It is important to know what kind of omega acids a horse gets in nature through its diet. Fresh grass contains a small amount of oil (approx. 4-6%), however the fat content it contains consists mainly of omega 3 fatty acids (approx. 55-60%, especially ALA) and contains a low proportion of omega 6 fatty acids.
When your horse is out in the meadow 24 hours a day, a supplement with extra omega fatty acids is not necessary. When grass is dried into hay, most of the omega fatty acids, just like vitamin E for example, are lost.
For most horses (especially in the winter months), the daily ration is hay/advance dry.
A supplement with omega fatty acids is a must. By ensuring that we mimic a horse's natural diet as much as possible and choosing an oil with the correct fatty acid profile, we can help prevent health problems.
A right balance between omega fatty acids is important. What many people don't know is that omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and have a positive effect on the horse's resistance and general health and that omega 6 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect. Too much omega 6 in the ration can lead to reduced resistance, lameness (poorer muscle recovery), a higher risk of osteoarthritis, insulin resistance and laminitis, reduced fertility, poor coat & skin and a hyperactive immune system (including negative effect in summer eczema).
Products based on cereals such as muesli and biks often contain vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, soya oil or corn oil and therefore contain a lot of omega 6 fatty acids. If you add sunflower oil, corn oil or Omega oil, your horse will get far too much omega 6 and too little omega 3 fatty acids.
Linseed oil, on the other hand, contains a high proportion of omega 3 fatty acids and can bring the ration back into balance.
Linseed oil contains a high protein content and is a rich source of essential fatty acids that the horse cannot produce by itself. These fatty acids play an important role in the production of a good nervous and bone system. In addition, linseed oil has a positive effect on the digestive system in horses, helps in shedding and provides a shiny coat. In addition, boiled linseed oil ensures that there is a kind of layer on the intestinal wall, which prevents blockages. This removes any sand in the intestines and prevents sand colic.
However, linseed oil can also contain a component that is dangerous for horses, named linamarin. This substance is converted during digestion into the toxic substance blue acid. Blue-acid is a toxic substance because it stops the oxygen transport through the blood. It is therefore important that linseed oil is cooked first for the horse !!!
By boiling the linseed oil, the substance linamarin is converted into hydrocyanic acid.
However, the hydrocyanic acid evaporates immediately, causing it to disappear from the linseed oil. Of Course, when you buy linseed oil, which is especially for horses, this product has already been boiled. You do not have to take this into account.
Mixing Oil in your horse's feed is important as long as you give it in small sizes.