My horse Lou, who had been in my care since he was two, was very old (probably 27 or so) when I noticed he was developing a staggering gait type walk. His hind legs seemed most affected. It appeared a new condition had developed over and above the deterioration I had ordinarily associated with his old age.
As I watched the way he walked, his staggering gait looked to me to be some sort of nervous incoordination, as though the messages weren’t getting through to the back legs properly, as opposed to muscle weakness. I Googled nerves and nutrition, staggering gait, coordination, etc and found that Magnesium was associated with good nerve function.
At around the same time, I was showing my elderly neighbour my citrus trees, as they had developed an unusual pattern in the colour of the leaves. The leaves were dark green in colour around the veins, but pale and almost yellow in the inter-spaces.
“They need a dose of Epsom salts”, she said. “Dissolve it in water and spray on the leaves”. So I Googled this and found that citrus trees were susceptible to magnesium deficiency. The penny dropped. If the soil on which the citrus trees grew and the grass that the horses grazed on was magnesium deficient, then it would be reasonable to assume that Lou had a magnesium deficiency problem.
I researched Magnesium supplements for horses. Yes, Epson salts came up, but it was not absorbed well. I got onto a chelated magnesium and vitamin E supplement and started feeding that to Lou. It was very expensive, so no opportunity existed to feed it to all my horses. I believe the results for Lou were moderate, but of course, because of the cost and for fear of poisoning him, I only fed at the recommended rate. This was without altering his largely pellet and lucerne based diet. ‘Only the very best for my horse’, I thought.
A friend referred me to Pauline Moore’s article about magnesium supplementation for horses, so I purchased a bag of Elektra Magnesium flakes and followed the recommendations Pauline suggested. The results were clear and rapid and much more significant than I had seen with the previous product. Not only that, but it was so cheap that I could afford to feed it to all my horses! So I did.
Staggering gait issue solved with magnesium chloride (food grade)
Over time, Lou totally lost his staggering gait. He went back to just ageing gracefully. As I learned more about feeding horses better, I changed the way all my horses were fed and what grass they had access to. Lou was fed his Elektra Life magnesium flakes every day, morning and night, until he died naturally some 7 years later.
I am so lucky to have discovered this brilliant product when I did. If I hadn’t, I’m sure I would not have been able to help my dear old friend recover from his staggering gate and to live out the rest of his life in peace and good health.
16 January 2020