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oil vs. flaxseed

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    oil vs. flaxseed

    Okay, so one of my boarders (TB gelding) was on NutraFlax for a year but his owner decided to switch to corn oil for the lubricating qualities. His coat already looked good but now it SHINES. I mean, like you can see your reflection in it. I'm wondering if its the amount of oil (I just drizzle some over his feed) vs. the amount of flax seed (3 oz.) or if the oil is more easily digested and utilized by the body???

    I'm asking because I have a TB/Clyde who gets 3 oz. of NutraFlax + 2 cups of BOSS a day and he still gets dry skin over the winter. Coupled with the fact that the omega-6s in the BOSS are not in balance, I'm already going to discontinue the BOSS and was wondering if I should switch to the oil (instead of the flax seed) as well to get that SHINE. If so, corn oil is obviously not the way to go as far as the omegas, so can anyone suggest a good oil product? Is the Coccosoya properly balanced or should I just go for flax seed oil?
    JB-Infinity Farm

    Originally posted by spotmenow View Post
    Is the Coccosoya properly balanced or should I just go for flax seed oil?
    Flax oil is very expensive in the amounts needed for a horse. I'd up the flax to 8oz/day. Use the whole seed and grind and feed fresh. Add to that a couple of ozs of Coccosoya to balance the omegas.


      I second grinding the flax daily, as once ground it goes rancid fast. I use a coffee grinder. I admit though I only feed flax in the early spring, seems to make shedding faster and the new coats are gorgeous! Inky blacks, metalic chestnuts, blood liver bays. Also about mid summer start again for a month to get rid of the bleached out look.

      But grinding it makes a difference, it's absorbed rather than passed through.
      I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

      Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


        No need to grind flax. Really

        I agree with upping it to a cup.

        A couple of oz of Cocosoya isn't going to balance anything. The soybean oil part of is has Omega 3 but also O6. I don't think coconut oil is particularly high in O3. I can only find reference to its lauric acid content, which seems to be converted into things that act similarly to O3? Not clear on that.

        So no, adding cocosoy oil really doesn't balance anything afaik
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          Feeding oil for "lubricating qualities"? I'm scared to ask what that means.

          Oil is 100% fat. Flaxseed is a little less than 20% fat, IIRC. Not sure about sunflower seeds, but probably close to the same as flax.

          So if you want simply fat, feed oil. IMO "imbalances" of omega-3 and omega-6 are way more hype than relevance.

          Flax is fine, you don't need to grind it. But if you are wanting the same fat amount as a cup of oil, feed 5 cups of flax.

          Nutrition really is not as complicated as manufacturers of supplements try to make us think.
          Click here before you buy.


            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
            But if you are wanting the same fat amount as a cup of oil, feed 5 cups of flax.
            Flax has an imabalanced calcium to phosphorous ratio, so you shouldn't feed more than about a cup a day. Totally agree that you don't need to grind it, though.

            To the OP: I fed this horse 1/2 cup of unground flaxseed and a few ounces of Cocosoya oil in his AM & PM feeds (and that pic was taken after just a quick brush-down, no bath or ShowSheen).
            Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!


              Original Poster

              Originally posted by deltawave View Post
              Feeding oil for "lubricating qualities"? I'm scared to ask what that means.
              Her vet told her it will help prevent impactions from forming in the winter. Just doing what I was told and since the horse is a harder-keeping TB, the extra fat is certainly not going to hurt him.

              Sigh. So it sounds like I would need A LOT of flax seed...never fed whole flax seed so I can't comment on the price of it, but the NutraFlax keeps getting pricier and pricier...what are people's thoughts on plain ol' corn oil?
              JB-Infinity Farm


                The amount of ca or ph in flax isn't enough to unbalance anything. If it tips the horse over the edge, he was already very unbalanced to begin with.

                With the potential for flax in high quantities to mess with the thyroid, there's no way I'd feed 5 cups of it
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  Original Poster

                  Originally posted by Frizzle View Post

                  To the OP: I fed this horse 1/2 cup of unground flaxseed and a few ounces of Cocosoya oil in his AM & PM feeds (and that pic was taken after just a quick brush-down, no bath or ShowSheen).
                  Yup that's the shine I'm after
                  JB-Infinity Farm


                    Five cups of something is NOT going to mess with any mineral ratios, nor (IMO) the function of the thyroid. Taken in the context of the tens of pounds of food a horse eats a day, a cup or five of anything is unlikely to upset the apple cart.

                    Too much mythology out there!
                    Click here before you buy.


