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Calming Feed additves: How they work, and when to use them

How they work:

All horses need to have the correct balance of calcium and magnesium. When a horse is highly strung or becomes stressed, anxious, nervous or excited, they burn off more magnesium, this allows calcium to overload muscle and nerve cells and replicates the rise of adrenaline which can cause erratic behaviour, aggressiveness and tightening of muscles.

Reactions to low magnesium levels may include:

  • Stress
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle strain
  • Nervousness
  • Poor condition

The recommended dietary magnesium supply for horses is 20 mg mg/kg of body weight per day and a maintenance requirement of 10 g Mg/500 kg body weight. Magnesium absorption takes place in the small intestine, with only 10-60% of the magnesium being absorbed from feedstuff and 70% from mineral substances containing magnesium.

When to use Calming Feed Supplements:

  • horses who compete in all disciplines of competition
  • horses on box rest
  • horses returning to work
  • foals and yearlings prior to travelling
  • pregnant/lactating mares