Mad Barn’s magnesium oxide powder is a macromineral supplement that supports equine mood balance, performance, muscle function and metabolic health.
Magnesium plays many roles in the horse’s body. It is involved in the formation of bone and protein synthesis, helps to maintain electrolyte balance, influences nervous system regulation and is a co-factor for a number of enzymes.
This product is commonly used as an equine calming supplement. In one study, researchers in Australia fed 10 grams of added magnesium to horses (21 g total magnesium content in the diet) and observed a sedative-like calming effect that was comparable to a 0.04mg/kg bodyweight dosage of Acepromazine.
According to the NRC, horses require 20 mg per kg of bodyweight of magnesium per day. For a 500 kg horse, this is an intake of 10 grams per day. Performance horses or lactating mares require more per day.
Low magnesium levels or deficiency can contribute to nervousness, depression, abnormal behaviour, muscle tremors, lack of coordination, respiratory problems, growth failure and more.
Magnesium is an important part of insulin’s ability to act on cells. Links between magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance have been shown in humans and rodents but remain to be confirmed in horses. Magnesium supplementation may lessen abnormal fat deposits such as cresty neck which could lead to improvements in metabolic health.
Magnesium and calcium work together to enable muscle function. Calcium is involved in muscle contraction in horses whereas magnesium is important for muscle relaxation. Subclinical deficiency of this mineral in horses can affect muscle relaxation causing muscle spasms.
Thumps in endurance horses which are spasms of the diaphragm can be addressed with magnesium and calcium to improve recovery. Supplementation with this mineral may also help treat chronic tying-up in horses.
Magnesium oxide is the recommended supplemental source of this mineral for horses with good bioavailability. Compared to Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts), it is safer and less likely to result in diarrhea.
Research shows that it is 70% absorbed from the horse’s gastrointestinal tract. While there are other magnesium sources with higher bioavailability, magnesium oxide provides the best value for supplementing your horse’s diet.