Bring your best face to the barn: Horses take note!
15 hours ago
I wonder if horses can be like other animals that react negatively when we go away, but in [my horse's] case, it would more likely be that I had those other people ride her AND I went away for a couple days.
In general, hormones derived from the two classes of essential fatty acids have opposite effects. Those from omega-6 fatty acids tend to increase inflammation (an important component of the immune response), blood clotting, and cell proliferation, while those from omega-3 fatty acids decrease those functions.
Researchers at Michigan State University theorized that, if the same effect was found in supplemented horses, minimized discomfort might manifest as increased stride length among horses suffering from joint stiffness. To test this theory, they measured stride length at the walk and trot for 18 Arabian horses (12 mature animals and 6 two-year-olds). Horses were paired and all horses were fed sweet feed and Timothy hay. One horse in each group was supplemented with fish oil for 75 days while the other was given corn oil to supply an equal number of calories. The horses were exercised five days a week under saddle, on a longe line, or on a free-flow exerciser. At the conclusion of the trial, plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids were higher in the fish-oil-supplemented horses than in the corn-oil-supplemented horses. There was no change in stride length at the walk, but horses supple- mented with fish oil tended to have an increased length of stride at the trot.
The beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for horses with arthritis was confirmed by a study performed at Texas A&M University. The experiment measured the effect of feeding supplemental omega-3 fatty acids on indicators of joint inflammation in plasma and synovial fluid in horses that had been previously diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Sixteen mature horses with arthritic knee, fetlock, hock, or stifle joints were divided into two groups, one of which was a control. In the other group, horses were supplemented with two pelleted omega-3 sources for 90 days. Samples of blood and synovial fluid were collected periodically during the trial period. Supplemented horses showed lower levels of joint inflam- mation indicators (white blood cells in synovial fluid and fibrinogen and prostaglandin E2 in plasma) than the control group. The researchers said, “The inclusion of omega-3s has the potential to benefit geriatric horses with osteoarthritis, as well as performance horses subjected to high-impact and high- stress training, thus potentially improving quality of life and athletic performance."
|Feed||Omega 6:Omega 3|
|Commercial, fortified grain||8:1|
|Whole grains: oats, corn, barley, wheat, rice||24:1|
|Vegetable oils: corn, sunflower||87:1, 199:1!*|
|Vegetable oils: canola, soybean||3:1, 7:1|
|Flax seed||1:4, good|
|Fish oil (includes the specific Omega 3s EPA & DHA)||Virtually all Omega3!|