Have you ever considered feeding hemp to your horses? Are you curious why hemp for horses is such a hot topic in the equine world?
From at-home remedies to regular use by world-renowned athletes in various equine disciplines, hemp has been used medicinally world-wide for many years. Yet, it’s popularity in the United States has grown substantially since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill which, in essence, recognized that the hemp plant and marijuana plant are not the same things.
Just to put that question at rest before we go any further—your horse will not get high on our hemp seed feed and products for horses.
What will they experience? We’ll get there!
Before we dive into the benefits of hemp for horses, you need to understand an important distinction.
Hemp vs CBD?
Hemp and CBD are not interchangeable terms. And yet often that’s what our customers think when they visit our online or in-person shops.
The real question should be, “hemp vs marijuana.” After that, it is “hemp seed oil vs CBD oil.”
Hemp vs Marijuana
The hemp plant is one variety of the cannabis genus of plants. Another variety is marijuana. They are not the same plant. They are both cannabis.
Hemp Seed Oil vs CBD Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) is non-psychoactive and won’t (cannot) get your horse or you high. Hemp generally has higher levels of CBD while marijuana has higher levels of THC. (THC is what will get you high.)
CBD oil is derived from the greenery portion of the plant, the leaves, and flowers. It can be derived from both hemp and marijuana plants but most often it comes from the hemp plant. This oil contains a higher concentration of the >100 known cannabinoids including cannabidiol or CBD, a compound with an ever-expanding list of benefits.
Meanwhile, hemp seed oil is the food-grade oil that comes from the seeds of the mature female hemp plant. This oil only contains trace amounts of any cannabinoids but it does contain a number of health benefits. The oil itself is low in protein but high in essential fats.
We believe it’s important for you to understand exactly what you’re feeding your horse. Learn more on our Hemp 101 page here.
Why We Love Hemp for Horses
When we say that we feed hemp to our horses (and we do!), we’re talking about our hemp for horses equine products—from pellets to top dressing to ground feed. Unless explicitly labeled CBD Oil, our equine products are manufactured with hemp seed as the or one of the ingredients.
Real health for the horse starts with the basics, right? We have to start with what we’re putting into their bodies.
We believe that’s why the horses that have hemp feed incorporated into their diet experience such transformation—it’s happening from the inside out.
Nutrition and simple, natural care is the foundation to building a Sturdy Horse.
If you’ve been considering incorporating hemp into your horse’s natural care plan, here are some of the benefits your horse will likely experience.
In other words, here are 5 really good reasons we believe you should incorporate hemp into your horse’s diet.
5 Benefits of Hemp for Horses
These benefits are what we have learned and seen first-hand from our trainers, shoers and third-party studies, case studies, as well as results on our own farm.
SLV Hemp, our exclusive manufacturer, was founded in 2014, and does the processing for animal trials for Tarleton and Texas A&M. Why are we telling you this? It is important to us to contribute to establishing standards and furthering the industry in educational environments.
Promote a healthy coat, mane and tail.Do you want a shiny coat and a healthy mane and tail? These are the first visual benefits that come from being healthy from the inside out. Omega-3 fatty acids are largely credited with helping horses with their skin issues due to their anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why you’ll often see supplements and feeds that are touted as high in Omega-3s. That may be, but more times than not they are additives and not included naturally. The beauty of hemp is that its natural profile is high in the essential fatty acids your horse needs for a healthy coat, mane and tail, including the ever-important Omega-3s.
Help with digestion and weight management.Oftentimes, horse owners are feeding what we call “fillers” rather than feed made from real foods. Have you ever checked the ingredients list on your horse’s feed? It’s no wonder they have a hard time staying in a healthy weight range or body condition. On the other hand, your horse’s body knows how to effectively process whole ingredients (real feed), such as hay and hemp seed products because they have naturally available components that are easy to digest. Hemp seeds contain an extremely high-quality protein that is easily digestible. This bodes well for any horse but especially older horses. Check out these horses that have been on The Sturdy Horse feed and experienced the transformation:
Molly the Broodmare's Story
Reduce inflammation in joints.As mentioned above in relation to skin issues, essential fatty acids are a vital part of your horse’s health. That’s why the anti-inflammatory benefits of hemp seed products can also help reduce inflammation in your horse’s joints. Whether it is pain from arthritis or other joint pain, horses can experience reduced pain from inflammation when incorporating hemp feed into their diets. These oils are required to support overall health. Hemp Seed oil contains a very good balance of Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory), Omega 6 (Inflammatory), Omega 9 (Anti-inflammatory) and GLA or Gamma-Linolenic Acid (Anti-inflammatory).
Strengthen horse hooves and bones.While research is continuing to be done about the impact on hooves and bones when incorporating hemp in your horse's care, the stories speak for themselves. Just Be Lena had a toe crack approximately 1/2 inch wide that went through the lamina to the white line and all the way up to the coronet band on the hoof. With the partnership and at the suggestion of her farrier, her owner began using our hemp-based Hoof Care consistently and Just Be Lena is now performing again. It is important to note that Lena did not have any supplemental feed during the repair process. While we do not know why Lena healed so quickly and well other than it is natural oil with no toxic chemicals or petroleum products, our nutritionists and founder believe it is the Amino acids that are supporting hoof health.
See before and pictures of Just Be Lena's hoof here.
Mediate stress in horses.One of the common uses of hemp-based CBD oils is to help calm horses that are in stress or are displaying stress. Because all animals’ bodies that have a vertebra have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), the cannabinoids of CBD oil essentially support or are able to help “turn on” the receptors in the ECS to help reduce the effects of stressful situations. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was not discovered until the 1990’s so research has a long way to go on this subject.
Are you ready to help your horse thrive naturally?