Fat For Fuel, Is It Safe For Your Horse?

Is it safe to use Fat as a Fuel for Horses?
How can fat be introduced into the horse diet?
Can cooking oil be used in a horse diet?

Is it safe to use Fat as a Fuel for Horses?

Fat is a safe option when looking to add additional calories to your horse’s diet.
Unlike adding carbohydrates (e.g cereal grains), fat is a cool (non-heating) source of calories free from sugars and starches.

The many benefits of fat include –

  • Highly digestible in the small intestine (95%)
  • Supports healthy coat/skin condition and hoof health
  • Can improve behaviour (calming effect)
  • No increased laminitis risk
  • Safe for horses with Equine Metabolic Syndrome
  • Helps alleviate tying-up symptoms
  • Safe for the microbiome in the hindgut
  • Performance advantage – less/delay in lactic acid production
  • It also offers nearly three times the calories of carbohydrates or protein, and is a great way to help meet energy needs to workload or if an increase in body condition is desired.
  • Vitamins: A, D, E & K are absorbed best in the presence of fat (fat soluble)

How can fat be introduced into the horse diet?

The addition of a quality oil is one popular way to introduce a fat source in the diet. For first timers, introduce oil into the diet at a lower dose, so the horse’s system gets used to digesting. Up to 10% of the total calories can be safely sourced through fat, and the grain portion of the diet can be reduced and replaced with oil.

Can cooking oil be used in a horse diet?

Cooking oil should be avoided as it is meant for stir frys not horses, some are solvent extracted, high in Omega 6 and over processed.

Horses evolved on grass which contains fat in the form of Omega 3 and Omega 6 at a ratio of 4:1, it makes sense to choose Linseed/Flaxseed oil which is more natural and has a similar Omega profile to grass. It is regarded as the best oil choice for horses by leading nutritionist worldwide.

 

Written by Bryan Meggitt (BMedSc. PGCrtMedSc.)

Biochemist / Senior Scientist and Co-founder of CEN Horse Nutrition

Bryan is a scientist and equine nutrition educator through the nutrition principles of Dr Juliet Getty and Dr Eleanor Kellon.

Bryan is passionate about improving equine health through natural nutrition according to science.

 

 

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