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Discuss Feeding Epsom salts, magnesium at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Ok, so I never knew you could feed epsom salt to your horse. Bit This ...
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    Senior Member+ BeyondTheRumors's Avatar
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    Feeding Epsom salts, magnesium

    Ok, so I never knew you could feed epsom salt to your horse. Bit This article says its high in magnesium which can help a nervouse horse be calmer. I talked to my mom about it. She's a nurse practioner. She said it makes sense because they magnesium to people too. My step dad (dairy herd manager) says that magnesium does do this to animals. But in high amounts can be dangerous. I'm considering this for Apollo, he's so jumpy and nervouse, more so than he use to be. So I want to know what gives their horses magnesium in any form, and whats its done for them, good or bad?
    http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/health/magnesium-121.shtml

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    I feed my maybe IR horse Magox, but I know it also helps for some nervous horses too...

    Alot of the employees at our local feed stores know of the calming effects of Mag, but are clueless that it also helps IR horses....
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    Magnesium can have a calming effect when there is a defiency ot it. I've use human magnesium pills and know several other who do also. I would not use Epsom salts though as it can have a very violent laxative effect - read the container. B complex can also have a calmoing effect if there is a defeincy.

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    While it is true that Mg is effective in deficient horses for calming and othter things such as "touchiness".....epsom salts is not the best choice to use as the supplement to provide Mg. While it can be used safely short term...fed in amounts that provide the recommended amounts of Mg (10-15g/day)...you would have to feed so much epsom salts that it becomes dangerous. Epsom salts can act as a dieretic and have a laxitive effect.

    Epsom salts contains only about 9% Mg. There are many other forms of Mg that have much higher percentages of Mg. The highest and generally the most recommended is magnesium oxide (MagOx).....around 56% Mg. MagOx is generally fed at around 2-3 tablespoons/day for a month, then reduced to 1-3 as a maintenance does. 3 tbs MagOx yeilds about 15g Mg.
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    Before looking to something as specific as magnesium, start first by looking at something more basic - his diet.

    What is he eating (list everything, with amounts)? Very often it's not about what's not being eaten, but what is

    Also, what are his turnout, barn environment, and ridden work like?
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    He gets a scoop of safe choice AM and PM, and about 5-6 flakes of grass Alfafa mix a day. He in run in stall so he has free choice to a five acre pasture year round. But its winter now, and there is a lot of snow, so he doesn't really graze much. He is worked 4-5 times a week for about an 1.5 to 2 hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeyondTheRumors View Post
    He gets a scoop of safe choice AM and PM, and about 5-6 flakes of grass Alfafa mix a day. He in run in stall so he has free choice to a five acre pasture year round. But its winter now, and there is a lot of snow, so he doesn't really graze much. He is worked 4-5 times a week for about an 1.5 to 2 hours.

    Do you know how much one of your scoops of safe choice weighs? Or at the very least, how big your scoop is so we can guesstimate weight?

    A 1000 lb horse in light work should be getting 5-7.5 lbs of Safe Choice/day, so he should be pretty close to at least the bottom of that range, depending on your exact scoop size and his exact weight. Still something I would check out for sure, but I'd say he'd might be a good candidate for magnesium supplementation, especially if he has any other signs such as a cresty neck or abnormal fat deposits.

    ETA: I just looked in your gallery, and if he still looks like he did in most of those recent pics, he doesn't have a cresty neck or look like an "easy keeper" so he's probably not IR -- but he still might benefit from magnesium supplementation.
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    Lol, epsom salts? Sure, it may have the mag., but it's also a laxative! (sp?)
    Apparently people (humans) use epsom salts as a laxative. It stands to reason that you'd have to feed a lot of salts to the horse to get enough mag., and he might get the 'runs'. Lol, someone yell at me if I'm wrong...

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    His scoop is one of the normal horse scoops like this


    A lot of my pic in my gallery are from last spring when he was not fit, he looks a lot the same now, just with more muscle. I've decided against epsom salts and have been looking into supplements. Any suggestions?

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    Other things that contribute to nervous/aggressive horses is:
    Grain/starch intake. Grains cause the glucose/insulin to spike. Causing hyper/aggression/nervousness.
    Things that can help:
    Decrease/stop all grains.
    Increase magnesium intake. "Low magnesium often results in nervous, hypersensitive symptomes".
    "Thiamine and riboflavin are involved with nerve function, and a deficiency can show as nervousness and hyperexcitability. Some people claim that supplementing a nervous or excitable horse with extra thiamine helps if to calm down and relax. This approach works even better if thiamine is combined with magnesium supplementation."

    Magnesium:
    Function: "About 60% of the bodys store of magnesium is tied up in the skeletal structure, but it is also an important activator of many enzymes."
    "The horses magnesium needs of about 0.1% per day are easily met by a normal diet(the magnesium content of most horse feeds is between 0.1% and 0.3%) Magnesium absorption tends to be in the 40% range."

    Signs of Deficiency and Toxicity:
    "Neither magnesium deficiencies nor toxicity have been reported in horses being fed normal diets".

    Other uses for magnesium:
    "Historically, an old horsemans trick is to give magnesium salts(usually Epsom salts) to horses that are foundering or in danger of foundering. The author of "Stories Guide To Feeding Horses" has fed a magnesium supplement to over 1,000 Pre-Cushings horses so far and most have shown positive results".

    "An excess of calcium or a deficiency of magnesium within the muscle cell, not necessarily in the diet, can both cause a temporary muscle tetany called tying or or Recurrent Exertion Rhabdomyolosis(RER)"
    "Calcium is usually well supplied in horse diets and magnesium tends to be low, so it is considered better to supplement the magnesium and assume that the diet will provide sufficient calcium".
    "Normally, magnesium is non-toxic and is impossible to over dose by mouth. The GI tract absorbs what it needs and the rest is excreted, therfore, over-feeding magnesium in the form of salts just results in expensive manure."

    Magnesium is also an electrolyte.
    "odium chloride, along with salts of potassium, magnesium, and other ions, are often referred to as electolytes".

    "Epsom salts can be administered via stomach tube daily for three days to help flush sand out of the colon".
    Last edited by ejforrest; 02-09-2008 at 10:23 AM.
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