Magnesium Benefits for Horses: Check the Importance for Your Equine

Magnesium is one of the important macro minerals for a horse. Magnesium is a multipurpose mineral in the equine body for controlling vital neural and biochemical processes. It is essential for regulating neural conductivity, brain function, hoof growth, gut health, and reversing exercise weariness.

This is just a teaser, and the complete picture follows. We’re going to discuss magnesium benefits for horses further in the text.

Is Magnesium Good for Horses?

If yes, then how is magnesium going to help my horse be healthy and perform better?

We know every single stuff that is going to the horse’s feed counts differently. Magnesium is a wholesome mineral that can distress your horse and shrink the chances of them contracting a disease.

Scientists have been studying this macro mineral for years and have concluded several supplement forms can satisfy the daily magnesium need of horses with optimum absorption in the body.

But before you include any magnesium supplement in the horse’s diet, let us be aware of the benefits of magnesium for horses.

Magnesium Benefits for Your Equine

The bones of horses contain 60% of the total magnesium in their bodies, while the soft tissues and extracellular fluids hold the remaining 40%.

Here are the magnesium benefits for horses in-depth:

1. It Makes the Horse Calm

Magnesium is a behavioral mineral that supports the mental health of horses. It controls nervousness and unwanted muscle tremors. Magnesium helps to produce a calming effect on excited horses. Hence, it is also called a ‘mood supplement/mineral’ in horses.

Note that the effect of magnesium is only up to controlling the improper excitability of the horse.

2. The Magnesium and Calcium Bond

Magnesium is essential for maintaining normal muscle function. To begin the contraction and relaxation, the muscles require calcium and magnesium minerals, respectively.

When a muscle receives stimuli through sensory neurons, the cell membrane becomes permeable to calcium. This increase in permeability lets the calcium get inside the muscle cell.

The calcium entry triggers the contraction process. After achieving the required contraction, magnesium present inside the cell helps in removing the excess calcium ions, making the muscle relaxed.

The problem arises when the intracellular magnesium levels are not enough to push the calcium out of the muscle cell. This results in contraction to retain. persistent contracted muscle state puts horses under stress. Muscle relaxation is important to relieve the horse’s pain and cramping after straining exercise or work.

3. Magnesium Regulating the Nerve Function

Magnesium helps nerve cells transmit signals from one nerve fiber to the other and from nerves to muscles. It helps balance the ions at the nerve ends to promote impulse conductivity.

Insufficient magnesium leads to the extra release of acetylcholine (neurotransmitter) at the neuromuscular junctions and can induce tetany in horses.

4. Magnesium for Horses With Ulcers

The horse’s digestive system is very delicate. Continuous release of the acid demands some food at all times in the stomach compartment. The excess acid production can destroy the mucus lining of the stomach, giving birth to painful ulcers.

Magnesium acts as a buffer mineral in a horse’s stomach and prevents the chances of ulcer development.

5. Magnesium Helps in Weight Loss in Horses

Magnesium regulates the insulin hormone by improving its sensitivity in overweight horses. Lowering the circulating insulin level allows the horse to burn the fat rather than storing it in the body.

6. Magnesium Relieves the Signs of Laminitis in Horses

Researchers have shown that magnesium deficiency leads to a higher incidence of laminitis in horses. Magnesium helps in reducing inflammation and free radical production. It also prevents endotoxin release, which may cause laminitis. These bacterial toxins could result from colic or another underlying health condition.

Magnesium supplements at the time of bacterial toxins release or laminitis can look after reducing the damage. 

Do Your Horse Need Magnesium Supplements?

Individual horse body stores different amounts of magnesium and it is not workable to deduce the exact amount of magnesium available in the body.

The demand for magnesium in horses differs according to the diet, lifestyle, and environment. A 500 kg healthy adult horse needs the prescribed amount of 7.5 grams of magnesium per day in the diet. Most balanced equine ration can fulfill this magnesium demand in the body.

Meanwhile, in horses with exercise stress and lactation stress, the demand may double to 15 grams/day. Now what?

You may have observed the spring grass growing too fast to store enough nutrients in it. If your horse counts on hay and grasslands it may show deficiency signs of magnesium like tetany, cramping of muscles, exhaustion, irritating behavior, restlessness, and more.

A horse can depict multiple deficiency signs indicative of adding the magnesium supplement to the diet.


Q 1- What amount of magnesium does my horse need?

Ans- A 500 kg healthy adult horse needs the prescribed amount of 7.5 grams of magnesium per day in the diet. Some texts also recommend 10g/day, which depends on the diet and lifestyle of the horse.

Q 2- Should I feed my horse magnesium?

Ans- If horses are getting adequate nutrition through grazing, chances are they get sufficient magnesium. You need to add magnesium supplements to your horse’s feed in the recommended amount after analyzing its body demand.

Q 3- How does magnesium oxide for horses with laminitis work?

Ans- Magnesium oxide is the best-suited supplement form for the horse with nearly 60% availability for absorption in the body. It works against the endotoxin release, which may cause laminitis.


Horses are a very fragile species. Macro mineral like magnesium handles a cluster of operations to function well in the equine body., reducing the damage by laminitis, maintaining insulin levels to regulate fat, regulating over 300 enzymes in the body, maintaining nerve and muscle function, and beyond we can mention.

We need to keep a check on magnesium levels in our horses’ bodies. Magnesium supplements in the right dosage work best to defy magnesium deficiency signs like tying up or muscle cramping.

We can’t underestimate the power of supplementing magnesium to horses to ensure vivid body enzymes and systems function well.


Dr Akanksha Agnihotri is another animal lover like you cum veterinarian by profession. She has earned her B.V.Sc & AH from COVS & AH, Jabalpur, India. She has a knack for befriending animals/pets and treating them compassionately. She believes...