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Welcome to our blog page: here we publish regular blogs covering all sorts of aspects of animal health to help spread knowledge, experiences and advice.

We hope you enjoy reading our blogs, and can take away a little piece of information each time, that will help you to give your animals the healthiest, happiest, fun-filled life you possibly can and build special memories and bonds!

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Omegas: a balancing act

Written by Fourflax on December 21st, 2016.      0 comments

Essential fatty acids can provide an array of health balancing act-113-887
benefits for your horse…but what are they and how
can you ensure your horse has enough of them in his diet?

Essential Fatty Acids keep your horse healthy in a variety of
ways. As well as helping to balance immune function, they
also play a vital role in protecting the joints & ligaments,
assisting respiration & reducing airway inflammation, and
maintaining a healthy & shiny coat from the inside out!  

But bear in mind that not all Omegas are created equal! Two very important Omegas are Omega 3 and Omega 6, and getting the balance of these two is crucial to the health of your horse. It’s a balancing act that is important to understand and one that can often be tricky to nail down!

So what’s the difference between Omega 3 and Omega 6 you ask? Put simply, Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory and Omega 6 is pro-inflammatory within the bodies of all mammals. Of course we need a bit of both, pro-inflammatory helps with blood clotting, bruising & healing, and anti-inflammatory helps to suppress heightened inflammation within the body.

Fresh grass is abundant in Omega 3, four times more than Omega 6 in fact. However Hay has pretty much no Omega 3 content left. Many commercial feeds nowadays contain oils, which can often lead you to believe they will be healthy and beneficial for your horse…but what type of oil is being used and how much Omega 3 and Omega 6 does it contain? Make sure you are checking feed labels on your horses feed! Very few oils contain much Omega 3 and are often very high in Omega 6.

It is very difficult to set in stone the accepted ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6, but it is generally advised and recommended by equine vets and nutritionists that the body requires at least double Omega 3 to Omega 6.

Have you ever seen a horse eat a fish?...hmm probably not, hence the reason many horse owners look to flax seed as a source of Omega 3. Flax Seed Oil is an easy way of getting Omega 3 and 6 into your horses diet, simple and easy to feed and they love it! Flax Seed Oil typically contains around 60% Omega 3 and 15% Omega 6 content (a similar quantity to a natural pasture diet) so you can rest assured that adding this into the mix of your horses diet will go a long way to getting the balance right!
 

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