                      Deltawave, you're in my wheelhouse. So many people are duped into expensive additives and supplements that result in glorified poop, in my opinion. Could sell those turds for megabucks.

                      My 5 y.o. TB gelding gets nothing special (other than lots of beautiful hay put up by a local farmer), and is gleaming now, in the dead of winter.


                        You know, maybe that's why my labrador is so dang healthy--she eats a LOT of horse turds. Of course mine are decidedly NON-glorified, since my horses get virtually no supplements, so there goes that theory . . .
                        Click here before you buy.


                          Whole flax seed is dirt cheap. I buy a 50lb. bag for about $35.00. It feeds three horses for about 6 months. It doesn't go rancid as long as it is still in seed form. I grind it...but after reading here about so many who don't, I might try just feeding it straight.

                          If your local feed store does not carry it, check out a bird store. Bird stores usually sell it in smaller quantities and it is pricier, but usually they will sell you a 50lb bag if they have the stock.

                          And you can't beat the shine factor. I started feeding it because I have 2 horses with horrible skin/fly allergies. The vet recommended I feed flax to help and it has done wonders.



                            This is a dumb question but why grind it before feeding? Won't the horse naturally grind it as they eat with their molars and accomplish the same thing? Or once it's in belly ground vs. unground - won't the tummy process the nutrients out the same way? Please explain grinding theory 'cause I'm curious!


                              I looked at my post again re: "lots of high quality, locally grown hay", which is true, but he also gets high fat 12% protein sweet feed along with about a cup of whole flax seed at night. He is gradually putting on weight which has been a challenge because he was a rather gawky, ribby looking fella when he came to me after a year on the track AND he's probably grown at least a hand since I first took him in.

                              Before he returns to the track (after more than a year of R and R), I want him in great weight and would be happy if I could get him a bit portly before he commences training again. Fortunately, he loves his food and has not once turned his nose up at anything. I don't know what he's like when he's in race training, but I can at the very least control his training and feeding regimen to keep him optimally conditioned and as happy as possible.

                              I didn't think that flax needed to be ground and appreciate the say-so from some of my favorite COTHers!


                                Stupid question, but why not feed "STABILIZED" ground flax seed? I've been doing it for a long time . . . Yo don't have to grind it and it won't go rancid.
                                RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                                "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


                                  Grinding and feeding it ground (stabilzed or not, whatever suits the situation) is perfectly fine, but it does not NEED to be ground. Probably there is somehwat better availability of the oils when it is ground, but the difference is unlikely to be huge, so it really just depends on preference.

                                  Like to putter around and play mad scientist, mixing and grinding things every day? Go ahead and grind it, it's perfectly fine. Prefer ground but need it to last longer? Get the stabilized stuff or maybe keep it in the fridge/freezer to preserve it. Like to minimize fuss and handling and buy in bulk? Feed it whole and accept the fact that you may have to feed a little more to see the same effect. There's no "wrong" way to do it.

                                  I was also under the impression that the term "stabilized" had to do with balancing the mineral ratios? Or maybe that's rice bran, I'm not sure--I don't wring my hands over minerals too much.
                                  Click here before you buy.


                                    The Nutra-Flax that the OP is feeding is heat stabilized, ground, and has a corrected calcium to phosphorus ratio.

                                    You could easily up the flax intake to two full cups, and get nice results.

                                    I don't think that corn oil has any "lubricating" qualities (not like the mineral oil that is sometimes used in promoting defecation). Corn oil is digestible, mineral oil is not. Thus mineral oil enters the intestines as undigested oil that makes everything slip along--not to get too graphic or anything.
                                    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                                      I tried not grinding my flax last spring feeding a cup a day as usual and it really didnt do anything for my 5 horses. When I fed it ground, it made them GLOW when they shed out. Im back to grinding again this year to make sure its digested thoroughly this spring.

                                      The seeds are small and the hulls very hard. If the horse eats fast or has less that stellar chewing ability, he will pass many of and small whole flax seeds through and only get a fraction of the benefit of ground flax since many will pass through undigested. The hull does not get penetrated unless the horse's teeth actually chew it.

                                      Also, I found alot of the small seeds stuck to the feed bowls with horse spit the horses couldnt get ahold of to eat due to the size of the tiny seed. I think the combo of it all together just make them miss too much of the nutrition from the seeds. Call me crazy but im grinding. Sure doesnt hurt lol.


                                        We've had excellent results with both OmegaHorseshine and Cocosoya oil. My horse glowed so much on OHS that the whole barn converted to it.