The everyday uses for hemp and hemp oil are many and versatile. The use of hemp oil to care for horses is one of the lesser-known applications of the cannabis plant.
For centuries, hemp seed oil has been used to care for the hooves of horses. Hemp oil is very effective at preventing chipping and cracking, something that can lead to serious problems if the crack is infected. Hemp seed oil is also used to treat saddles and harnesses; keeping skin supple and resistant to the weather and perspiration. This benefits both horse and rider.
Hemp oil for a horse’s diet is a relative newcomer to the group. As we learn more about the health benefits of adding hemp oil to equine diets, this use is becoming increasingly common. What sets hemp oil apart from the rest? It contains GLA (gamma linolenic acid), which naturally delivers the correct ratio of Omegas 3 to 6. Finding this perfect balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is important because too much of one fatty acid can stop the formation of the other, with potentially negative effects.
“Dietary fats are required to facilitate absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and as a source of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are not synthesized by the body,” says Dr. Jo-Anne Murray. “Using oils in the diet reduces the need for high levels of cereal grains, which are detrimental to gut health, and are ideal for pregnant mares in late gestation with reduced appetite but increased energy requirements.”
Hemp oil for horses is no hype! Evidence suggests that many horses on high grain diets, with joint problems, dull coats or allergic skin conditions, are likely to benefit from a supplement of optimally balanced Omega oils, as found in hemp. If you would like to give your horse a superfood that can ease joint pain and inflammation, support cardiovascular health, reduce muscle glycogen depletion and fatigue, improve the condition of his skin, coat, hooves, and tail, and act as a digestive aid – then look no further than hemp.
Hemp’s traditional use as a healthy, beneficial oil dates back to the Ming Dynasty. And the best part of all is that horses love the taste of hemp. Don’t be surprised if you hear them nickering as you prepare their feed pails!