Hemp Seed for Horses

Hemp and Hemp Oil for the Horses

Hemp for horses – an old crop also in the horse feeding interesting. The hemp is one of the oldest crops, which was cultivated by humans and found late in the feeding of horses. In Persia and China, hemp has been used as a grain approx. 12,000 years ago. At that time, the oily hemp seed served as food and the fibers were used to make clothes. The Chinese also discovered that paper can be made from the hemp fibers. In medicine, hemp was already 2737 BC. First attention. The Chinese emperor Shen Nung (2732 – 2697 BC) wrote in a medical paper about the effect of hemp as a remedy and pointed out that it can be useful for malaria, rheumatism and many other “ailments” The oldest finds from the Tübingen area date back to around 5,500 years ago, and the Greeks and Egyptians have documented that in 200 AD, clothing was often made from hemp, and the intoxicating effect of hemp leaves in pastry was very high at the time The hemp had its wedding between the 1st century BC until the second half of the 19th century, during which time it was one of the crops most widely cultivated, with the leaves used to cover wounds in war wounds and hemp was then used against gout and absenteeism.

Hemp today – a useful and fodder plant for horses?

Today, the qualities of hemp are increasingly valued again. Even though most people often only know hemp in connection with hash or marijuana, hemp can do much more than just infuse the senses.

Basically there are different plant species. Namely the THC-poor and THC-rich hemp. THC is the abbreviation for tetra-hydro-cannabinol and is the psychoactive substance of the medicinal plant. This substance is the basis for the drug preparations, which are not only hallucinogenic but are now being used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, gout, rheumatism or cancer. From the here cultivated Nutzhanf, which is THC-free, no intoxicants can be manufactured It can be manufactured insulating and insulation materials and it forms the basis for many textile and paper products. The hemp fiber as such is very elastic, tear-resistant and durable. Also for cosmetic products and as food hemp or hemp seed is excellent. Meanwhile, with the help of hemp about 50,000 products from various production areas can be produced. This shows how versatile the hemp is. The hemp plant itself is less suitable as a fodder plant, as the hemp remains (shives) are less eaten by horses. Therefore, these are sold as horse litter.

In fiber production, the so-called shives remain as residue. These are particularly suitable because of their high absorbency, pest resistance and good compostability as litter for horses. They are usually also free of toxins and pesticides, as they are rarely needed in cultivation.

Dusted or pelleted, hemp for horses is a good alternative to frequently contaminated straw. However, the higher price compared to straw or flax straw discourages many horse owners from using hemp as litter.

Hemp seeds or hemp oil – how important is this oilseed for the horse?

The hemp seed is a seed that is brown to blackish gray. The diameter is about 3 to 4 mm. The hemp seed contains many nutrients. Nutritionally, the hemp seed is one of the highest quality oil fruits.

Hemp oil for the horse – healthy fatty acids and vital substances.

As food, the hemp seed can be used raw or roasted. Horses are fed the hemp seed or hemp oil. Again, this is usually the so-called Speishanfsamen, which is available unpeeled or peeled. Horses can not easily unlock the hard skin of the hemp seed, so it should be soaked in warm water for a good hour. The seed itself does not have cyanogenic glycosides like other oilseeds (flax seed, grape seed, etc.), which could be converted into cyanic acid (hydrocyanic acid) by hydrolysis. Unpeeled, the seed is very firm. The peeled hemp seed is very soft and has a nutty and tart spicy aroma.

The hemp oil for horses is particularly rich in unsaturated fatty acids and therefore interesting as an additive for the feed ration of horses.

Hemp for horses – Why feed hemp oil?

When feeding hemp seed or hemp oil, the high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids is an interesting aspect.

A study by the University of Edinburgh in Scotland has reported the use of hemp oil and hemp components. In particular, the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – the polyunsaturated fatty acids – are discussed and particularly emphasized which crucial role they play in the metabolism of horses.

