Lumiere provides your horse with an herbivore-friendly source of essential alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3), plus digestive support for horses on hay or grain rations. ALA is essential for the moderation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, which are found in abundance in grain-based feeds and oils. Lumiere’s flax is stabilised to prevent oxidation of beneficial fatty acids.
Does my horse require ALA supplementation?
While horses on a purely-pasture diet will likely be obtaining adequate ALA, so may not require supplementation, even a grain-free diet of hay still has some requirement for ALA, as the ALA found in fresh pasture is rapidly degraded in the drying and storage of fodder.
Wholeground, stabilised flax seed vs flax seed oil:
Wholegrain flax is approximately 41% fat, 20% protein and 28% fibre. While flax oil is good for providing the fat component of flax seeds, these little bundles of goodness have so much more to offer than just their healthy fats!
Feeding whole ground flax means that you are also providing your horse with:
Amino Acids – Flax seeds are an excellent source of amino acids, for muscle growth and tissue repair.
Lignins – Anti-inflammatory compounds which also play a role in apoptosis (programmed cell death), making them a focus of cancer research.
Soluble Fibre – A mucilagenous gel which is a prebiotic (food for beneficial gut microbes), and is beneficial for the regulation of blood sugars, helping to avoid sugar spikes and related behavioural issues, as well as the early onset of metabolic disorders. Soluble fibre can help pick up sand to prevent sand colic, and will help to soften dry, hard stools.
Insoluble Fibre – Promotes regularity and stool bulk.
Antioxidants – Prevent oxidative damage to healthy tissues and improve blood quality.
Raw, Wholeground Stabilised Flax vs Cooked or Soaked Flax:
Though full of goodness, the flax seed sports a tough outer seedcoat, which isn’t easily broken down by digestion. Cooking can help to soften the seedcoat, however, besides being labourious, it can also break down beneficial nutrients. Grinding fresh, raw flax seeds makes all of the internal goodness of the flax seed readily available. But is it safe?
For a while, raw flax seed was widely considered unsafe to feed to horses (or anybody!) due to the production of hydrogen cyanide as raw flax mixes with water (or saliva). The good news is, equine digestive acid halts the enzymatic reaction responsible for creating toxic cyanides. So, as long as you aren’t leaving flax to soak for extended periods of time prior to feeding, there is no saftey risk.
Another concern when feeding raw flax is that the seeds begin to oxidise rapidly after milling, destroying the valuable fatty acids. For this reason, grinding flax fresh right before you feed is the most common recommendation, and if you have the time and equipment, it makes for an economical way to feed your horse flax. To address the oxidation issue, we stabilise our freshly-milled flax, to ensure your horse is receiving all the healthy benefits of fresh ground flax, whilst saving you the work of having to grind fresh seed for every meal. So, if the daily grind is not for you, Lumiere may be your ideal solution.
Recommended Usage Rates:
Your horse’s requirement for ALA will vary depending on other dietary factors. As a general rule, we suggest anywhere from 20-60g of Lumiere per 100kg bodyweight. For a 500kg horse this equates to 100-300g of Lumiere daily, fed in one feed or split between AM & PM feeds.