Aren't commercial horse feeds and many supplements already omega-balanced?
- No. The manufactured feeds most horses receive today contain an exorbitant amount of omega-6 (found in vegetable oils) and minimal omega-3. This is because omega-6 oils are stable and inexpensive, while omega-3 oils are more expensive and easily go rancid when exposed to air, making it difficult to include them in commercial feeds. Left unbalanced, this preponderance of omega-6 will create the worst problems, from extraordinary spookiness and attitude problems, to weak hooves, infertility, breathing and joint problems.
On the supplement side, quite a few are labeled as "omega-balanced" with a blend of omega-3 and omega-6. If these were sole food sources, they'd be very helpful. As it is, the best they usually do is not add to the problem, but they don't fix the overall imbalance in the diet. Picture a teeter-totter, with a heavy kid (omega-6) anchoring one end on the ground and a light kid (omega-3) sky-high on the other end. Now picture adding a light kid to each end of the teeter totter (a "balanced" omega-3 and omega-6 supplement), you've still failed to bring the board into balance. In short, you cannot correct an imbalance with balance, you can correct it only by adding just what you're missing: pure omega-3.