Here are the results of this study in a summary:

Deficiencies in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids supply can lead to the following problems:

Reduced growth




Bad wound healing

Especially in horses that are on a diet, a balanced ratio between the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is very important. If too much of a fatty acid (especially omega-6) is present, it can inhibit the other fatty acids and create an even greater imbalance. Horses whose feed ration contains a high proportion of cereals or a high proportion of corn or soybean oil often have an excess of omega-6 fatty acids. Too much omega-6 fatty acids can negatively affect the cardiovascular system and promote inflammation. If omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are present in a balanced state, they have a positive effect on the following areas:

Cardiovascular system


Neurological system


The use of fats or oils is very effective for the metabolism of horses. They can be used at an increased energy demand and replace starchy cereals.

Feeding oil instead of grain (not only for hemp oil in horses but also for many other native oils):

the energy efficiency

an improved performance

quieter behavior

an improved health

In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids play an important role, they act:


harmonize the respiratory tract

calm nervous horses

have a positive effect on fertility and fetal development

improve the semen characteristics in stallions

What speaks for the feeding of hemp oil in horses

Hemp oil is cold pressed and produced under a temperature of below 38 degrees. In horse feeding less frequently oils are used that have been chemically refined or processed in any way. (Most horse oils on the market are cold pressed.)

Compared with other oils used in horse feeding, hemp oil contains:

Not the highest number of polyunsaturated fatty acids – as claimed, as the thistle, sunflower or e.g. Grapeseed oil can keep up here.

A very low content of saturated fat.

An optimal ratio between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids (only three times as much Omega-6 as Omega 3) is attributed here to the hemp oil. Basically an oil in an already good ratio. However, with omega-6 fatty acids predominating throughout the diet, the “independent” sides recommend oils with the highest possible level of omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, here is the fish, or linseed oil from the perspective of a high omega-3 ratio always better.

Hemp oil has a high content of vitamin E and beta-carotene compared to linseed oil. Hemp oil can score points with the horse. Unfortunately, there are again minus points in the digestibility of the oil.

Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

High levels of linolenic acid and stearic acid

Table oils (grams per 100 grams) versus hemp oil in the horse:

linseed oil

Sunflower oil

hemp oil

Saturated fatty acids




Polyunsaturated fatty acids




Monounsaturated fatty acids




linoleic acid












stearic acid




Omega 6 (linoleic acid)




Omega 3




Omega 6: Omega 3




According to the study initially cited, hemp oil has the best conditions for supporting the metabolism of horses on diet. Here it becomes clear that although this study emphasizes the advantages of unsaturated fatty acids in the beginning, it does not deal in any way with the overall ration of the horses.

Hemp oil for horses – an oil for horses, but not the “savior” among the oils

Hemp oil is tastier unlike other oils

Hemp oil is good energy supplier for horses

Hemp oil contains a high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to other oils.


On every page of the internet you will find a lot of promising statements for every oil on the promotion of equine health. Also the native ingredients of the hemp oil or the hemp seed should be an effective and vitalizing supplement for the horses. If one compares the hemp seed or the hemp oil with the properties of linseed, black cumin, chia, etc., it becomes apparent that all seed producers promote the favor of the horse owners.

Everyone promises that their oil has the special properties to keep horses healthy and healthy. Although it sounds unspectacular, linseed oil is an unbeatably good oil in terms of its omega-3 fatty acids and price. If you want something better, choose a combination of linseed or chia and fish oil or pure fish oil.

Those who value the high-quality ingredients of the plants and their seeds, beyond the fatty acids, better feed the seeds themselves and not the oil derived from them. You should not be fooled by the minerals and trace elements contained in the seeds or oils – on the one hand, these can only be absorbed by 15 to 40% and, on the other, a few kilograms would have to be fed to replace a mineral feed. Such amounts would be very dangerous for the horse.

It is also questioned whether the vitamin E contained in the oils can be made available to the metabolism as an antioxidant at all. (This basically applies to all oils)

The hemp oil for the horse is a high-quality and usually also very unloaded oil. Horses like it and the ratio of fatty acids is favorable. Thus, a good supplement that puts many other oils in the shade. Nevertheless, other oils can do more than just keep up and it remains in the consideration of the horse owner where this puts his focus in the feeding of his horse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *