Review: Equine Omega Complete

August 15th, 2014 2:00 PM | No Comments

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Blog Review courtesy of Show Ring Ready.

The more we learn about nutrition, the more complicated it seems to become to feed our horses in the best possible way. In recent years, the importance of the correct ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 has become more recognized, and many of the foods traditionally fed to show horses contain far too much of the bad omega-6 fatty acids. 

There is evidence for omega-3 fatty acids having an anti-inflammatory effect1, which is beneficial for sport horses. Omega-6s, on the other hand, have an inflammatory effect. Studies have shown that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids has a beneficial effect for arthritic horses2

A grass-based diet provides a higher amount of omega-3 than does a grain-based diet3. For show horses who spend most of their time in stalls, and especially those who are fed a lot of grain, adding as little extra omega-6 as possible is important to maintain the best ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. 

Traditional fat supplements for horses tend to be extremely high in omega-6s (corn oil is in the region of 1:58 omega-3 to omega-6, and sunflower seeds contain almost exclusively omega-6). Flax seeds and flaxseed oil are essentially the only traditional fat source for horses containing more omega-3 than omega-6. 

Vegetable sources such as flax contain short-chain omega-3 fatty acids, while fish oil contains long-chain versions. The body is not very efficient at converting short-chain omega-3 fatty acids to the more desirable long-chain ones, so feeding fish oil allows the long-chain fatty acids to be given directly in the most desirable form. 

For all of these reasons, I was very interested to try Equine Omega Complete when I was asked to review it. Equine Omega Complete contains mechanically-expelled soybean oil, human-grade deepwater fish oil, 3000 IU of Vitamin E per daily dose and all eight essential amino acids. I chose two different horses with different needs to see what a month’s worth of Equine Omega Complete could do. 

The top photo shows Horse A's weight on day 1 of Equine Omega Complete, while the bottom photo shows her condition after finishing a month of Equine Omega Complete and after three weeks of horse shows!

The top photo shows Horse A’s weight on day 1 of Equine Omega Complete, while the bottom photo shows her condition after finishing a month of Equine Omega Complete and after three weeks of horse shows!

Horse A, a thoroughbred, is a fairly difficult keeper who always has a shiny coat but tends to have dry skin, and she is very particular about what she eats. Horse B, a warmblood, will generally eat anything, and suffered this spring from a dull coat. 

My initial concern was whether or not the horses would even eat something containing fish oil. I was shocked when my picky eater ate an entire daily dose of Equine Omega Complete in just a small amount of grain without hesitation! The second horse enjoys his Equine Omega Complete so much that he will eat an entire daily dose out of his feed tub with no grain at all. Both horses became more vocal than usual at dinner time while they were on the supplement and clearly enjoyed eating it. 

The supplement is very easy to use and my supply came with a convenient measuring cup to give an accurate daily dose. I tried feeding it all at once as well as splitting it into two doses per day, and didn’t find much of a difference in terms of results or feed tub leftovers between the two methods. I did find that this supplement didn’t pour quite as cleanly (it is quite thick) as other oils that I’ve used, but the person responsible for feeding the second horse didn’t find hers messy so perhaps it depends on your pouring technique. I’m told that Equine Omega Complete now comes with a pump and I suspect that makes it even easier and cleaner to administer. 

As far as results go, horse A finished the month shinier than she has ever been, more than she ever was on ground flax or black oil sunflower seeds. While her skin is still on the dry side, it doesn’t seem as flaky as it used to be and she has held her weight far better than she usually would through the first few shows of the year. 

Horse B has finally developed the deep shine to his coat that has been elusive all year until now. 

Neither horse seemed to get “hot” while on the supplement. 

It would have been interesting to see whether there were any other improvements visible over a longer period, but over the short term I think that the supplement did all that it could be expected to do. You can read about all of the potential benefits at www.o3animalhealth.com 

bottle1The only real downside to the product is that it is more expensive than many of the more commonly-used (but high omega-6) oils, but from what I can tell it is similarly-priced to flaxseed oil. 

If you are looking for a complete oil supplement to feed to your horse, I would certainly recommend Equine Omega Complete for consideration. While I don’t like to promote any one product as a “must have”, I can say that it seems to do what it’s intended to do and would be a very good option.

 Another great thing about Equine Omega Complete is that they give away a free bottle of product every month on their website! Head over there and enter your e-mail address for a chance to win

As a special bonus, O3Animal Health LLC would like to offer our readers $10 off their first order. Enter promo code SHOWHORSETODAY.

 

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