Linseeds are a very rich source of omega 3’s, from which horses are able to manufacture Omega 6’s as they require. Omega 3’s are desperately lacking in the modern horse’s processed diet, but Omega 6’s are usually excessively available. Omega 3’s have numerous health benefits and are an extremely good general health supplement for all horses. Dry flaky skin problems or inflammatory skin conditions such as sweet-itch are proven to benefit tremendously from added linseed in the diet. It is also indicated for horses that suffer from azoturia (tying-up) as it helps to prevent lactic acid build-up and promotes a smoother muscle action. It’s also recommended to feed internally to horses with ligament injuries, for this purpose its best if combined in equal proportions with white millet seed.
Contrary to popular belief, raw whole linseeds ARE safe for horses provided they are good quality (should smell nutty and look shiny and hard, if they smell fishy or are dusty and dull then discard them immediately). The tough outer shell is almost indigestible, so they are best utilized if freshly milled prior to feeding. Soaking them is not recommended as it creates a toxin. For fattening purposes linseed can be cooked for 2 –3 hours until a glutinous gel appears, but as Omega 3’s are very heat sensitive, they will be destroyed. NB!!!: Raw linseed oil is EXTREMELY toxic for horses – do not feed under any circumstances! Cold pressed flaxseed oil that is kept refrigerated is safe, and can be used as an alternative for the freshly milled seeds (daily dosage for a horse is 15-20ml daily)