How to choose the best hemp seed product for your horse
All horses can benefit from the protein quality hemp seeds provide. Even if your horse is overweight, improving the protein quality will allow the amino acids in the diet to be used to produce and repair body proteins. If only one source of protein is fed, many amino acids will not be utilized and will instead, be converted to glucose, fat, or burned for energy - all of which are not how protein should be used.
For more discussion on this topic, please read, "Four Directions Amino Acids Can Take - the importance of feeding several protein sources."
Hemp seeds are high in beneficial fats, including essential fatty acids linoleic acid (an omega 6) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA) (an omega 3). They also contain gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is an omega 6 but actually decreases inflammation, unlike too much linoleic acid.
Choose from the following:
All the goodness of 100% organically grown (in Colorado) cold-pressed hemp seed heart oil, offering Gamma Linolenic Acid to reduce inflammation. This is an excellent way to offer your horse more calories needed to weight maintenance, and increased energy needs. Oil from the hemp seed heart (as opposed to the whole seed, like most hemp seed oils) is darker in color and offers a nuttier, more palatable flavor without the bitterness of whole-seed hemp seed oil.
Previously known as "Hempseed Protein Fiber," this product is considered a hemp seed "meal," meaning some of the fat has been removed. Whole hemp seeds, with the hulls, are ground into a fine powder and some of the fat content is extracted, bring it down to only 13% fat. Protein still remains high at 33%. Choose this is you do not want your horse to have as many fat calories but want to offer another protein source to boost the overall protein quality in the diet.
Hemp Seed Hearts - available is organic or non-gmo versions
This is considerably higher in fat than the Hemp Seed Meal since none of the fat has been removed, providing 43% fat with 30% protein. This a beautiful whole food product, just the heart of the seed without the hull, providing high quality protein and full fat , so you horse's protein status as well as additional calorie needs, can be met for exercise, performance, or for the underweight horse. "Hempseed Topping" was a previously similar product that was the whole hemp seed. Hemp seed hearts, without the outer hull, are far more concentrated, so you can feed less of it than the hempseed topping you may be familiar with.