Monday, April 18, 2011

General topics of Interest Magnesiun

Magnesium: Good afternoon all, Our last newsletter a few days ago stimulated a flurry of questions, in particular the feeding of dolomite. The main queries being:

  1. Should I keep feeding dolomite if also using the Anti-Al MAG?

  2. What is the difference between forms magnesium?

  3. How do you calculate the magnesium content from those products?

  4. What is an ion and why is it easily absorbed?


  1. Yes keeping feeding dolomite In all, just 5.7% of dolomite is actually magnesium. This means a level tablespoon of dolomite will deliver just 1 gram of magnesium. Even then, its bio-availability is considered low. It is made up of about 80% calcium carbonate (of which, 23% is calcium), and 20% magnesium carbonate (of which 12% is magnesium) because it has calcium as well and that is as important as magnesium to maintain the correct ratios between the two.

  2. The following are crude forms that may be fed as supplements. • MgO Magnesium oxide has more magnesium but not easily absorbed• MgCO3, or dolomite not readily absorbed but does contain calcium• MgSO4 or Epsom salts the most easily absorbed but can cause scours. Lastly there is magnesium aspartate

  3. Horses require 13mg of elemental magnesium per kg of bodyweight per day. The way a horse absorbs magnesium is dependant on the pasture, its health, metabolic processes, its liver and the state of the cell walls ie the lipid layer which is maintained by essential fatty acids or omega oils.

  4. What is an ion? Put simply it is the magnesium element Mg+ with an electrical charge and that is the most easily absorbed form of magnesium ie directly through the intestinal wall into the blood stream.

Why certain oils will help improve absorption of supplements and feeds? T

There are two types of oils you can feed your horses.

  1. Omega oils (essential fatty acids) act on the inflammatory response and re-coat the cell wall with lipids to improve the exchange of nutrients and oxygen.

  2. Vegetable oils like rice bran or sunflower will help maintain condition, lower the GI and help with absorption via the liver.

Finally if you have any things that would be topical for winter months you would like discussed let me know either by replying to this post or emailing me at and I will put something together.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kelp the Biologically Balanced Source of Minerals

Kelp is a natural mineral supplement prized for its iodine content, for which can be used for thyroid problems in horses and is useful in addressing insulin resistance. Iodine is essential to normal thyroid function. It is used to increase the metabolic rate and strengthen connective tissues, keratin, collagen production ,including the hoof tissue and joints. It is also important for normal adrenal function. Kelp's iodine is absorbed much more slowly and therefore more safely, than chemical iodine
Kelp has also been used as a blood purifier and may be useful in the treatment of arthritis. It assists in these conditions by absorbing toxins from the bowel. It is especially effective at absorbing the metabolic products produced by yeasts making it an ideal supplement to help address the effects of mycotoxins.
It is the presence of a viscous fiber called algin which is responsible for absorbing these toxins from the digestive tract. This results in fewer toxins entering the circulatory system
Kelp contains mucilaginous compounds that enhance the detoxifying and eliminative functions of the digestive system. These compounds absorb toxins from the bowel and provide bulk to the stool.
Kelp is not only an excellent herbal source of calcium, magnesium, sodium and iodine, it also contains the full spectrum of biologically available minerals
Elements Present in Kelp.
Aluminum Antimony
Arsenic Barium
Beryllium Bismuth
Boron Cadmium
Cesium Calcium
Chromium Cobalt
Copper Iodine
Lithium Magnesium
Manganese Mercury
Molybdenum Nickel
Phosphorus Potassium
Rubidium Selenium
Silver Sodium
Strontium Sulphur
Thallium Tin
Uranium Vanadium

Go to our web site at sources of natural kelp.

