Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is a twice-a-month web segment that is designed to add to the education of footcare professionals when it comes to effectively feeding the hoof. The goal of this web-exclusive feature is to zero in on specific areas of hoof nutrition and avoid broad-based articles that simply look at the overall equine feeding situation.
Below you will find Part 2 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.
Q: I’ve heard owners and trainers say that magnesium can help keep horses calm while they are being trimmed and shod. Does this work?
By Jessica Dodd
A: A recent research study supports the widely held belief that magnesium supplementation can help keep horses calm. Yet up until now, there has not been any published evidence to demonstrate that magnesium can have a calming effect on horses.
In this study, the effects of magnesium aspartate supplementation was investigated by analyzing the reaction speeds of a half dozen Standardbred geldings. The study determined that the addition of 10 grams of magnesium to a roughage diet of clover and ryegrass hay, which already provided the recommended dally intake of magnesium, reduced the average reaction speed response in the horses by more than 30%.
With the supplementation, the mean response time was 5.3 meters per second. With supplementation, it slowed to 3.1 meters per second.
While the benefits of magnesium have been popular with trainers and owners, this study offers the first scientific evidence that magnesium aspartate, which is found in some behavior supplements, may have a calming impact on horses.
Jessica Dodd conducted this research as part of a doctoral program at the Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia. It was carried out in collaboration with the British-based Waltham Equine Studies Group.
Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine).
Like many significant achievements, Absorbine® grew out of humble beginnings—and through the tenacity of someone willing to question the status quo. In this case, it was a young woman in late 19th-century Massachusetts: Mary Ida Young. Her husband, Wilbur Fenelon Young, was an enterprising piano deliveryman who relied on the couple’s team of horses to make deliveries throughout the Northeast. Inspired by Mary Ida and Wilbur’s vision, Absorbine® has continued to add innovative products throughout the years — products used every day by horse owners around the world. Which is why, since 1892, we’ve been The Horse World’s Most Trusted Name®.
Click here to read Part 1 of the February 15, 2016 installment: I’ve read selenium is essential for quality hoof growth. Can you explain its role in hoof growth?