SubscribeGift a Sub
Enable cache 100
Horse Care

January 2020 SmartPak SmartTip of the Month: Omega 3-Omega 6 Balance

Photo by Gina Cioli

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are both essential to your horse’s diet because they support everything from individual cellular health to your horse’s overall wellbeing. Though your horse needs both types, maintaining the correct omega 3 and omega 6 balance between the two is critical. Because omega 3s support an anti-inflammatory response and omega 6s support a pro-inflammatory response, it’s generally recommended that your horse have two to four times more omega 3s than omega 6s.



Unfortunately, the typical diet of a modern horse can make achieving that omega 3 and omega 6 balance challenging. Fresh grass contains omega 3 fatty acids, but most horse owners turn to hay because year-round quality pasture is hard to come by or because their horses are easy keepers who can’t be on pasture. In addition, many horse owners feed grain because it’s considered a traditional horse feed or to provide extra calories.



This can be problematic because, as you can see from the omega 3 to omega 6 ratios of common feedstuffs listed below, the combination of a low-pasture, high-grain diet can lead to an imbalance in the omega 3/omega 6 ratio that sets the horse up for a chronic state of inflammation.

  • Fresh Grass: 5 omega 3s to 1 omega 6
  • Hay: 0 omega 3s to 0 omega 6s
  • Commercial (Fortified) Grain: 1 omega 3 to 8 omega 6s
  • Corn Oil: 1 omega 3 to 84 omega 6s
  • Flaxseed: 4 omega 3s to 1 omega 6 (ideal ratio!)
  • Fish Oil: ALL omega 3s

Add More Omega 3s to Your Horse’s Diet

A daily supplement like SmartOmega 3 & E Ultra is an easy way to provide high levels of omega 3s from flaxseed and fish oil so your horse’s good health can shine through. For more information, visit www.smartpakequine.com/ps/smartomega-3-and-e-ultra-14436.

Read more tips from SmartPak.

Horse Illustrated Advertorial

Horse Illustrated’s trusted partners bring readers important information about cool new products, research, and ways to better care for your horse and your horse’s home.

Recent Posts

2024 Paris Olympics: Equestrian Sports’ Close Ties With Paris

The 33rd modern Olympics being hosted by Paris is fitting since the city will host the Games for a third…

7 hours ago

2024 Paris Olympics: Q&A with Adrienne Lyle of the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team

Making her third Olympic appearance for the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team, Adrienne Lyle will arrive in Paris with two new…

2 days ago

2024 Paris Olympics: Latest News

Check out Horse Illustrated's latest updates from the 2024 Paris Olympics on equestrian sports for the three disciplines of dressage,…

2 days ago

Vet Adventures: High-Altitude Rescue, Part 3

Read Vet Adventures: High-Altitude Rescue, Part 1 and Vet Adventures: High-Altitude Rescue, Part 2 for the first two installments of Doreen’s…

3 days ago

BreyerFest 2024: Celebrate with Blue Zeus Limited Edition Figure Model and Clare Staples of Skydog Ranch & Sanctuary

LEXINGTON, KY – BreyerFest 2024, the annual celebration of all things equestrian, will feature an exciting new addition this year:…

4 days ago

2024 Paris Paralympics: US Equestrian Announces U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

LEXINGTON, KY. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations selected to represent the United States as part…

4 days ago