Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, has something to say about the 7 macro-minerals required by the horse. Like all Shetlands, she is always watching, listening and learning.
Horses require seven different macro-minerals to stay healthy. These are calcium, chloride, sodium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
Each one helps the horse in a different way. Calcium is a partner with phosphorus. Horses need calcium for strong, healthy bones. Calcium also helps horses with temperature regulation.
Chloride: sodium and chloride go together to form sodium chloride, or salt. Salt is critical in the process of sweating and is essential for proper electrolyte balance.
Sodium: see chloride; the two work together.
Sulfur is a building block of several amino acids and B-complex vitamins which aid the horse with strong hoof walls.
The mineral that is important in regulating osmotic pressure in cells and carbohydrate metabolism is potassium. It also helps with maintaining the acid-base balances of cells.
The partner to calcium is phosphorus. Together, they do great things and are important for strong bones and needed to metabolize and use energy.
Magnesium is important for good bone health and is involved in enzyme function.
These minerals work together for a healthy, happy horse. This is why it is always important to feed horses a complete, well balanced diet.