Recommended daily dose for the average sized horse between 5 and 10 grams

Warning: Do not exceed the recommended daily consumption

Arsenic is quite high in kelp, but this is normal for seaweed and other seafoods. The
form in which the arsenic is in an organic form, which is non-toxic. It is the inorganic
form that is very toxic.. The US FDA have assumed 10% of the arsenic in kelp is inorganic.
Based on this figure then 70.2 g of kelp would have to be consumed to reach the
maximum tolerable daily intake (assuming a 450 kg horse).
We sprinkle a few tablespoons of kelp into the worm farm to boost the levels of mineral in the leachate which we apply as a foliar spray to plants.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Scours in Horses

Scours is a potentially life threatening condition sometimes caused by a bacterial infection like salmonella or possibly ulceration. Long term stress and the action of adrenaline can alter the pH of the stomach predisposing the horse to scours.

The picture is of Agrinomy one of the most effective herbs to help with scours.

Immediate Action:
Call the vet as soon as scours is suspected.

  • Administer Rescue Remedy every half hour

  • Give 60ml of strained Chamomile tea given every half hour.

  • Probiotics like natural yoghurt feed two tablespoons mixed with manuka honey Syringe into mouth x3 day.

  • Give a small medicinal feed 3-4 x daily see recipe below.

Alternative Preventative and Herbal Treatment.
Horses prone to scours should be kept on a diet that excludes excessive amounts of protein rich foods, lucerne and lush grass. It is advisable to mix your own feeds avoiding for a time premixed feeds.

  • Feed medicinal feed 2-3 x daily

  • Administer Chamomile Calm 3ml daily

  • feed 3-4 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds to bulk up stools and absorb excess fluid in the bowel.

  • Routine feeding of liver and digestive stimulants. Hira Conditioning Feed Boost has liver stimulants and is a digestive aid.

  • Ensure that the horse has healthy gut flora. This can be restored by providing acidophyllus powder and or probiotics. (this is very important)

  • Every two weeks Echinacae extract 3ml daily week on week off

  • Medicinal Feed recipe
    1scoop meadow chaff
    1 cup boiled barley and linseeds
    1 tablespoon dolomite
    1 tablespoon bentonite ( a clay to bind stools)
    1 tablespoon slippery elm
    Fresh dandelion leaves
    1 tablespoon of kelp (restores electrolytes)
    I leaf of comfrey (discontinue after a week)
    1 tsp of garlic granules or raw garlic (better)1 tablespoon of Agronomy leaves (this is astringent and will help firm

Monday, February 15, 2010


We have an increasing number of enqiries regarding horses experiencing competition nerves. So often it is a case of what is being fed between events that can be the over riding culprit causing the horse to react with explosive tension on the day. Often the rider will say the horse is quiet and biddable to home only to become a monster at shows. The high energy feeds you feed for the rest of the week are literally brewing a storm for that special day.What can happen is that your horse is being fed energy in excess to their daily requirement .This energy will be retained as glycogen to become the fuel that feeds a shy, buck, rear or bolt usually reserved for the show. The beginning of the show season is a stressful time for both horse and rider. While most horses improve as the season progresses there are calming programs that can help with this transition.

What measures you can take to ensure that you are not contributing to your horse’s nervousness?

  • Make sure the exercise regime matches the amount of energy in feed.

  • Ensure that you are not feeding your horse mixes that have molasses, lucerne and corn in them. Molasses can act like a glucose fix.

  • Ensure that the horse has plenty of roughage like meadow hay and oaten chaff. The cellulose in dry matter will provide the horse with slow release energy with out hotting him up.
  • Ensure that part of the calorie load consists of cold pressed oils. Make sure oils have not become transfats. These will only contribute to the destruction of essential calming neurotransmittors like dopamine. They also are implicated in cortisol overload.

  • A blood test from you vet will indicate magnesium levels. Deficiency can lead to nervousness and excitability, muscle tremors and ill temper.

  • Vitamin B1( thiamine) helps maintain a healthy nervous system. 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast daily will provide your horse with additional Vitamin B1

  • Make sure the rider is not contributing to the horse’s level of anxiety by being nervous. some have found that valerian seems to help with show nerves. As yet riders are not being tested.

Once all the above have been addresed and your horse is still difficult at shows a herbal calmer may be the answer.

