Available translations

When does it make sense to feed oil to a horse?

Tanja Dietz


3 Min. Lesezeit

Nowadays, it is usually more of a problem that horses are oversupplied energetically, while at the same time they are offered too little structured raw fibre, rather than not being able to meet their energy needs. Therefore, oils play a rather subordinate role in horse feeding. Nevertheless, there are situations or reasons why it can make sense to feed the horse oil. 

Secure a free feed sample of Equine 74 Gastric and help your horse to buffer  excess stomach acid, so it feels well again.


Many horses are able to cover their energy and nutrient requirements by eating enough hay and mineral feed. If this is not the case and the horse has an energy deficiency, mainly cereal-rich concentrated feed is fed. Since less saliva is produced to buffer the stomach pH by eating cereals than by eating hay and additional acid is produced in the digestive tract by the decomposition of cereals by intestinal bacteria (intestinal flora), the pH value drops, which leads to irritation of the mucous membranes in the stomach and intestines.

What are the consequences for the horse's stomach? 


The consequences are mucosal lesions and ulcers. Oil, on the other hand, can be used for horses that are sensitive to feeding concentrates, as this provides energy, but at the same time does not increase acid production due to breakdown in the gut.

Which oil can I use when feeding my horse?

Of course, the digestibility and the omega-3 fatty acid content of the oil should be taken into account. Linseed oil and fish oil are particularly suitable, although the acceptance of fish oil is often not so high due to its taste. Palm oil, for example, is less suitable for horses because it has a high melting point and is therefore more difficult to digest. Likewise, olive oil is not suitable either, as it has a high content of omega-6 fatty acids, since the content in food is often relatively high anyway and these have been linked to inflammatory processes in various studies. 


Restrictions on the feeding of oil 


Oil should not be fed in unlimited amounts. In general, it can be said that a value of 1 mg per kg body mass and day should not be exceeded, as otherwise the small intestine digestibility is exceeded and consequently oil enters the large intestine. As a result, the cellulose-cleaving microbes are impaired, which reduces fibre digestibility and ultimately leads to an imbalance in the intestinal flora.

The best oils for feeding horses

  1. linseed oil

Linseed oil, like many other vegetable oils, is becoming increasingly popular with horse owners. It is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and not only a good supplier of energy, but is also said to have an anti-inflammatory effect. 


  1. fish oil

Like linseed oil, fish oil contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. However, horses prefer the latter, purely on the basis of smell. Feeding fish oil can support the stomach lining, have an anti-inflammatory effect in the joints and respiratory tract, stimulate the metabolism and also strengthen the immune system.

  1. black cumin oil

Pure black cumin oil is a "must have" of many equine pharmacies in the stable. It has been proven to help horses with lung problems.


  1. milk thistle oil

Milk thistle oil addresses the liver and has a detoxifying effect. This helps the horse to cope better with medication, for example. 


  1. rice germ oil

Rice germ oil is often fed in training phases to build up muscles. But be careful: When feeding rice germ oil and other rice products, national and international doping regulations must be observed.

Equine 74 Gastric

The long-term solution

Buffers the excess acid in the horse's stomach instead of blocking it.

Equine 74 Stomach Calm Relax

In case of acute stress

Supports the nervous horse stomach in stressful situations.