The important thing when considering oil for horses is that higher omega 3s are anti-inflammatory, and oils higher in omega 6s are inflammatory. Therefore we are looking for oils that are higher in 3s than 6s for horses. Chia and flax/linseed, have better ratios of omega 3s to 6s than canola or sunflower seeds. We would encourage you to avoid sunflower, corn or canola based products - even if they are cheaper, because they may be contributing to the problem you are trying to solve.
The benefits of these higher omega 3 oils include providing essential fatty acids for general health and vitality, adding body condition, serving as an energy source, boosting coat condition, and relieving stiff joints in older horses.
Chia is higher in omega 3s than flax/linseed and even fish oil, and that's why it is the foundation of our chia-based Optimum Trace Mix and our Turmeric Joint Mix.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with anti-inflammatory benefits and can support joint health, recovery and overall well-being.
2. Hydration and Electrolyte Balance: Chia seeds can absorb large amounts of liquid, increasing the volume passing through the digestive tract, stimulating intestinal transit, and helping to maintain electrolyte balance.
3. Digestive Health: Chia seeds are high in soluble fiber, which slows down the digestive process and helps reduce spikes in blood sugar. The gelatinous property of the seeds can clear sand more effectively than expensive psyllium products.
4. Skin and Coat Health: The oil and fatty acids in chia seeds promote a shiny coat and healthy skin. They have been used to relieve symptoms of skin allergies.
5. Muscle Density and Body Condition: The protein, minerals, and soluble fiber found in chia seeds help retain muscle density and body condition.
We also offer linseed/flax on its own. We love linseeds. Flaxseed is one of the few vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids, mainly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can help reduce inflammation, improve coat condition, and reduce the risk of joint problems, and combat Itch.
1. Digestible Fiber: Flaxseed contains around 30% highly digestible fiber, which can support healthy digestion.
2. Protein: Flaxseed also contains 20% protein.
3. Skin and Coat Health: The addition of flaxseed to a horse’s diet has shown to improve skin and hair coat.
4. Body Condition: Adding healthy fats to a horse’s diet has shown to improve body condition.
5. Reduced Inflammation: Research suggests that adding milled flaxseed each day can reduce the allergic response to recurrent seasonal pruritis, or Queensland itch. Also, omega-3s could have beneficial effects for horses suffering from inflammatory diseases such as heaves and osteoarthritis.
Horses aren't designed to eat huge amounts of oils. You can imagine, in a natural diet, horses would only have access to oily seeds when the grasses were seeding, and they would have had it in combination with a larger proportion of stalk, so we don't need to supply huge amounts.
To give you an example, our geriatric mares (30 years +) get 1 x 30g scoop of Optimum Trace, 1 x 30g Scoop of Turmeric Joint Mix and 1 x 50 gram scoop of flaxseed each day which relieves their arthritis and allows them to move freely, with no swelling associated with joint pain.