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The Key Minerals for Equine Performance - Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium

Equine athletes have higher mineral needs than inactive horses. Certain minerals play key roles in muscle function, bone strength, immunity and metabolism. Ensuring your horse gets adequate amounts of zinc, magnesium and calcium can optimize their health and athletic performance.

Zinc - For Immunity and Growth

Zinc is an essential mineral that horses require in small amounts. It plays many crucial roles in the body. Zinc enables proper immune function. It's needed for cell growth and division, protein synthesis, and wound healing.

For equine athletes, zinc supports:

  • Immune function - Reduces risk of infections that may interfere with training and competing. Aids recovery from exercise induced stress.

  • Hoof and coat health - Promotes strong hooves to withstand the concussion of training and competition. Supports skin and coat condition.

  • Reproduction - Zinc is vital for fertility, testosterone production and sperm health in stallions.

  • Bone development - Growing horses need zinc for proper skeletal development. Matures horses require it for ongoing bone metabolism and density.

Magnesium - For Muscle Performance

Magnesium is a macromineral that horses need in abundant amounts. It has a diverse range of functions in the horse's body. Magnesium is crucial for proper muscle and nerve function. For equine athletes, magnesium:

  • Enables muscle strength, endurance and coordination through its role in energy production.

  • Regulates muscle contractions and prevents muscle tremors, cramping and fatigue.

  • Allows effective neural signaling between the brain and muscles.

  • Plays a role in cardiovascular health and oxygen delivery during exercise.

Low magnesium can impair performance. Ensuring an adequate intake prevents deficiency symptoms.

Calcium - For Bone Strength

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the horse's body. Over 99% of the calcium in the body is stored in the skeleton and teeth. Calcium is essential for growth, bone development and density. It enables proper bone modeling and remodeling to withstand the rigors of training and competition.

For athletic horses, calcium:

  • Optimizes bone strength and density to prevent fractures and injuries.

  • Supports proper bone development in young horses during training.

  • Reduces risk of skeletal problems like osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

  • Maintains soundness and reduces bone and joint issues in older equine athletes.

Maximize your horse's diet, health and performance by ensuring adequate intake of these three key minerals. Consult your veterinarian or equine nutritionist to develop an optimal nutrition plan. Careful mineral supplementation can give your equine athlete a competitive edge.

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