The objective of this study was to evaluate the supplementation of linseed as an omega-3 fatty acid supplier on the functional capacity of jumping horses. 6 horses disposed in two 3 x 3 balanced Latin squares were used. The treatments consisted of increasing levels of linseed mixed with flour and linseed oil in a ratio of 75:25, respectively, resulting in 0g (control), 60g and 120g on a daily basis per horse. The horses were supplemented for 30 days. Physical activity was jumping at riding class level. The functional parameters measured were lameness index, stride length and joint metacarpophalangeal (MCP) biometry (circumference and flexion angle). A significant linseed supplementation effect for doses of 60 and 120g was observed on the lameness index. Feeding 120g of linseed increased stride length while trotting (P<0.05). An increment of 0.5cm on MCP circumference was found in horses that received the control diet when compared to those horses that consumed 120g of linseed. Thus, supplementation of jumping horses with 120g/day of linseed promoted greater stride length at a trot and reduced swelling in the metacarpophalangeal joint, improving their functional capabilities.
equine; joint metacarpophalangeal; omega-3 fatty acid; stride length