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Horses - Diet and Nutrition/excess consumption of calcium


Hi ma'am. Does excess consumption of calcium leads to ring bone in horses? I heard that it is a painful disease and should be put to sleep. Is it true? Can you please list out what all problems do horses suffer if they receive calcium in excess quantity?

Hello Roberts,

For most nutrients, there is a danger associated with feeding in excess.  Horses can suffer from nutritional toxicities just as they can suffer from nutritional deficiencies.  All things in moderation.  It may be a stretch to suggest that excess dietary calcium causes ring bone.  You are more likely to increased risk of gastric ulcers and impaired cardiac function than you are to see osteonic bone issues.  Calcium can be fed at a much higher rate than recommended without detrimental effect, provided an adequate amount of phosphorous is present.  If you are concerned with ring bone, consult your veterinarian.

Regards, Corlena

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Corlena Patterson


I can help with any of your horse nutrition questions and concerns. I have been involved with horses for closing on 40 years, with a B.Sc in Animal Science and currently working on an M.Sc in Equine Science with the University of Edinburgh. I have owned my own feed store, consulted professionally as an equine nutritionist, and lectured in the fields of equine and dairy nutrition at the University level for 5 years. I have developed and currently market 'Ration-X', a ration formulation program for horses...designed for the everyday horse owner. I am happy to help in any way I can.


Experienced in developing and implementing feed programs for horses of all disciplines, creating custom horse supplements and managing inter-disciplinary equine facilities. Specialize in equine nutrition consulting.

The American Society of Equine Appraisers

'Stable Management' Handbook, Equine Canada.

M.Sc (Equine Science-current), B.Sc(Agr) Animal Science, Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification, Farrier Certification, Equine Consultant Certification, Certified Equine Appraiser, Certified in Emergency Equine Rescue.

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