Coconut oil for horses, you won't send your horse coco-NUTS!
If I could recommend a product to anyone it would be COCONUT OIL. Not just coconut oil but the coconut itself! It is such a versatile seed that starts from the fruit of a tropical palm tree. I have used coconut products in my life for a long time and there are probably a few in your house right now. From your canned coconut cream/milk in the cupboard for curries to the desiccated coconut in your baking, coconuts can be used in so many different ways. I consume coconut daily as a primary fat source. For me, the high saturated fats in coconut supply my energy for the day. I like to use fat as my main energy source rather than glucose/sugar. Another way that I use coconuts is through it's oil. I put it in cooking, mostly baking because coconut oil has a high smoke point. It is extremely hydrating for the skin, as well as being anti-microbial and anti-fungal, I like to moisturise and lather my skin in it daily. Combining the liquid coconut oil with essential oils is also amazing, it is a great carrier oil and boosts the health benefits of the essential oils themselves. Why not get two benefits for the price of one!
I could talk all day about how I use it and the benefits of coconut oil but I have shortened it down to a list for you!
- Hair care (growth, increase hair proteins, hydrating, healing damaged hair)
- Skin care (moisturising, dry skin, psoriasis, dermatitis, wrinkles, aging)
- Weight loss (appetite, cravings, increases metabolic rate, easily digested)
- Immunity (supports immune system, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral)
- Digestion (helps with the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids)
- Dental Care (oil pulling removes toxins from the body and improves oral hygeine)
- Prevents Candida
- Healing properties (supports damaged tissues)
- Improves organ health
- Carrier oil for essential oils
- Boosts energy
- Supports bones (calcium absorption)
- Stress relief
So can you see why I LOVE coconut oil!!!
With more and more research being conducted about the health benefits of coconut oil for humans there are also studies looking at whether horses get the same benefits from this magic oil! After researching myself I have found stacks of research on coconut oil being amazing for horses! It still amazes me that a simple seed grown out of a palm tree can add so many benefits to our lives as well as horses. I bet you are wondering how can I incorporate coconut oil into my horse's life. Well, the list is just as big as ours!
Studies have shown that it improves gut health in horses. Being easily digested coconut oil can improve the stomach lining and prevent issues such as acidosis and ulcers. There are components in coconut oil called medium chain triglycerides, these improve digestion and absorption in the stomach compared to long chain triglycerides (found in maize, rice bran and soybean oils). When digested coconut oil can be utilised as energy in the body, allowing the horse to perform better.
We already know that coconut oil increases energy in horses, therefore performance is improved also. One study stated that horses being fed coconut oil performed better and produced less lactate in their muscles compared to those that were not being fed coconut oil. This can be very beneficial for horses that are competing in high performance industries like racing or endurance. Lactate is reduced because the fats in coconut oil are brokedown a lot faster than other fats. Mental focus is also another effect that feeding coconut oil can have on horses, reducing any brain fog up in their tiny brains may help them listen to your aids!
Just like us coconut oil can be used to improve their coat, mane and tail. Hydrating and moisturising their skin can improve their coat and put the shine back if it is dull. Hair growth can also be promoted by putting coconut oil on daily, It can be a good hoof conditioner if your horse is experiencing dry or cracked feet and encourage hoof growth.
Due to coconut containing antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti fungal properties it is great for a variety of medical needs with horses. It can be applied to wounds or used on mud fever. In relation to muscles, feeding coconut oil can also help horses that are prone to tying up (exertional rhabdomyolysis).
Struggling to put weight on your horse. Do you have an older horse and can't seem to be feeding it enough to stay at a healthy weight? Coconut oil is very palatable and high in calories therefore making it a great supplement to put weight on. It is also not going to be a supplement that is going to heat your horse up and make it fizzy to ride. If your horse does not cope with a high grain diet then coconut oil may help. Studies have shown that an element of stress and anxiety can be taken down notch with supplementing coconut oil into their diets.
Overall, coconut oil is AMAZING! I recommend it for personal use and for your horse. If there are any negative side affects or worries(which there shouldn't be!) check in with your local vet to make sure! You can purchase coconut oil in a lot of places such as feed stores and your local supermarket. There are even companies making coconut oil in powder form to make it easier to feed to your horses.
Go nuts with COCONUTS!
R. Kinsella, T. Maher, M.E. Clegg, Coconut oil has less satiating properties than medium chain triglyceride oil, Physiology and Behaviour, October 2017
S. Kim, J.Eun Jang, J. Kim, D. Wong Lee, Y. Lee, S.Y. Song, J.H Lee, Enhanced barrier functions and anti-inflammatory effect of cultured coconut oil on human skin, Food and Chemical Toxicology, August 2017
F. Agyemang-Yeboah, Health Benefits of Coconut, Seeds and Coconut Consumption, Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention, 2011
Coconut Oil for Horses, Website: http://www.savvyhorsewoman.com/2013/06/coconut-oil-for-horses-top-10-uses.html
A new age feeding oil to horses, 2012Website: http://www.stanceequine.com.au/announcements/powerstance-coconut-oil-a-new-age-in-feeding-oil-to-horses
R. Haywood, Coconut oil: How it can help your horse, 2016 Website http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/coconut-oil-541800