Calming the performance horse with thiamine and magnesium

Thiamine and magnesium are often used to keep horses calm.

Thiamine and magnesium are often used to keep horses calm.

Seasoned competitors know how taxing events can be on a horse that is easily spooked. Even the stress of loading into a trailer can compromise a horse’s performance. Factor in the new environment and additional stimuli, and you might find yourself with a horse that refuses to cooperate.

Thankfully, healthcare products with thiamine or magnesium support calmness in horses, allowing them to focus and compete to the best of their ability.

Thiamine and magnesium: Nutrients for health and happiness

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, serves multiple roles in the horse’s body. In fact, according to Equine Wellness Magazine, a vitamin-B deficiency is hard to diagnose because it’s so intertwined with a horse’s health. Thiamine’s primary role, however, is to metabolize carbohydrates. Additionally, veterinarians know a lack of vitamin B has negative effects on the nervous system.

“Researchers believe magnesium deficiency can contribute to nervousness and excitability.”

Magnesium, meanwhile, is critical for bone health. According to Kentucky Equine Research, most of this nutrient is found in the horse’s skeleton. Magnesium also protects against inflammation, and supplementation may improve insulin resistance and relieve equine metabolic syndrome. As a supplement, however, magnesium is most often used as a calming agent. Researchers believe magnesium deficiency can contribute to nervousness and excitability in horses, and low levels of magnesium are proven to cause muscle spasms.

Supplementing for a calm attitude

Your horse’s hindgut is responsible for making thiamine, but it can’t produce all of the nutrient your animal needs. The rest of this vitamin must come from the horse’s diet. This is simple enough when your equine has ample access to fresh pasture and high-quality grain, but as an owner, you know this isn’t always feasible. Additionally, toxic plants such as horsetail and bracken fern contain thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys thiamine before it can be absorbed. You’ll need to enrich your horse’s feed with supplements like Finish Line’s Vitamin B1 Blend. This signature mix of thiamine and calcium is formulated with a delicious apple flavor to delight your horse’s taste buds.

Horses have an easier time getting magnesium, and leisure horses in particular get enough of the nutrient from their diet. Equines that work at a higher intensity, however, need additional magnesium to ensure their nervous system functions properly. Finish Line’s Thia-Cal is a daily supplement of magnesium and thiamine to support a healthy attitude. Quia-Cal provides the same nutrients in a one-shot oral paste to be given before a performance.

Why you need nutrient-based supplements

There are a wide variety of products that claim to calm horses, but competitive owners must be very selective about the ones they choose. Performance horses are subject to strict regulations to discourage the use of performance-enhancing drugs and supplements that might have an adverse effect on your animal’s health. Some products, particularly those made primarily of herbs rather than nutrients, contain substances banned by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports – the international body governing Olympic horse events – and other organizations.

Thiamine and magnesium are vitamins essential to an equine’s health, however, so they’re permissible for use in sport. Finish Line’s products contain no prohibited substances, so you can give them to your horse without worry.