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Feeding Flax Seed, What a difference!
I just wanted to share with you a quick story of our pony, Punkin. She's 13 years old and I had leased her out to a good friend of mine so she could teach her grand daughter how to care for, and ride a horse.
Amost a year later, a big family fued took place, ended badly and I opted to leave our pony with my friends grand daughter because they seemed to love her so.
Many months later, I was out of town when my daughter called me and said....Mom, there's something wrong with Punkin and I think she should come home so I'm bringing her home.
We've had her home for about 6 months now, she looked really rough when we got her back, under weight, incredibly long feet (which I am still working on) and yes...lame.
The lameness turned out to be an abscess, her weight loss due to being kept on an overgrazed pasture with absolutely nothing to eat.
We turned her out with our other horses and slowly her weight came back with good pasture and she started looking better, but not great. I've been working on trimming her feet back and they are also looking better, but still not great.
Over the years I have fed flax seed off and on, both for weight builder and coat/hoof conditioner and in the spring to help my horses shed out quicker.
I happened to take a picture of Punkin just a few days before I started feeding her flax seed and I took a picture yesterday and was a bit shocked when I saw the amazing difference adding flax seed to her diet has made.
I buy it by the 50 pound bag at our co op, it runs almost $50.00 a bag now. A bag lasts me a year with my 4 horses. I choose to grind it up in a coffee bean grinder and this time I'm feeding it with a little bit of soaked beet pulp. I usually feed a cup a day for maintenence, or for weight building I'll feed 2 cups a day.
In just 3 or 3 1/2 weeks Punkin has made a rather signifcant improvement...even with the nicer weather in the second picture, I can't help but see the overall change in her.
Horse owners are always wondering what is the best supplement to feed and for around 10 years I've been using flax seed as my only supplement.
I've seen huge changes in hoof condition, coat quality, after a workout they recover quicker (no really, it's true) I've rescued horses in the past that I put on ground flax and in 30 days time you'd never know that horse was a rack of bones with a dull coat. If you live in an area where sand colic is a potential hazard...try a maintenece diet with a cup of ground flax seed daily. ;)
Horses find it very tasty, they will lick it out of my hand, it's safe to feed, has a long shelf life when kept in a dry place. And for everything I've seen it do for various issues I've had over the years with all types of horses...I find it extremely economical.
wow! She is looking better. Hope she is in tip top shape by spring.
My husband takes flax oil for his gut issues. He wouldn't be without it and I may see about giving some of this to my boys! I love a shiny healthy horse.
I've been feeding it for about 6 months, but honestly don't think I've seen a ton if difference. My mare still seems to have a lot of dandruff, though overall her coat is fairly shiny. She gets 2/3 cup total daily. I'm going to do a nutrition eval with the vet when he comes for spring shots, and the flax issue is one of my big questions, as so many people seem to have had better results than I've noticed.
Glad it's helping your pony though-hope she continues to improve!
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I feed it whole to my horse and other farm critters and have been for years. Mine costs a little bit less than yours but a whole bag lasts about a year and for what it does, that seems like a very small price to pay.
Glad your pony is home and doing better!
What a cute pony pumkin is! I found a new use for flax seed - whole. My haflinger likes to "fuss" w stuff, but not expensive toys. If I throw flax seed an older rubber (not super smooth surface like the new ones), she twiddles with it forever trying to get the seeds. So, it has improved her life. :)
I feed flax seed (2 oz whole per day) but I also feed a high quality ration balancer. My horse's coat is shiny, soft, and dirt brushes off it very easily (VERY important with a "white" horse!) Whether his coat is so nice because of the flax or the RB I couldn't tell you, but I started feeding the flax for the omega-3's. My horse gets hay year round (with some limited grazing in the summer) so he doesn't get as much as a horse who's on fresh grass.
What a lovely pony! I agree with you about the power of that tiny flax seed. I works best when you do what you do and grind it as you need it. Ground flax seed has a very short 'shelf life' and loses its potency quickly. Best to buy whole and grind it as you need it. In the winter, I put flax seeds and water in a slow cooker (lowest setting) and let it cook during the day. The horses have a nice warm top dress for their dinner. It's slimy when cooked, but smells great and the horses love it.
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