It's no secret to horse owners that there are hundreds of options when it comes to choosing feed and supplements for our equine friends. You could ask ten people to recommend a product for a specific cause and receive ten different answers in return.
"What can I feed to my horse to help him gain condition, but not make him hot or alter his behaviour?"
"What can I feed to my horse for an added source of fibre?"
"What supplements will help my horse develop strong and healthy hooves?"
"Is there something that I can add to my horse's feed to make her shiny for show season?"
With such a vast market in the horse industry, it's little wonder that there are so many products, feeds and supplements that all contribute to the health of our horses.
Have you ever considered Hemp Seed meal as one of those options?
Hemp seeds are one of nature's true wonders. The entire hemp plant is full of incredible healing properties, and Australia is recently rediscovering the benefits of hemp seed as a food source - for both the animal world and humans.
Hemp Seed Meal is a great source of protein, energy, fibre, essential amino acids, and Omegas, as well as an added boost of vitamins and minerals.
For the performance horse, the anti-inflammatory properties of hemp seeds provide a great advantage, helping to support joints under load. The energy boost is also essential for horses in heavy work.
Thanks to the properties of one of the Omega-6 fatty acids - Gamma Linolenic Acid, that produces anti-inflammatory prostaglandins in the body - hemp seeds are highly anti-inflammatory. These are highly beneficial for horses with conditions such as arthritis, laminitis, digestive issues or skin conditions.
The protein content of hemp seed meal is helpful in assisting horses in need of condition, for pregnant or lactating mares, horses with poorly coat health, and horses in need of added strength in their hooves. Protein promotes the growth of healthy hair and hooves, and assists greatly in the development of new muscle cells which adds to a horse’s condition in conjunction with an effective workout scheme.
Fibre & Energy
Hemp Seed Meal has a fairly high fibre content - around 27%. This is comparable with other products on the market such as copra meal (the result of the oil extraction process of coconuts). Fibre is an essential part of the horse's diet for many reasons - the process of fermentation that occurs in the horse's hindgut to digest fibre is what creates their energy. A large portion of the horse's digestive system is designed for fibre breakdown.
The oils available in hemp seed meal help to maintain coat health and condition. Hemp Seed Oil itself is a fantastic addition to a horse’s diet, and hemp seed meal naturally contains around 15% oil.
Another great benefit of feeding hemp seed meal to your horse is the lowered feeding rates in comparison to other products available. As little as 100g a day (roughly 1 cup) can help to maintain a horse’s condition, keep its fibre levels up and provide a cool source of energy. For a horse with a higher energy demand or who’s body is in need of some extra TLC, up to 1kg of hemp seed meal can be added to their feed - in comparison with some other energy sources available that recommend adding up to 4kg of feed.
So the next time someone asks you one of the age old questions: “What can I feed to my horse to do XYZ?” - consider hemp seed meal as a natural, healthy alternative.