Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids support many vital functions in your horse’s body. You need to feed both to keep your horse healthy, but it’s important to maintain a proper balance. Because Omega 6s support pro-inflammatory reactions, and Omega 3s support anti-inflammatory reactions, you want to provide your horse with more Omega 3s. In fact, your horse should ideally be getting two to four times more Omega 3s than 6s in his diet.
Limited Access to Fresh Pasture
Fresh pasture is much higher in Omega 3s than 6s, making it an ideal feed source. Unfortunately, year-round quality pasture is tough to come by, so most of us fill the bulk of our horse’s diets with hay. By the time it’s cut, dried, baled and stored, hay contains very little fat, and virtually no Omega 3s.
High Grain Diets
Grain has exponentially more Omega 6s than Omega 3s.
This includes commercial, fortified feeds like pellets and sweet feeds, as well as whole grains like oats, corn and barley. This throws your horse’s Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio way out of balance, and can result in a chronic state of inflammation.
Inflammatory Health Conditions
Chronic inflammation can have serious consequences. Being in an inflammatory state can result in harmful stress at the cellular level. Horses with joint degeneration, laminitis or allergic skin conditions like hives and “sweet itch” may benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3s.
There is good news! Supplementing with Omega 3s will help restore your horse’s natural balance. SmartOmega 3 (#18294, $13.95) provides these healthy fats from two of the best sources, flax seed and fish oil, and is the perfect addition to any supplement program.