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Re: [RC] Flax seed - Susan Garlinghouse

Since you're not feeding a lot of flax, I'm okay with you continuing to feed
it during ride weekend, especially if the horses like it and it therefore
makes their mash more tasty for them.  The same goes for any other
fat-containing feeds, like a moderate amount of rice bran.  I just don't
suggest outright adding fat during ride weekends, such as liquid oil or any
of the dry fats.

There's even possibly a school of thought that flax seed might be a little
helpful in 'keeping the mail moving' as it were.  The oil within flax is
linseed oil and in larger quantities can be used as a cathartic---a nice way
of saying don't stand behind the horse within five feet when he raises his
tail.  That's not going to happen with a cup or two of flax seed, but who
knows, there may be a slight laxative quality to be gained.  If that is
true, then a handful of flax might be a good thing for horses that tend to
have dehydration issues during ride weekend, but probably would not be such
a good idea for the stressed out types that tend to blow with stress-colitis
and diarrhea (the ones that have dirty legs even before the start), even
though those horses are ultimately more at risk of dehydration than most.

BTW, be careful about the changes in diet you make before a ride.  I know
your horses are air ferns, but changes in diet are a big risk factor in
creating a colic situation, so be careful.

As for how much flax to feed for an older horse that needs more weight, you
can easily add several cups a day if you want, although adding in more beet
pulp would add more calories more efficiently.  I usually just add the flax
to the beet pulp as I add water and let it all soften up together.

Hope this helps and thanks for the nice post, Kathy. :-)))

Susan Garlinghouse DVM
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kathy Copeland" <ponyup1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "ridecamp" <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 8:26 AM
Subject: [RC] Flax seed

This is a question for Susan,
We have been using flax seed in our horses diets.  What I need
to know is before an endurance ride do you back off the flax seed and
not feed it starting the nite before the ride like you do grain or do
you continue to feed it? We don't feed that much of it as our horses are
very easy keepers but do get them going on beet pulp, all in one,
handful of grain, and a little flax seed and hay the week before a ride.
They survive well on good pasture and a little beet pulp on ride days
when we ride them hard.   We ride Spanish Mustangs and but do have one
Arab in the group that gets to eat a lot all the time.  This program has
worked well for us.    In the winter of course they are on hay, a good
quality oat or wheat hay.  We do have one mustang in the group with skin
issues and have been feeding her about a cup of flax seed a day to help
with that.  How much flax seed should one feed and elder horse in it's
diet also to help keep weight on ? Thanks in advance and as always you
are the greatest.  The world would not be the same without you!
Team Slow Poke,
Kathy Copeland


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[RC] Flax seed, Kathy Copeland