Your Horse Through Rose(hip)-tinted Glasses

Give Your Horse's Diet A Natural Boost With Rosehips

I guess we should have been tipped off by the way our horses seek out these pretty red and tangy fruits by the side of the road. Who knew? They did. Obviously.

Rosehip has been used as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant for hundreds of years. However, it is only in recent times that its value in the treatment of animals has been explored by us humans.

Rosehip has been shown helpful in very practical ways in the lives of horses:

  • swelling and heat in limbs
  • clicky joints
  • hoof abscesses and sensitivity
  • unhealthy gut
  • dull coats and manes

and more. To understand why, we have to dig a bit into the actual mechanics of action of this magical fruit.

Rosehip As An Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation is a natural response to trauma or infection in the body and is needed for healing to take place. However, often times the inflammatory response overreacts and actually harms the healthy tissue in the surrounding areas. That is where anti-inflammatories have a role to play.

Rosehip contains an active agent, galactolipids, that calms down this inflammatory response by attaching itself to the rescue-type inflammation cells rushing to the situation. In way of illustration, you may say that this extra baggage makes the inflammation carriers too big to pass through the window of the burning building, thereby effectively controlling the inflammatory response.

Not only do these galactolipids fight inflammation, they also actively offer cartilage protection, which is of course even more valuable as our horses grow older and start to show signs of arthritis. This study by researchers in Switzerland can shed more light on this phenomenon.

Rosehip As An Antioxidant For Your Horse

Every day your horse’s body comes under attack from potentially dangerous molecules called ‘free radicals’. There is no foul play here. Free radicals are created in the normal bodily processes of producing energy and fighting infection. This being said, these little rascals multiply exponentially whenever the body needs more energy, i.e. during exercise, or after injury. They can also increase when your horse gets ill, are exposed to molds and pollens, pollutants or even excess radiation from the sun.

Which is exactly when rosehip’s antioxidative properties saves the day!

Being high in vitamin C, rosehip acts as free radical scavengers, neutralizing these molecules to prevent them from causing oxidative stress and damage to the body.

About The Author
This is a guest post by Maxie Heppell, Head of Business Development: Europe at Elite Equine (email: