Advise on Quiessence and other magnesium supplements
I have a 16 yo mare, cresty, easy keeper, thankfully never foundered hard, typical starving pony syndrome. Hay is looking alittle short this year and I hope to turn her out (with a grazing muzzle) to help it stretch a little further. I have read that Quiessence is recommended for cresty necked, potentially insulin resistant horses. It seems that magnesium has the effect of increasing their metabolism and allowing them to eat more like a normal horse and less like a starving pony. Is this correct?
Does anyone use this product for that purpose? Have you seen definite results?
It is also marketed as a calming supplement, this mare does not need one! Lol, she would probably be impossible to shift if she were any lazyier/calmer.
I also have a second pony mare (not an easy keeper, perfectly average) that is currently on Quitex. It doesn't reduce her energy level per say, but it does enable her to 'connect' things faster and make actual progress in her training. Instead of just being a worried, nervous mess she is calm enough to think about and process new things. Since I board both of these horses the thought crossed my mind of using one supplement (Quiessence) on two different horses, for two different things. (Gasp! Entirely to convenient to be possible! Right?)
So has anyone used this product for either purpose? As a calming supplement or a metabolic supplement?
There are no metabolic magic bullets, unfortunately. Honest-to-goodness deficiency of magnesium may make insulin resistance a little worse, but the other side of the coin (lots of magnesium will make it BETTER) has not been demonstrated to any meaningful degree.
So if you have reason to believe your horse's diet is deficient in magnesium, by all means make sure she's getting enough. But just adding heaps of magnesium to a diet that is not lacking is unlikely to have a huge impact.
As to the calming influence of magnesium, that is largely hype and nonsense.
My pony's cresty neck got significantly smaller after I put her on Quiessence.
Yup. Some folks say that. I'm trying to back up a theory regarding soil pH and chromium. Hardly any science on this subject. I know chromium helps reduce cresty necks in the west where we have neutral to high soil pH.
Anyone out there find that chromium helps on the east coast where soil pH is acidic and more Cr as industrial pollution?
My mare has been on Quiessence for several years. She is able to focus on her work better if she is on it. There was a point where I took her off of it for a couple of months (lack of funds). There was a difference in her ability to focus.
This past Spring, she did not lose weight and get as fit as in past years. Once I start conditioning for the eventing show season, she has always lost any Winter belly and trimmed up. This year, she never lost any weight after an event. By the end of the summer, she had started developing fat pads over her tail and on her neck. I was conditioning in the middle of the day, 5 to 6 days/week. She was still on Quiessence.
My Vet came out and ran bloodwork and found that she is slightly hypo-thyroid. Thro-L was out of stock, everywhere, so I could not start her on any treatment for a couple of months. I was very worried that she might develop laminitis. I cut her soaked beet pulp in half, got a small hole hay bag and started her on McCauley Brothers, M-10 ration balancer. Just changing her diet did not help.
Hagyard's pharmacy finally started to substitute for Thyro-L with Thyrozine. My mare has been on 1 1/2 scoops/day for two weeks and I can already see a difference. The fat pads on her neck are completely gone and her belly is looking slimer, too. Because she has responded to the Thyrozine so quickly, I am going to reduce it back to 1 scoop/day. The change of diet was the right thing to do as well. I have not seen her coat this shiny in a very long time. BTW, my mare is 13 years old.
I still feed Quiessence, because I do believe that it helps with focus, especially when she is cycling.
After all of this rambling, my question for you is: Have you had bloodwork run to see what is going on with your horses' metabolism?
I have a cresty gelding and a touchy mare. I have had success using Quiessence for both. I originally got it for my mare and then decided to use it for my gelding since I had it in stock. It has made a difference in his weight and cresty neck.
The active ingredient can be the same but the delivery and inactive ingredients can differ between generic products. Usually the FDA requires equivalency testing to be done to rate a generic medicine "AB" (bio equivalent) to the brand product but there are some products out there (particularly older medicines) that may not be considered truly bio equivalent and hence the pharmacy is not allowed to automatically substitute to them without checking with you first. The non-bio equivalent product may work just as well but you may need a slightly different dose of it to get the same effect.
FDA considers drug products to be pharmaceutical equivalents if they meet these three criteria:
they contain the same active ingredient(s)
they are of the same dosage form and route of administration
they are identical in strength or concentration
Pharmaceutically equivalent drug products may differ in characteristics such as
labeling (to some extent)
excipients (including colors, flavors, preservatives)
Thyroid products have a long history of being debated for their equivalency. So it's always best when switching - no matter what anyone says - to observe the animal closely for any changes as individuals can have different responses for reasons we don't fully understand.
My severely insulin-resistant horse has been on Quiessence for years, and it has converted me to being a rabid believer in Foxden Equine supplements. It was about the fourth "IR" supplement we tried, and is the only one that made a difference for this particular horse. That's absolutely not to say that it's the right thing for every horse, but for this one, it made more of a difference in 10 days than I have ever seen from any supplement, ever. He has a more normal appearance on it - less cresty neck, fat pads, etc. He has early stage Cushings as well, and is also on Balance EQ from Foxden and Prascend - and honestly, if for some reason I ever had to reduce his supplements for financial reasons, I swear Quiessence is the one I would keep, I see more results from it than even Prascend for this horse.
Serious question: One never sees magnesium recommended as a weight loss product for humans (as one often sees it recommended for equines). Why is that?
Depending on where you look, you certainly CAN find magnesium recommended for any number of human maladies. But it does NOT impact weight loss in any meaningful way, and I don't think most people tout it for "weight loss" so much as they do for making more subtle changes in metabolism. The evidence for which is scanty but there are small studies showing that in MAGNESIUM DEFICIENT STATES (which is probably less common than we think) adding magnesium can improve some markers of metabolism slightly. That is a long difficult leap to saying magnesium is useful for the management of weight and metabolic problems across the board.
My chubby pony is cresty and her nuchal fat pad gets soft and hard and soft and hard and soft again fairly regularly, with NO intervention on my part. I have had her for 6 years and check it several times a week at least, part of my general checking their health and well-being. I have yet to notice ANY correlation, other than how her weight is doing in general, between her neck being floppy and what she's doing or eating from week to week or month to month. When she's chubbier, the crest is firmer. But still varies quite a bit day to day and week to week. When she's slimmer, the tendency is for a floppier, softer crest. But STILL with much variation. My experience would indicate to me that it is either random or under some influence that I'm not aware of. Her diet, workload and forage do not vary enough to account for this.
FWIW, my soil perpetually tests "high" in magnesium.