Post #2 of some of my favourite natural feed stuffs to add to your horse’s diet is Linseed Aka Flaxseed.
Why is it so good?
Linseed or Flaxseed has many nutritional benefits, the most notable being its high omega-3 content.
Omega-3 fatty acids enhance overall health in horses. This essential fatty acid is vital for growth, strength, behavioural balance, learning ability and motor co-ordination, as well as assisting most of the functions of the omega 6 essential fatty acid.
Linseeds contain all the essential amino acids, from which the body can manufacture the other amino acids required to make proteins.
Note -The only natural, un-supplemented source of omega-3 in the equine diet is fresh grass.
Linseed can help reduce inflammation, which can relieve symptoms associated with sweet itch and other skin conditions. It can also alleviate symptoms of allergies.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it also helps in cases of arthritis or joint stiffness. It also boosts the immune system and can help regulate thyroid function, making it an ideal supplement for metabolic horses as well as aging horses.
Research conducted at the University of Guelph demonstrated that horses suffering from sweet itch, a common skin disease caused each summer by Culicoides insects (midges), improved dramatically following daily supplementation of their diet with one pound of milled flaxseed.
Other benefits of flaxseed supplementation include stimulation of the immune system, relief of arthritis and reduction of pain due to inflammation, an increase in the ability of cells to take up oxygen and scavenging of free radicals.
The oil shortens the time necessary for fatigued muscles to recover after exertion, and shortens healing time for bruises, sprains, and other injuries. It increases energy, stamina, and the feeling of vitality, and makes skin soft, hair shiny, and hooves strong.
If feeding Flaxseed Oil, always start with introducing a small amount of oil into your horses’ diet first and building up as necessary over @10 days.