Omega-3 and Muscle Development

What is muscle development in horses?

Muscle development plays a crucial role in the overall health and performance of horses. It refers to the growth and strengthening of the muscles, which enables horses to perform various tasks, such as running, jumping, and carrying riders. A well-developed musculature not only enhances a horse’s physical appearance but also contributes to its agility, endurance, and overall athletic ability.

How do horses build muscle?

Horses build muscle through a combination of exercise, nutrition, and genetics. Regular exercise, such as riding, lunging, and turnout, stimulates muscle growth by causing microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. This damage triggers a repair process, during which the muscles rebuild and become stronger.

Adequate nutrition is essential for muscle development, as it provides the necessary building blocks, such as protein and amino acids, for muscle growth. Additionally, genetics play a role in determining a horse’s muscle-building potential, as some breeds are naturally more predisposed to developing muscle mass.

Why is A Balanced Omega Fatty Acid Ratio Important?

The trifecta- fatty acids, athletic endurance and muscle development. Fatty acids merge with cell membranes in all tissues and organs of the body when eaten. That means having a correct balance of these fatty acids is important. The balance determines how they effect the horses body.

Omega-3 contains anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-6 on the flip side is a necessary fatty acid that contains inflammatory properties which are needed for balance. So, a diet with too much Omega-6 can lead to results outside of the expected goal when feeding omega supplements.

Excel Supplements offers a 2:1 ratio of omega- 3 to omega- 6. Our ratio is one of the most balanced found in comparable oils. Such a ratio promotes recovery from exercise, improving athletic endurance.

Do Omega Supplements Support Athletic Endurance in Horses?

Studies have shown that omega-3 can improve athletic endurance. Meaning your horse could withstand a higher work load. When your horse withstands a higher workload it allows for more muscle to develop. This is because you are providing fat as an energy source. Horses are typically dependent on glycogen (a form of sugar storage in liver and muscle) which can deplete quickly. In that case, fat supplementation could allow the horse to exercise for longer periods of time before tiring.

What Are The benefits of Vitamin E For horses muscles?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin (absorbed best when paired with a fat) that acts as an important antioxidant for horses. It helps maintain a healthy immune system. And in this case, it supports normal nerve and muscle function.

Our Excel ProElite differs from our ExcelEQ by offering extra vitamin E to help ease muscle soreness and stiffness in exercising horses. This helps them sustain high levels of activity. Additionally, vitamin E will help muscles recover after exercise which can support athletic performance.

Does Omega-3 Help Grow My Horses Muscles?

Unfortunately, we do not have any proof that there is a direct correlation between omegas and muscle development. However, the numerous benefits it offers to your horses athletic endurance and muscle health allows for you to work your horse more often and longer. Additionally, with the promotion of healthy tissue it allows for your horses muscles to heal faster with a decreased chance of complications.  This could help horses recover quickly from exercise and improve performance. Excel ProElite and EQ’s  ability to support your horses joints and tissue is what allows for you to aid in their muscle growth.

How can horse owners promote muscle development?

There are several strategies that horse owners can employ to promote muscle development in their equine companions:

  1. Regular exercise: Providing horses with a consistent and varied exercise routine is crucial for muscle development. This can include a combination of riding, lunging, and turnout, tailored to the horse’s individual needs and fitness level.
  2. Proper nutrition: Feeding a balanced diet rich in high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals is essential for muscle development. Consultation with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist can help determine the appropriate diet for each horse.
  3. Supplementation: In some cases, dietary supplements may be beneficial in supporting muscle development. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before introducing any supplements to ensure they are safe and appropriate for the horse.
  4. Gradual progression: It is important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise to avoid overexertion and the risk of injury. Gradual progression allows the muscles to adapt and grow stronger over time.
  5. Proper rest and recovery: Allowing horses sufficient rest and recovery time is crucial for muscle development. This includes providing adequate turnout time, regular days off from exercise, and ensuring proper sleep and relaxation.



  1. Nogradi, N. et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Provides an Additional Benefit to a Low-Dust Diet in the Management of Horses with Chronic Lower Airway Inflammatory Disease. J Vet Intern Med. 2015.
  2. Hess, T. and Ross-Jones, T. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in horses. R Bras Zootec. 2014.
  3. Brennan, KM. et al. The effect of dietary microalgae on American Association of Equine Practitioners lameness scores and whole blood cytokine gene expression following a lipopolysaccharide challenge in mature horses. J Anim Sci. 2017.
  4. Oldham, SL. et al. Storage and mobilization of muscle glycogen in exercising horses fed a fat-supplemented diet. J Equine Vet Sci. 1990.

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