Nutritional Effects on Horses

Healthy Horse Guard Horse- Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed, 13 year old Quarter Horse owned by Ty Johnson

The Impact of Nutrition and Feeding Practices on Horses

Synopsis: Selenium is an essential trace mineral that serves as an antioxidant, and aids in both immune function as well as thyroid hormone metabolism. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of Se depletion and repletion on whole blood Se concentrations and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (RBC GSH- Px) activity.

Summary: Read more about the details on Dr. Kelsey’s doctoral research in her dissertation. She fed horses Northwest hay without selenium supplementation for four months, and then added selenium supplementation for four additional months. During the depletion and repletion she monitored the status of selenium in horses. She found that by the end of depletion, horses were close to clinically selenium deficient, and that four months of selenium supplementation was not enough time to get the horses back to adequate selenium levels. This drives home the point that it is critical to continuously supplement your horse to ensure optimal health.

Synopsis: A completely randomized design experiment was conducted to examine the effects of cranberry seed oil, flaxseed meal, and soybean oil on plasma eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), alpha – linolenic acid (ALA), and sum fatty acid concentrations in horses.

Summary: Read more about the details of Dr. Kelsey’s masters research in her thesis. She fed horses cranberry seed oil, flaxseed meal, and soybean oil, and monitored Essential Fatty Acids in blood. Her results were inconclusive on the benefits of feeding feeds high in Omega-3’s.


For more information visit our other nutrition pages:

The Critical Mineral Selenium

Why Do Horses Need Selenium

Horse Guard Funds Selenium Research

How much to Selenium in other Feeds and Supplements

Frequently Asked Questions

Nutritionist’s Blog