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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: Calcium instead of Magnesium for calming

Hello Sheila,

Very interesting article and I agree that too much magnesium can be detrimental. Adding calcium, however, doesn't make much sense to me since forage generally has far more calcium than magnesium. Adding more calcium can be risky for horses. Humans have the ability to block excess calcium absorption, but horses do not. Therefore, the calcium can spill into the urine, leading to the formation of bladder stones.

Most horses do not get enough magnesium. And for those that do not, a supplement is helpful. But, if the horse is already getting adequate levels (1/2 the calcium intake), adding more magnesium will have no impact on behavior.

Minerals must be in balance and when horses are able to eat a variety of feedstuffs through natural grazing, they are able to obtain all the magnesium they require. In a domesticated setting, however, where they typically get fed the same thing, day in and day out, imbalances are likely to occur.

So, I often recommend a magnesium/b vitamin calming agent such as MMX to see if it makes a difference. If it does, you've hit the nail on the head. If, after two or three weeks, it does not have an impact, then magnesium is not the issue.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

On your recommendation I tried the magnesium supplement and I think it (along with lots of training) has made a difference with my horse. But I just stumbled on to this and just wondered what you thought.

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio