Ca uptake etc.

    Actually, given that Ca and Mg have the same valence and electronegativity, any biologic pathway utilizing one should be capable of utilizing the other. That means Ca and Mg uptake are governed the same, not in competition. I will refer the reader to "Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism" to learn more. But I will add, in intestinal absorption, Vitamin D is the primary control for Ca and Mg uptake. PTH, Calcitonin, Estrogen are agents that increase Ca uptake. The intestines then protect against low Mg by increasing solubility (either via soluble carrier and passive diffusion) and it blocks excess Mg in the diet via the same axis.
    Last edited by RAyers; Mar. 5, 2013 at 04:31 PM.


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  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    You can't fight the flood of common opinion with facts and science, rockfordbuckeye. Can't. Magnesium is MAGIC, and therefore exempt from all those tedious medical truths.
    Well I guess in the ICU it will be move over propofol and precedex - we are sedating our patients with magnesium sulfate infusions ;-)

    I do think the whole thing is fascinating though. Where do some of these ideas even come from and then how they get sort of twisted and telephone gamed into a commonly accepted practice (that is marketed!) - humans are so interesting.

    So, has anyone tried lavender?



  17. #77
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    Jun. 21, 2009
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    I have one little mare I ride that was always a stiff, hot type of horse. She HATED flat work, with a passion. Great jumper, but preferred the rider to sit up shut up and stay out of her way. After a certain age, the hotness got to be really bad. Really, "maybe I'll kill the rider today" bad. We had the vet out for repro exam and some other stuff. No improvements with the few things we tried.

    We tried a mag supplement on her, and she's almost a totally diff horse. I can flat her, dressage exercises, etc.

    We have used a few different ones, but they basically all worked fine/the same. The couple of times we ran out I would tell owner horse was getting sketchy again, and she would tell me 'yup we ran out of her mag stuff.' You could tell within a few days of her running out of it. She's a totally diff horse on the mag supps. This is a horse I started and have been riding for about a decade.

    The mag supp is a pretty cheap health insurance policy for the rider in this case!



  18. #78
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    Where do some of these ideas even come from and then how they get sort of twisted and telephone gamed into a commonly accepted practice (that is marketed!) - humans are so interesting.
    Near as I can tell, there is usually a little shred of fact buried deeply beneath the heaps of BS that characterize these pseudo-scientific "breakthroughs". It's kind of the same thing as CNN or the local TV station "breaking" a story about how caffeine can CURE CANCER! Yeah, some enterprising health beat reporter was googling away and found an abstract about how in vitro cancer cells from a rat grew more slowly when exposed to caffeine. They took a creative writing class in college and have a high-school level understanding of biology . . . what more do you really need? A story is born.

    Now all you need is for someone like Dr. Oz to get hold of it and BAM--your first million is in the bank. Since people will buy or try virtually ANYTHING, all that's really needed are a few passionate anecdotes, a money-back guarantee (statistics suggest that a fraction of a percent of buyers ever use these, no matter how crappy the product, so that is simple odds-playing), a few nonsensical bits of pseudoscientific jargon, and there's Million Number Two.

    Sales dropping? Offer a 30 day free trial (just pay shipping and handling) and your profits start inching up again. Put a handy little "answer these 10 questions" shtick on your website with questions like "do you ever feel tired?" or "does your horse ever spook?" and you've grabbed another several thousand "converts".

    And so it goes. A phenomenon is born.

    Yep. Humans are VERY interesting.
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  19. #79
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    Feb. 21, 2013
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    Hi again all,

    Yes indeed magnesium’s action on smooth muscle is something quite different and only really relevant to horses when you start to look possible connections with laminitis and metabolic syndrome.

    Regarding a lack of science based evidence I’m afraid I have to disagree. Bear in mind that you average lay person is not interested in trying the decipher complicated scientific journals. So while I’d definitely agree that a massive pinch of salt is needed with anything written by a company with a motive, don’t automatically dismiss text simply because it is written for the everyday person – if you look at lay sources than you will receive lay information.

    With muscle tension - you have to separate muscle tension in terms of stress or excitement and literal muscle cramping or twitching. Research here is based on the knowledge that magnesium deficiency causes cramping because of its role in helping to regulate signalling for contraction/relaxation. So then the next question is how many of the cramping problems we see could actually be helped by magnesium? And is it only those individuals with poor magnesium intake (or with a condition that means they require more magnesium than most) or can it help other causes of cramping too? There is a lack of good quality studies on this, most information is observational. Positive results have been demonstrated with children and in pregnancy, but in normal healthy adults, while improvements have been shown they have not been statistically significant. More work is definitely needed.

    For stress look at articles such as:
    http://www.mgwater.com/conseq.shtml
    This is a little dated now as research has gone well beyond this level of understanding and studies tend to get so complex that it loses relevance/meaning to most people, but if you want more up to date research there is plenty of it, I’d suggest you start with Chapter three of this book, and all of the references used therein.
    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/press/tit...sium-ebook.pdf

    Its no miracle or magic. Its just a small helping hand from science that makes a huge difference to some horses, less to others and for a horse with problems not borne of stress then it is not likely to make any difference at all (personality issues, bad training or learning, or another problem or deficit that can manifest itself as behavioral difficulties).

    The lady/gent who works in ICU may be interested in some of the information referring to stress related memory loss and magnesium. Again no one is expecting miracles, so don't take things out of context, but anything that can help is surely worth investigating - and here we have some really positive initial findings that may help trauma victims.

    Also I hope you draw from more recent literature the importance of establishing a good measure of intracellular magnesium levels (not blood), which is the dictator of stress reactions.

    I hope this reading helps you clarify the potential for magnesium and allows you to formulate your own informed opinion, rather than having to accept advertisers literature.



  20. #80
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    Feb. 21, 2013
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    Sorry I meant section 3 of the above book! Chapter 19 in particular.



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