Fat For Fuel, Is It Safe For Your Horse?
When looking to add additional calories to your horse’s diet, FAT is a safe option.
Unlike adding carbohydrates (e.g cereal grains), fat is a (non-heating) source of calories free from sugars and starches.
The many benefits of fat include –
Highly digestible in the small intestine (95%)
Supports healthy coat/skin condition and hoof health
Can improve behaviour (calming effect)
No increased laminitis risk
Safe for horses with Equine Metabolic Syndrome
Helps alleviate tying-up symptoms
Safe for the microbiome in the hindgut
Performance advantage – less/delay in lactic acid production
It also offers nearly three times the calories of carbohydrates or protein, and is a great way to help meet energy needs to workload or if an increase in body condition is desired.
Vitamins: A, D, E & K are absorbed best in the presence of fat (fat soluble)
The addition of a quality oil is one popular way to introduce a fat source in the diet.
For first timers, introduce oil into the diet at a lower dose, so the horse’s system gets used to digesting. Up to 10% of the total calories can be safely sourced through fat, and the grain portion of the diet can be reduced and replaced with oil.
Cooking oil should be avoided as it is meant for stir frys not horses, some are solvent extracted, high in Omega 6 and over processed.
Horses evolved on grass which contains fat in the form of Omega 3 and Omega 6 at a ratio of 4:1, it makes sense to choose Linseed/Flaxseed oil which is more natural and has a similar Omega profile to grass. It is regarded as the best oil choice for horses by leading nutritionist worldwide.
Any questions? Please ask in the comments below
🖊Written by Bryan Meggitt (BMedSc. PGCrtMedSc.)
Manager and Co-founder of CEN – Complete Equine Nutrition
👨🏻🔬Bryan is a scientist and equine nutrition educator through the nutrition principles of Dr Juliet Getty and Dr Eleanor Kellon.
Bryan is passionate about improving equine health through proper natural nutrition according to science.
He believes a horse should be fed according to their natural physiology, to achieve optimum health and enhance performance.
CEN Healthy Equine Products:
CEN Oil is a trusted high quality source of plant based Omega 3.
It is a high quality linseed/flaxseed oil with antioxidants, 100% natural, highly digestible, no chemicals or fillers and rich in Omega 3. (Lab proven high levels at room temperature)
Used successfully around Australia as a cool energy source of extra calories and an Omega 3 boost.
The multiple Australian Arabian Champion PHANTOM is fed CEN Oil daily in his show prep and thrives.