​Magnesium is a constituent of the horse's skeleton and plays an important role as activator of many enzymes. Magnesium is essential for the stabilization of the DNA and participates in muscle contractions.


​The magnesium supply is ensured with most daily rations, especially if cereals, cereal by-products and hay from legumes are integrated into the ration.
Small amounts of magnesium are lost through sweat, so that riding horses have an additional requirement.

Daily requirements

According to the NRC recommendations (2007), the daily magnesium intake of horses with 600kg body weight should be as follows:

Maintenance: 6g
Low work intensity: 7g
Middle work intensity: 8g
Heavy work intensity: 9g
Pregnancy: 7g
Lactation: 9g
Growth: 1g


On intensively fertilized pastures with low grass cover, a magnesium deficiency may be expected, which can manifest in nervousness, muscle tremors, muscle cramps, ataqxia or pronounced tetany. 


An excess of magnesium in combination with an excess of phosphate can increase the risk of intestinal or urinary stone formation.

Important to know

  • Calcium excess can impair the magnesium uptake
  • An phosphorus excess can decrease the intestinal absorption of magnesium
  • During pregnancy, a small additional requirement needs to be taken into account; the increase during lactation is significant

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