Horses are one of the oldest domesticated animals. For thousands of years horses have been useful companions in many cultures to our benefit. They are incredibly versatile, used for racing, showjumping, campdrafting, eventing, hunting, police work, stock work and more. Mostly, horses are beautiful companion animals and probably the largest pet most of us are likely to own.
A Horse’s Natural Diet
Horses are natural grazing animals, and like to eat little and often. Horses naturally consume lots of fibre in the form of grasses and hay. A horse will naturally graze on herbs and vegetables to supplement their diet with salts, vitamins and minerals. It follows that when horses are hand fed we must mimic their instinctive grazing behaviour and intake. This means feeding often or ad-libitum to satisfy a horse’s long digestive system and feeding a balanced diet depending on it’s requirements. A racehorse and a pony club faithful’s diet will vary enormously, but clean, quality fibre or roughage is the main element common to all horses.
Good Diet and Exercise
Not many horses have the luxury of natural pasture grazing all year round. We need to step in and supplement a horses diet with quality feed to maintain condition, and sometimes limit their condition. We’ve all heard that good diet and exercise is the key to good health – it’s the same with horses. Unfortunately we don’t always have time to give horses the exercise they need. Diet should always be a priority and varied to suit a horse’s condition.
Hemp is a Complete Food.
Hemp is regarded as one of those “herbs” mentioned earlier to supplement a horses natural diet. Like horses, hemp was domesticated very early in our past, and also like horses, hemp has been essential to mankind’s everyday needs. Hemp truly is a superfood which meets many dietary requirements we need for healthy living. Hemp is fairly handy – it’s the strongest plant fibre in existence. Think of hemp rope, clothing, mats and sails.
Hemp is generally considered a complete food. Hemp contains the full profile of amino acids, including all essential amino acids, and has high digestibility. The most outstanding dietary feature of hemp is its omegas 3, 6 and 9. In humans and horses, the ideal ratio of omega 6 to 3 is 3:1, which matches the ratio of these elements in our bodies. A balanced diet must contain omegas 6 and 3 fatty acids for good health.
A Natural Remedy for Inflammation.
One of the rare plants known to contain gamma-linolenic acids (GLA’s) is hemp seed. GLA’s are natural anti-inflammatory compounds which help to sooth arthritis and joint pain in horses. Horses with itchy skin or a dull coat can benefit from hemp in their diet. Humans benefit with healthy skin and nails by taking hemp seed oil regularly, horses benefit with healthy skin and hooves. We have seen some incredible results in older horses with restricted mobility after supplementing hemp seed oil daily.
How to Feed Hemp
Depending on your horse’s needs, hemp can be fed in different ways to meet fibre, oil and protein requirements. Hemp Horse is a 100% hemp blend with higher protein and oil content for building condition and for repair and recovery. Hemp Horse is especially good for older horses with arthritis. Husks and Hearts is almost 60% fibre, excellent for gut health whilst still providing the nutritional benefits of hemp for overall health. Hemp oil for horses is 100% cold pressed hemp seed oil for a shiny coat, healthy skin and a good dose of anti-inflammatories. All of our hemp products for horses are very palatable and easy to mix with feed.