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Does Your Horse Diet Need Fats

May 19, 2008
Horse supplements with added Fats or (EFA's) Essential Fatty Acids should be an essential part of your nutrition program. Look at the label to make sure that they are in the ingredient list as many supplements omit them. Feeding EFA's alone is okay, just make sure that the product is fresh, look to see if there is a manufacturing date, or just smell it. Old oils turn rancid which changes the make up of the oils and your horse doesn't gain all the benefits and it smells terrible.

EFA's are important for many biological processes in your horse's body. The fats are critical for production of hormones, cell membranes and for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Your horse's body metabolizes these fats into tri-glycerides which it stores as an energy source or it can be used as an immediate source of fuel.

Feeding of fats can help your horse in many ways. The obvious one is the healthy, shiny hair coat; however, more importantly is the dense source of calories which provides the energy. Calories from fat are 2.5 times greater than the calories from proteins or carbohydrates. Horses fed EFA's in the morning slowly metabolize and utilized them throughout the day providing the needed fuel.

Is your horse considered a "hard keeper"? Most horses will benefit from the addition of fats to the diet as it slows the digestive process and helps to stabilize the blood sugar and provides a calming energy source. You will notice a gradual weight gain and even a better temperament due to the lack of sugar related mood swings (yes, they do occur in horses just like humans).

Another benefit is that fats produce an anti-inflammatory process in your horse's body which helps to fight off infections and build up the immune system. Also, the fats make the feeds more palatable for your horse. These unprocessed and unrefined oils provide a pleasant aroma and taste to your horse whereby you can reduce the amount of molasses fed (reducing diabetic tendencies) and reducing the dust factor of the feed.

What type of Essential Fatty Acids should you be feeding your horse to gain all these benefits? One of the more important factors is to make sure the fat is unrefined and unprocessed. A pure and highly digestible oil is a soybean and coconut oil blend called Cocosoya Oil. This cocosoya oil is naturally high in tocopherols (Vitamin E) and sterols and is crude unrefined oil with no chemical solvents. The natural phospholipds and tocopherols of the soybean are retained in the oil which is the highly nutritious solid portion of the oil. The cocosoya oil is much more digestible than the ordinary corn and vegetable oil and costs less.

If you want your horse to have a shiny, show quality hair coat year round, along with all the nutrition and energy necessary for proper body metabolism and growth make sure your supplement contains cocosoya oil.
About the Author
Audra Jensen has 70 head of horses at her barn and feeds a daily supplement to attain ultimate health for her horses. For more information on supplements:
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