I will be starting my horses on ancient minerals magnesium chloride tonight.
When I read Paulines article I got a little confused at how much to back off when I see soft manure.
This is the way I understand The process thus far: please correct where I am wrong.
You mix 1 tablespoon of the flakes with 150 mL of water and give your horse 10 mL of the solution at each feeding (Preferably two feedings a day). You will do this for two or three days and then you will start giving them 20 mL at each feeding again for two or three days and you will continue this until you hit 50 mL per feeding.
At the end of 10 to 15 days of doing this you will then increase the strength of the dosage to 2 tablespoons per 150 mL of water and start the process over exactly the same until you once again hit 50 mL per feeding. This can continue in increments of 1 tablespoon added until you notice soft manure. May notice it at 1 tablespoon or it could take more than 4 tablespoons.
At that point when the soft manure happens is where I am not sure how much to back off.
For example let's say I have gotten to 3 tablespoons and reached 30 mL per feeding and I see soft manure. To what would I back off? Would I go back to 2 tablespoons at 50 mL or just back off to 3 tablespoons at 20 mL? Also how long should I give at that point after I back off before I see firm manure again?
Want to make sure I am getting this all right the first time around.
Myself, I do a 1:1 salt to boiling water mix because my horse is fed soaked copra and it disperses the salt well. I have 10ml test tubes with snap on tops that I keep in a test tube rack. I started the doses at 1ml for 3 days and increased by 1ml every 3 days. Current level is 7ml am and pm feed.
And remember, you're supplementing for symptoms. If braced muscles are your target and they relax at a lower dose there's no reason to keep increasing it (barring diet changes per Pauline's suggestions such as a cold snap or spring grass etc).
The guidelines for feeding magnesium in the article I wrote (updated version on my website) are just that - guidelines only, an example, not to be taken as an absolute dosage rate. I cannot tell you how much your horse will ultimately need or how much your horse can tolerate right now; each horse is different in the amount of magnesium needed, and may also differ in how quickly the amount can be increased. Some horses only need a couple of grams of the dry flakes per day, others have needed over 200g.
If you have given too much, or increased too quickly, then simply stop feeding the magnesium for a day or two while the manure returns to normal, and then reintroduce at the previous amount where manure was normal.
I wish there was an easier way, but alas, there is no substitute for learning how to observe each individual horse so we can make a decision for that horse. We take note of changes in ourselves when we add or remove a particular food or supplement; if the change is positive then we conclude it is right for us at that moment, if the change is negative then we conclude it was not a good idea. It is exactly the same process for our horses.
You may be interested in the new Prebiotic page on my website. I have recently been experimenting with using Gum Acacia as a safe prebiotic for horses and have been astounded at the results. My old TB, Rory, has now been off all supplemental magnesium for over 3 months despite having some fresh grass growth but his feet are as strong as ever. He has been receiving this prebiotic since June. Another of my horses has now also stopped all magnesium in the last month, while my third horse remains on a much lower amount of magnesium. The only possible explanation is that the prebiotic is feeding the beneficial microbes in their digestive systems, allowing for much more efficient absorption of nutrients from food. I had not expected to see any difference in need for magnesium, just a vague thought that better digestive function might help their overall health. Similar results are being seen in other horses who have tried Gum Acacia, but as with everything else, it may not be right for every horse.
Excellent. Thanks for the explanation. I tend to be quite literal with instructions, until I am told I don't have to be so tedious.minwill check out your website and the gum acacia. Sounds very intriguing.
I read your writings on pre biotics as you mentioned and e- mailed the lady listed as a supplier on your site. Very nice lady, her name was Deb or Deborah. She said she could ship it to me from Australia and gave me the price. She asked for my address and I sent it, but have never heard back. I had not actually purchased it only got the process started and then never heard back from her. I have written twice more, but no response. It has been probably two weeks.
Are there any other suppliers of the gum acacia that you know of and trust?