- Best Trait = Source of DHA and EPA fatty acids
- Worst Trait = oils are messy and the feeding directions are vague
Consider this product if…
- Your horse is exposed to higher than average levels of stress (i.e. regular competition, frequent changes in environment, regular trailering, high level of performance)
- You have not seen anti-inflammatory or immune boosting benefits from flaxseed or flaxseed based oils
- Your horse does not have regular access to green grass
- Your horse suffers from severe allergies and requires immune support
Why review this product?
I often recommend a source of omega-3 fatty acids for horses that do not have access to daily green grass due to their anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. The vast majority of omega-3 products on the market will contain a blend of seed oils such as flax, rice bran, canola oil, coconut oil and more. However, more and more products are emerging with palatable marine based ingredients such as fish oils and algae. KER’s EO3 product came up as I was exploring the marine based sources.
The Actual Review in 5 Parts
Company Information & Communication
Kentucky Equine Research based out of Versaille, Kentucky has a long standing reputation for research based, progressive products. My own connotation with the company is mostly positive including the rich research history of Dr. Joe Pagan and well rounded equine nutrition educational materials. They are one of the few feed/supplement product companies that maintain their own research facility which shows a long standing commitment to the industry. Though there are obvious disadvantages to private company research, I generally trust their science.
A representative responded within 24 hours with answers to my questions which I found thoughtful and straightforward. They offered a trial of their product which I took as I was very curious about the mint flavoring that they used. They suggested that I start at 0.5 ounce per day dose and increase over several days to
Directions for use indicate 1-2 ounces (30-60ml) per day. We have to assume, since KER is focused on race horses, that this recommendation is based on an average 1,100 lb thoroughbred in intense work. A company representative suggested that I start at 0.5 ounce per day dose and increase over several days to the 2 ounce dose, but I’m not 100% sure why. Perhaps palatability issues? As this product gains in popularity, the company should consider expanding the directions for use to include horses of smaller and larger size, various work loads, and consider any special needs. Due to the lack of detail, I’m going to give this product 3 stars for Feeding Directions.
The ingredients list is very simple; fish oil and mixed tocopherols. The fish oil is produced from Menhaden species which is the norm. The product is mixed with alpha-tocopherols as a necessary preservative (sources of Vitamin E), and they are using a mint flavoring which I find interesting.
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Companies are required to quantify oils with percentages which isn’t useful to us until we convert that percentage to milligrams per serving. The company has nicely done that for us guaranteeing 6,750 milligrams of combined DHA and EPA in one ounce (30 ml) serving. Though this number is slightly higher than the standard 5,000 mg per day recommended by research, it is a bit lower than other fish oil supplements recommended dose. I give KER EO3 3 stars for Guaranteed Analysis.
I often like to give supplement companies the benefit of the doubt on cost by purchasing larger volumes, thereby lowering the daily cost. I chose the 1 gallon (128 serving) size on their own website which indicated I would pay $114.95 plus $14.95 to get it to me in Montana at the lowest cost. That means if I fed this product at the minimum 1 ounce dose, I’d pay $1.01 per day to use and $2.02 for the 2 ounce dose. That’s frankly not too bad considering the average range of supplement costs, proven value of omega-3 in horse diets, and compared to other similar fish oil based products on the market.
You can get this product from SmartPak for slightly cheaper- $109.95 per gallon- and shipping is free. This brings the 1 ounce dose down to $0.86 per day.
Back to Basics Alternatives
Kentucky Equine Research EO3 is a good options when you are determined to add a very high quality omega-3 supplement to your horse’s hay based diet. Before starting this supplement, write down the exact measurable, realistic goal(s) that you are trying to accomplish. Give this product 90 days and journal any changes that you see related to those goals to ensure that the product actually works and doesn’t just cost you $367-$737 per year to make your feed smell pretty.