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  • June 10, 2022 3 min read

    Recently, we have heard a lot about Omega 3 fatty acids, mainly because of their health-promoting effects. Whilst not a lot of research has gone into the health benefits of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in horses, we know from human medicine that increasing levels of omega 3 within the diet has shown positive effects on blood vessels and balancing blood lipids, as well as having an anti-inflammatory action within the body. In humans and animals, a deficiency in essential fatty acids can lead to hair loss, skin issues and problems with immune and reproductive functions. Essential fatty acids are also critical for the synthesis of hormones and the transportation of oxygen from red blood cells to tissues. 

    We also know from human medicine that a substantial intake of omega 3 fatty acid will help balance the effects of omega 6 fatty acids, which on their own may aggravate the inflammatory response within the body. We also know from studies on humans and animals that diets high in concentrations of omega 6 increase the formation of prostaglandins, which in turn increase the inflammatory process in the body. So it is crucial to have a correct balance of omega 3 and omega 6 within the body to help it function at its optimal level.

    Where do horses receive omega 3 and omega 6 from within their diet?

    Grass contains a higher omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, so if your horse has access to pasture, it will receive a good source of omega 3. Hay is also a great source of omega 3, but the levels compared to that of grass are lower. If your horse is fed a grain-based diet, then your horse will be receiving higher levels of omega 6 compared to omega 3, as cereal grains contain a higher amount of omega 6 compared to omega 3. 

    What is the best supplement for Omega 3?

    If you have been keeping up with our blog, you will have noticed that last week we talked about linseeds. Well,linseeds are the richest vegetable source of omega 3 fatty acids. Some horse owners may also opt to feedfish oil, and they are a very rich source of omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which may have a more profound anti-inflammatory effect on the body. However, getting a horse to eat fish oil may be a bit of a problem due to the taste, and as horses are vegetarians, horse owners may prefer to feed a vegetarian-only diet.

    If you aren’t a fan of linseeds or fish oil, there are other sources of omega 3 out there.Hemp hulls are a relatively new product, but they are packed with omega 3 fatty acids compared to omega 6 fatty acids. Hemp also contains a wide range of other benefits that may help your horse, such as reducing anxiety, increasing stamina, improve hoof condition and brain function.Chia seeds are another great source of omega 3 that can be a supplement for your horse. In addition to having an excellent omega 3 profile, chia seeds may assist with weight management, prevent ulcers, provide allergy relief and assist with metabolic issues. The feeding rate for hemp hulls and chia seeds is a bit of a contentious issue, but it is generally recommended to feed 100g to 200g per day for a 500kg horse, so price-wise, they can be pretty expensive.

    If you are looking for excellent omega 3 supplements for your horse, we stock a wide range at Oakford Stockfeeds. To assist you in choosing a product, please visit us in-store, or we have detailed our best sellers below.


    Whole Linseeds

    AHS Raw Linseed Oil

    CEN Oil

    Fish Oil

    KER EO-3 Oil

    Hemp Hearts and Hulls

    Provex Equine Hemp Hulls and Hearts

    Provex Premium Hemp Seed Oil

    Chia Seeds

    Chia Seeds

    Other Best Sellers

    Equine Vit and Min Omega 3 Plus Premium

    NAS Omega Oil 3, 6 and 9 for Horses and Dogs

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