Magnesium Chloride Feeding Method for Horses

By Deborah Benstead (15 Feb 2015) Email:

I am a qualified Horse Podiotherapist (my horse is ‘Hopper’ on the website) – my name is Deborah Benstead – and I have been researching and trialling various supplements including magnesium for the last ten years.  We now have a large group of clients Australia-wide who are very happy with the results of the dietary protocols we have developed. Our preferred magnesium supplement is naturally dehydrated food grade magnesium chloride flakes. The brand we have been using in our trials is Elektra Magnesium.  and,

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magnesium-chloride-feeding-method-for-horses1. Start Slowly in the first month andwork up to normal supplement levels.
2. Add Copra to diet as it will mask the flavour and is a fantastic low sugar, high fibre feed for horses.
3. Take 500ml water, preferably warm,
and place into bucket.
4. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of Magnesium Chloride Flakes to water and dissolve.
5. If you are feeding any other supplements place them into the water as well and dissolve.
6. Place say 2 cups of dry copra in the watery mix and used hands to mix well until the copra soaks up the watery liquid. It should resemble crumbled buiscuits that are slightly damp.
7. Mix in either oaten or wheaten chaff, say two dippers full or whatever you are feeding your horse for the feed. Remember horses have small stomach capacity.
9. Once the horse is happy to eat this without turning his nose up you can slowly start to increase the magnesium required (to bowel tolerance) every 3-7 days. The copra masks the taste and by dissolving it in water it breaks up any possible lump concentrations that might be too strong.
10. Over time you can also add some magnesium chloride flakes to his water bucket. For example, my three horses have a bath tub of water half filled (approx 150 litres) which I fill every couple of days and add in magnesium chloride flakes (say 2 to 3 cups every few days). This large amount is okay for my horses as they have been on magnesium supplements for six years and I know their tolerance levels.


The water option is a good choice as they are consuming more regular smaller amounts of magnesium throughout the day and night, and dissolved in water makes it easier on the digestive system. It is known that the body/stomach/intestines have a limited capacity to absorb minerals in large amounts all in one sitting. Excess is excreted.

If you do decide to add to feed and water provide them with a bucket of free choice plain water as well. It will be interesting to see which one they select to drink. In my experience 99% of horses always choose the magnesium laced water.

4 thoughts on “Magnesium Chloride Feeding Method for Horses”

    1. Hi Megha.
      Thank you for your great comments. Much appreciated. When we find something good we need to share with others. This is our mission. Please also share with your other horse friends.

  1. Hi, I’ve always added MgChlor to feed, but I have one horse who won’t touch the stuff, even in a bucket of copra, he’s very fussy. I am thinking of putting it in the drinking water again – did that last summer when I had to supply their water, but not sure of the amount? How much per 20L water would you build up to?

    1. Hi An
      In humans we recommend 1 pinch of flakes for every 1L (20 pinches/20L) of water that you drink. For me however I use about 5-6 pinches/L, but I also add Himalayan salts in for sodium. So personally the water tastes better for me with sodium as well, but it is not good if the blood pressure is high, as sodium will just increase it further. So you could also try to add Himalayan or sea salt with the magnesium chloride, to make it taste better for the horses.

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