We have a number of herbal calmers each working in a diferent way:

  • Hira Equi-So Calm consists of mainly valerian. Be aware that it is swabbable. It is particulary useful when introducing your horse to a new experience especially first time showing where you may simply expose your horse to the show atmosphere thereby gradually desenstising it to strange sounds etc. It is the most effective of all the herbal sedatives by relaxing over contracted muscles and reduces nervous activity by inhibiting the stress response. It does not dull the horse’s responses so is quite safe to use when jumping.

  • Hira Seda Horse consists of a range of plant extracts formulated to address the overproduction of cortisol, hypersensitivlity to stimulii and to help with first time show nerves. It can help with reactivity to grass sugars when magnesium does not appear to help. We have found that is helps with separation anxiety and horses struggling with a more advanced traing regime. A a long term training aid just 3ml daily will make the horse more receptive and calm. For show day around 10ml an hour before will be sufficient

  • Chamomile Calm is a wonderfully gentle herb suitable for horses that tuck up and scour when upset and travel badly. 10ml of tincture half an hour before travelling seems to reduce nervous scouring. It is the herb to help with digestive type nerves

If you have issues re nervousness with your horse do not hesitate to contact us either by phone or emialing us at

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Combating mico toxins at Grass Roots

Ever wondered why our horses seem to reacting to pasture grasses, have a far higher incidence of staggers, cancers, headshaking syndrome, strange neurological disorders, resistant strains of mudfever, viruses etc. These all caused directly or indirectly by pathogens on our pastures. A pasture growing on a healthy soil will have the roots systems and the leaf surfaces covered with a mantle of beneficial micro-flora making it impossible for pathogens to get a foot hold. (photo of rich worm lechate that can be diluted and sprayed on to pasture)

It is Really Quite Simple and Cost Effective
Microflora is a buzz word for a host of therapies some of which include yoghurts fortified with a range of beneficial bacteria, mouth washes to combat bad breath and so forth. The biggest market omission up till now is the soil, upon which our very existence depends

Bringing the soil back to health and into balance is simple yet deceptively complex. In short increasing the level of microbiological activity in the soil will provide a host of benefits not least, the reduced need for fertilisers, irrigation and expensive drugs for our livestock.

What is Soil Microbiology
Soil microbiology refers to the organisms that live in the soil and some of them are:
Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, mycorrhizal fungi, flagellates, ciliates, amoeba, mites. Lastly, while not strictly micro biology but non-the-less very important, the earth worm.

How we can Increase the Microbiology of our Soils?

  • By increasing the humus content of our soil. by broadcasting a thin layer of compost to the pasture.

  • Applying a biologically active compost tea to the pasture.

  • By growing a green manure crop formulated to encourage the correct ratios of fungi to bacteria.
  • Aerating the subsoil will reduce compaction and thatching. This can be done mechanically with an aerator which injects a chemical oxygenator, compost tea, fulvic acid and humic acid some 600mm below the soil surface.
  • Thermo-composting (mcrobiological respiration and activity generate sufficient heat to kill weed seeds and pathogen) all collected horse manure, adding it to a bark chip pile and re-applying it to your pasture.

  • By developing a worm farm(The Warehouse has good home worm farms) and spraying the mineral rich liquid onto your pasture. We add kelp granules to the worm farm to get a natural fertiliser.

  • Spray worm leachate (photo above) over your pasture and vege plants. interstingly pests are not attracted to healthy foliage as it gives off an amine that detracts pests and pathogens.
  • This rich brown liquid is collected in the bottom chamber and consists of solubilized minerals, humic acid and some microbiology. This can be diluted and watered onto nursery plants, fruit trees, vegetable gardens or sprayed onto your paddock.

