Organic, cold-pressed flax oil is simply FABULOUS. Many of my horses will slurp it up straight from a feed dish – just liquid flax oil, nothing else added. Here are the ways I feed flax oil to my herd of 11 horses and why:
You may have already read that the Omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) in flaxseed oil is anti-inflammatory and helps with insulin resistance and Cushing’s disease. There is a lot of data for flax oil action and benefits in humans, but it’s harder to find for equines.
Nonetheless, here are two of the best studies I’ve found for how and why the Omega-3 in flaxseed oil works to benefit horses with Cushings or Laminitis:
1. This study shows the benefits of n-3 PUFA on obesity and adipose tissue. Note: both linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linoleic acid ALA are found in flax seed and are converted to n-3 PUFA, as referenced in this article.
2. This study reports that “These fatty acids are incorporated into cell membranes, changing their structural and functional characteristics. N-3 PUFA can act by modulating inflammatory responses at different levels… Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids in horses may help manage chronic inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, equine metabolic syndrome, laminitis, and thereby help to improve longevity of sport horse.”
3. In addition, this study shows that flax seed oil is beneficial for respiratory conditions, as it “improves clinical signs, lung function, and airway inflammation in horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) and inflammatory airway disease (IAD)”
Interestingly, I once offered my horses dried Neem leaves (a natural wormer) and none of them would touch it. Then my Belgian mare Audelina told me, “Put some flax oil on it.” So I did and 9 out of 11 horses ate it, no problem! Did the oil help mask the taste? Or was it needed to utilize the medicine properly? Who knows? But the horses knew 🙂
Flax oil has high levels of Omega-3 essential fatty acid. Anti-inflammatory for the skin and gut and improves the coat, mane, tail and hooves. Crucial for foal brain development and helpful for arthritis and insulin resistance. The Singing Horse herd LOVE IT!
As long as flax oil is unopened, you can store it at room temperature or cooler for at least a year. Once you’ve opened it, you need to store it in a cool place, or refrigerate. To avoid any storage issues, I use our organic flax oil during the fall/winter months when the bottles can just sit in my tackroom and it’s cool enough for even the opened bottle to remain fresh. Then in the spring/summer I switch to hemp seed oil or coconut oil, which are both very temperature stable. I think the variety of healthy fats is also good for the horses.
p.s. Did you know that we now have an LTYH Supplement Shoppe where you can buy organic flax oil for horses and more? These are all the natural supplements I use with the Singing Horse herd – all tried-and-tested – to produce vibrant, whole-body health. And make sure you click the JINI SAYS tab on each product to find out exactly how I use each supplement with the herd, or why I chose it for the Shoppe 🙂
p.p.s. Someone recently asked what my thoughts were on flax vs chia? I think they’re both good! If I had to choose one, I would go with flax as it has 6400 mg Omega-3 per 1 ounce as compared to chia with 4900 mg. ALSO if you’ve read a lot about the benefits of DHA with laminitis, Cushings, etc. but you don’t want to feed fish products to horses, then you might be interested in this Algae form of DHA – on a base of flax and chia – so it’s a triple whammy healer!