Decomplexicating Equine Nutrition: The High Fat Diet, by Geoff Tucker DVM

The Safe Fats and Oils

There are two rules of thumb about fats and oils. The first is that the more saturated the fat is, the less inflammatory it is. The second is that the shorter the fatty acid chain is (as in short chain, medium chain and long chain fatty acids), the better it is. Unfortunately, these rules of fats are made for humans. We can only assume and extrapolate for horses. There are some important reasons why there is a lack of good information in feeding horses. One is that there is little independent research on this subject. By independent I mean that there isn’t an agenda or a company behind the research. The second is a little subtler. Let me explain.

Can we really compare the horse of today with one from 1000 or 10,000 years ago? More importantly, if we could find ancient horses untouched by humans and test them for nutrition, how would this compare with your horse living today? If your horse is kept in a stall, competes somewhere every weekend, lives in FL for the winter and 1500 miles away for the summer, is fed grain and carrots or is not fed them – how can all of these variables be considered when determining what to feed a horse that only grazed naturally thousands of years ago?

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Geoff Tucker

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