    The Benefits of Soil Microbiology
  • Nutrients are retained in the soil because they do not leach out or volatilize from the soil.
  • bacteria exude a slime that ‘glues’ nitrogen compounds to the surface.
  • The beneficial microbiology over leaf surface will out-compete mycotoxins.
  • The microbiology cycles nutrients into the right form to the root system.
  • microbiology build soil structure so that oxygen, water and other nutrients can move deep into the soil which turn will increase root mass and depth.
  • With the increased root mass, there is a reduced requirement for water as the plant will access it from deeper levels.
  • Deeper rooting systems will improve animal health by reducing the need for mineral supplementation .
  • Beneficial micro-organisms are able to suppress disease causing organisms by out-competing the pathogens.
  • The microbiology is able to stabilise soil pH by actually holding onto the lime within the exudates of fungi and bacteria.
  • Micro-organisms are able to degrade toxic materials into safer compounds. Stallions coming from industrialised countries have poor rates of fertility due to agricultural and industrial toxins in their system.
  • A healthy soil will help ‘pull’ horse parasites and eggs below the soil surface as part of the nutrient cycle.

How Modern Agriculture has Contributed to the Reduction in Microflora

  • By the excessive use of nitrogenous fertilisers.
  • Excessive use of some fertilisers which increase the salt index causing exosmosis.
  • Anthelmintics (chemical wormers ) that have gone through the horse’s digestive tract onto the pasture to kill beneficial nematodes, predatory mites to name a few.
  • The routine use of copper sulphate and copper as part of horse management which when is excreted onto pasture will kill micro-biology.
  • The use of heavy machinery to cultivate the land compacts the soil making it anaerobic.
  • By keeping our pastures ‘clean’ without the diversity of plant life. Horses do far better on well selected ‘weeds’

What is Compost Tea?
Put simply compost tea is to pasture what yogurt is to our digestive tract.
While compost is terrific stuff, compost tea is even better. In short compost tea is made by steeping compost in water, nutrients and oxygen. It's used as either a foliar spray or a soil drench.
The advantage of spraying this biologically active liquid on the leaves, that it helps suppress foliar diseases, increases the amount of nutrients available to the plant, and speeds the breakdown of toxins. Using compost tea has even been shown to increase the nutritional quality Why don’t insects and diseases ‘like’ healthy plants? Put simply a healthy plant puts out chemicals that make them unattractive to them but even better compost tea will help kill off the pathogens.

How a Biologically Active Tea can Reduce the Incidence of Mycotoxins Staggers, Mud Fever Staggers
The disease is caused by the ingestion of a toxin produced by a fungus (or endophyte) in perennial ryegrass. The highest concentrations of toxin are in the leaf sheath and seed head.The toxin has a specific damaging effect on the cells in the cerebellum of the brain that coordinate movement. Beneficial microbiology will out-compete the fungi responsible for producing the toxin and immobilise its effect. And don't forget to increase magnesium supplementation!
Mud Fever
Is a bacterial infection caused by the pathogen actinomycete Dermatophilus congolens. Compost tea will help reduce its incidence and a horse grazing on a healthy pasture will have a good immune system.

Monday, December 7, 2009

How Cortisol Produces so Much damage

Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands.

How Cortisol Produces so Much Damage

  1. It is so toxic it kills and injures brain cells by the billions through the free radical cascade.
  2. Cortisol is released same time as adrenaline but stays longer giving the hippocampus a toxic bath.
  3. It interferes with glucose supply (brain food for laying down memories and retrieving others.)
  4. Interferes with function of neurotransmitters. Vital for to keep your horse calm and attentive.
  5. Causes an influx of calcium which creates fee radicals leading to death of cells.
  6. Cortisol depletes vitamin C and E stored in the adrenal glands
  7. Triggers the release of neuro-petide Y causing the desire for carbohydrates. (an intersting fact for dieters)
  8. Adrenaline constricts blood vessels, raises blood sugar temporarily.
  9. Governs fat metabolism. (there is a correlation between stress and fat deposits around the midrif.
  10. Magnesium is excreted when cortisol levels rise. This will affect the horse's behaviour.
  11. It also has an antagonistic effect upon insulin production.
  12. It will cause vasoconstriction and inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3 for thyroid function.
  13. It shrinks and kills off hippocampus cells depleting emotional memory
How We can Protect our Horse from this Damage
There are a number of herbs and nutrients that can act as tonics for the adrenals

More on

I have had a bit of difficulty opening up a response further down. You are welcome to email us direct at .My next post will further explore the effect of stress on the horse and how it affects magnesium levels, the blood supply to the hoof and movement.