Feed The Right Fats/Oils To Reduce The Risk Of Colic
Please Feel Free To Share To Other Horse Lovers
The findings below have been concluded through years of independent research into horse feeds and nutrition so we can feed our horses the best way possible.
And here are the conclusions about fats and oils:
Firstly, we need to be mindful that we don't "humanize" our horse's health and compare their nutritional needs to our own digestive needs, and none more so than when dealing with how both species differ in how we process fats and oils.
This is because HORSES DO NOT HAVE A GALL BLADDER, as with many other mammals.
The gall bladder is a small organ in the human body responsible for storing bile, the emulsifying agent responsible for the digestion and breaking down of oils and fats. Without it, the horse can only do this through the liver, which can cause health risks, so horses mustn't be fed large amounts of fat or oils.
Another consideration when feeding oil is whether it is a SPECIES APPROPRIATE oil. So, for example, if in the wild, would a horse eat it?
Therefore, if you are going to give oil to your horse, which IS THE BEST FOR HEALTH, and will give you the best health benefits for your buck......as well as being species-suitable......
Well when all the evidence is presented, the ONLY great source of fat that you should be giving your horse is Cold-Pressed Unrefined Flaxseed Oil, which is often also referred to by its American name of Linseed, as worldwide research has clearly shown all the others fall short in the nutrient stakes...
Also bear in mind that you would need a truck full of raw flaxseeds to squeeze out the concentrated nutrients that are immediately bioavailable from the oil, so giving oil is the best way to give highly concentrated levels of omega 3’s, making it more economical as a small amount goes a long way.
Flax, whether from seeds, oil or flakes/pellets etc (the oil contains way more than the ground food) contains high levels of beneficial Alpha Linolenic Acid, or more commonly known as omega 3, which is fantastic for all our horse's health requirement (and ours too). These are just a few of the benefits noted below:
* Has an ideal omega 3 - 6 ratio, so it is balanced nutritionally for health
*Reduces the risk of colic due to its anti-inflammatory properties (omega 3’s) as well as helps keep the digestive system moving fluidly
*Reduces insulin resistance
*Improve macular (eye) degeneration
*Balances the immune system
*Protects joints and ligaments
*Maintain hoof and hair health
*Reduces skin allergies
*Improves heart and blood vessel health
Unsuitable oils for horses include:
COCONUT/COPRA OIL: way too fatty with incredibly high levels of saturated fats, that animals cannot process with no gall bladder, plus it contains no omega 3 s..and has been known to cause copra itch in humans who handle it, which is a skin allergy so definitely not suitable for horses.
FISH OILS:...definitely not...the horse is a veggie and should never eat any animal-based products, plus fish oil is low in beneficial omega 3's and not species-appropriate
SOYA /WHEATGERM OIL: too little omega three and too many omega 6's fatty acids are not good for horses as causes inflammation in this balance and have been known to cause skin allergies
OLIVE OIL: although healthful to humans, this contains high levels of omega 9’s and low levels of omega 3’s, which is not a suitable balance for horses- plus non-species appropriate/ I.e-horses do not eat Olives
CANOLA OIL: sometimes called Rapeseed or Oilseed- high risk of spray and often genetically modified-has some omega 3, but high levels of omega 6,s so not nutritionally balanced as this ratio causes inflammation and has health risks due to high levels of Erucidic acid, which can be damaging to the heart.
SUNFLOWER OIL: this oil is inflammatory to our horse's body, leading to the production of free radicals and more inflammation due to low omega-3 levels.
RICE BRAN OIL: hardly any omega three, so pointless, really and very inflammatory
CORN OIL: no omega 3, and high levels of inflammatory omega 6,s
VEGETABLE OIL: this is way too vague of a term to use as it doesn't tell us which vegetables the oil was taken from so, therefore, we can't know the benefits or downsides etc..so not recommended
HEMP SEED OIL: cold pressed hemp oil can be a good source of fat for horses as it contains beneficial amounts of omega 3’s and 6’s, but unfortunately, it has been banned for feeding to animals as it’s been misunderstood as linked to cannabis by the Ministry of Primary Industries, as well as it is very expensive as a horse feed.
SO IT'S FLAXSEED OIL ALL THE WAY FOR HAPPY HEALTHY HORSES
For more info on how much to feed, please see our RECOMMENDED FEEDING GUIDE on this link: