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Feeding oil to horses is now a widely recognised practice, however not all oils are equal. The properties of different oils vary and it is important to know the properties of whichever oil you choose to feed your horse.
In general, oils are used when horses have a higher energy requirement than normal. Whether that be due to increased workload, breeding or need for additional body condition. In the past grains have been used to meet these increased energy needs in horses, it has now become evident that an excess of grain in the horse's diet can cause a range of associated health problems. Some of these grain related issues can include colic, hindgut acidosis, tying up and loss of appetite.
People are now becoming aware of the benefits of adding oils to a horse's feed. Some of these advantages include:
Most commercial equine feeds contain polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) including soy, corn and vegetable oils. These polyunsaturated fatty acids may cause an Omega 6 and Omega 3 imbalance. These oils are absorbed into and transported slowly through the lymphatics. They are prone to rancidity, and contains a high level of Omega 6 which may cause inflammation.
Stance Equitec's Equipower Maintenance & Equipower Performance contain a blend of cold pressed rice bran and flaxseed oils, along with coconut oil. These oils are included for their balanced levels of omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids. Imbalanced omega fatty acids in the horse's body can contribute to inflammation and increased circulating free radicals. Equipower performance has the addition of Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil for extra energy required in performance horses.
Any oil should be introduced to the horse's diet slowly, starting with a small amount and increasing gradually over 2-4 weeks, depending on the amount of oil you are feeding.
The EquiPower Performance contains:
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. Due to their shorter length, MCTs are more easily digested than longer-chain fatty acids. MCTs easily enter your cells without needing to be broken down, which means they are an immediate source of energy for the body and brain. EquiPower Performance has added MCT oil, derived from coconut oil. Choose EquiPower Performance to support:
Coconut oil contains high levels of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which provide the body with a readily available source of lauric acid, which converts to monolaurin and may provide anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
The benefits of supplementing animals with coconut oil may include improved digestive health, enhanced coat and skin condition.
Coconut oil is absorbed directly into the portal blood, and therefore is metabolised faster than other oils. Read more here