Epsom salts, or magnesium sulfate, is becoming an increasingly common supplement for horses.
Magnesium plays an important part in nerve and muscle function, and horses deficient in this important element can show signs of nervousness, wariness, excitability, and muscle tremors.
This gives magnesium its reputation for having a calming influence on equines.
A deficient horse is likely to have a poor tolerance to work and its muscles will tie up quite quickly.
Magnesium is also known to play an important part in reducing equine obesity, and can lessen the risk of laminitis in animals prone to it during periods of strong spring grass growth.
Epsom salts can be fed as a laxative, no more than two tablespoons for a 450kg horse. When fed in combination with psyllium fiber, Epsom salt has been shown to carry sand out of the intestines in horses prone to sand colic.