Many horse owners add a dash of oil to their horse’s feed without really understanding why! In this article we explain the benefits of this traditional feed additive.
Why Linseed Oil?
As well as being highly palatable and vegetarian, Linseed Oil is also an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3, which are also found in oily fish, are particularly sort after due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Feeding the correct ratio of fatty acids
For a perfectly balanced diet, the horse should consume the correct ratio of Omega 3:Omega 6 fatty acids. Unfortunately, the horse’s diet is naturally rich in Omega 6, a type of fatty acid predominantly found in cereals. Adding Linseed Oil to the diet will therefore boost the overall level of Omega 3.
Oil is fat, and therefore an excellent source of energy in the diet. Unlike cereals that provide carbohydrates which are broken down into sugars for energy, Fat is not broken down into sugar so there is no ‘heating effect’ or sugar rush which can adversely affect the temperament.
Feeding with less bulk
Oil is very digestible. There is less energy loss through heat, and more available for energy production. This means that you can increase the amount of dietary energy available in the diet, without actually increasing the size of the feeds. One cup of oil could provide the same amount of energy as 6 cups of grain. This is useful for performance horses at peak fitness who often lose their appetite.
Oil has a glycogen sparing effect on the muscles. During aerobic exercise, oil will be used for energy production before raiding the glycogen stores in the muscles. This helps to delay lactic acid production and prolong endurance.
Linseed Oil is often fed for healthy skin and a shiny coat, and is often added to the diet of show horses. Increasing the fat content of the diet could increase the oils in the skin, thus creating a shinier coat. One trial has also shown that linseed oil could be useful for horses and ponies suffering with sweet itch. This was due to the anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3, combined with the conditioning effect of oil on the skin.
Irish Karon Oil is an Omega 3 solution formulated to maintain the natural flow of nutrients through the digestive system. Containing 50% pure linseed oil, Irish Karon Oil provides an excellent source of energy and omega 3 fatty acids, recognised for their ability to maintain skin and coat condition and the equine immune system. Horse digestive health is supported by the inclusion of calcium hydroxide solution. This has strong alkaline properties to ensures Irish Karon Oil also helps to maintain a healthy gastric environment. Magnesium hydroxide, also included in this high-spec formulation, provides horse calming properties; helping the horse in intensive training to cope in stressful situations.
Why not take advantage of our June Special offer with 15% off Irish Karon Oil, now only £22.53.