Chia Seeds for Horses – Top 10 Benefits

Chia seeds have seen a huge rise in popularity over the past few years and have even been touted as one of the healthiest foods on the planet, but what about chia seeds for horses?

It turns out that many of the health benefits for humans also apply to horses, and they happen to be a very easy-to-feed, easy-to-store and inexpensive supplement!

Here are 10 great reasons you should consider chia seeds for horses:

Chia Seeds for Horses - Top 10 Uses | Savvy Horsewoman

If you’re curious (or in a hurry):
💲 This specific brand of chia seeds is most popular with my readers.

✅ Benefits of Chia Seeds for Horses

1. Omega 3s

Chia seeds have very high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids (even more than flax and fish oils). They also have an ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s.

If your horse is on pasture only a few hours a day (or less) this is an easy way to add Omega-3s to their diet, which is important for overall health.

2. Hydration

Since they retain 10 times their weight in water, adding soaked seeds to your horse’s diet can keep them hydrated longer and help retain electrolytes.

A great solution for travelling, or in extreme weather conditions when your horse may not be drinking enough (see soaking instructions below).

3. East to Digest

With the seeds being more than 25% soluble fiber (more than flax or oats) it slows down the digestive process and helps reduce spikes in blood sugar.

This is particularly helpful when feeding senior or insulin resistance horses.

4. Calming

Many calming supplements contain magnesium, which chia seeds happen to very high in (approx. 220 mg per 2 oz.).

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It’s also a great source of slow release energy, without the “hot” effect that’s seen with oats and other high sugar feeds.

5. Healthy Skin/Coat/Mane/Hooves

Thanks to the high levels of Omega-3s and essential amino acids,  you’ll be sure to notice a new shine on your horse’s coat and improved hoof growth.

For an added boost to the mane and tail, check out DIY Mane & Tail Growth Serum Recipe for Horses.

6. Allergy Relief

Chia seeds have been used to relieve the symptoms of skin allergies and are believed to help strengthen the immune system.

If your horse is suffering with itchy skin, Chia seeds may provide some relief.

7. Reduce Inflammation

With natural anti-inflammatory proprieties, and without the side effects associated with bute and other drugs, Chia seeds are a good alternative for recovery or maintenance.

As an added bonus, it’s a permitted supplement for use in performance horses by the USEF.

8. Build Muscles

Along with regular exercise, the 18% protein in chia seeds can be a big help in building your horse’s muscles and topline.

Although grains contain some protein, many do not provide an adequate amount on their own making chia seeds a helpful supplement (also see 10 Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies in Horses)

9. Sand Colic Prevention

If you live in a sandy area, you already know the importance of keeping the digestive track clear.

The gel-like substance created when chia seeds are mixed with saliva (or any liquid) help to pass food, sand, and other debris through the guts (see soaking instructions below for added benefits).

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10. Long Shelf Life

Chia seeds can withstand extreme temperatures and have shelf life of 2-5 years.

This makes it convenient and easy to store, unlike many oils and supplements (with the exception of coconut oil of course!).

✅ How to Feed Chia Seeds to Horses

Most sources recommend about 2 oz (1/3 cup) daily for regular maintenance, and up to 4 oz (2/3 cup) during travel, a heavy training schedule or to help treat specific conditions.

Don’t expect to see results right away, it may take several weeks.

Chia seeds can be fed straight to your horse, raw and unprocessed, or mixed with their regular feed. Soaking the seeds prior to feeding is optional, but can increases the digestive benefits.

To soak chia seeds, mix 1/3 cup with 2 cups water and store in the refrigerator overnight, or a minimum of 2-3 hours.

✅ Where to Buy Chia Seeds for Horses

You can find chia seeds at most grocery and health foods stores, but buying it there in large (horse) sized amounts can be quite expensive.

Luckily there are some good bulk buying options online:

Amazon (Bulk Chia Seeds) (free US shipping) – 18 lbs – Prices Vary

Buying Tip:
💲  If you can get it for under $60, grab it. It’s a GREAT deal! Check the current price here.

Equine Chia – Approx. $5.60/lb (free US shipping) – 25 lbs

US Chia – Approx. $6.76/lb (free US shipping) – 50 lb bag

Prices as of Oct 2018, they may change at any time.

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Here’s the quick review of the benefits of Chia Seeds for Horses:

  • Omega 3s
  • Hydration
  • Easy to Digest
  • Calming
  • Healthy Skin/Coat/Hooves
  • Allergy Relief
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Build Muscle
  • Sand Colic Prevention
  • Long Shelf Life

Read the comments below for more FAQs!


  1. GiantsPrincess
    January 27, 2016 / 1:40 am

    I eat Chia seeds on a regular basis for many of the same benefits ~ except the healthy hoofs ;)

    • savvyhorsewoman
      October 26, 2018 / 10:56 am

      Me too!

  2. Anonymous
    February 5, 2016 / 4:11 am

    Can I feed these with my normal fortified feed or should I reconsider what I'm already feeding? Thinking about switching to alfalfa pellets instead of Thrive Feed, which is a "grain free" complete feed. Already supplementing with 2 ounces coconut oil, spirulina, turmeric, apple cidar vinegar and a joint supplement.

    • savvyhorsewoman
      October 26, 2018 / 11:04 am

      You’ll need to check out the nutritional label of the feed, and see what your horse is already getting. I’d pay particular attention the protein levels, as too much can potentially cause health problems. You may find that the fortified feed isn’t really needed anymore!

  3. Pam Zeidman
    February 24, 2016 / 6:14 pm

    I heard about this recently. I've been eating chia seeds for several months now upon the recommendation of my Natural Path doctor. I can certainly see the health benefits for horses. Thanks for reminding me!

    • savvyhorsewoman
      October 26, 2018 / 10:59 am

      you’re welcome :)

  4. Anonymous
    March 15, 2018 / 4:06 am

    Should chia seeds replace grain? I feed soaked beet pulp with rooled oats as a topper. Can I eliminate the grain and feed chia seeds instead?

    • Savvy Horsewoman
      March 15, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      Yes, the chia seeds could replace the grain. You'll just want to make the change gradually, ideally over a few weeks. Or you could just feed a grain/chia mix. Let us know how it goes!

  5. Florencia Vega
    October 3, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Can I pour the chia in the bucket of water? Or is it must be feed dry?

    • savvyhorsewoman
      October 4, 2018 / 9:14 pm

      When chia seeds are soaked in water they turn to a gel-like consistency. You can feed them dry, or soak them prior to feeding (but don’t just leave them in the water bucket!)

  6. October 28, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    This was super informative! With so many benefits, I’m adding Chia seeds to my horse’s feed. Thanks for providing a link so l can get them in horse quantities.

    • savvyhorsewoman
      October 29, 2018 / 9:04 am

      You’re very welcome :)

  7. JMT
    January 11, 2019 / 11:52 pm

    I have been supplementing my horses feed with chia seeds for almost a year. I have seen a huge improvement and can’t say enough good things about it. My minis, who are prone to colic, have had no symptoms whatsoever, the mane and tail growth has been significant and the coat shine is amazing. some of the other boarders think I’m weird for doing this, so it’s great to read this article and get affirmation.

    • Bobbi
      April 27, 2019 / 8:53 am

      We have been feeding chia to our horse for a while now. We soak her feed due to past choking issues and dental problems that the vet keeps tabs on, but we add the chia seeds after. Would it be better if we put the seeds in at the same time the grain is being soaked. Her breakfast is soaked the previous evening due to someone else feeding her for us. Would that make the chia seeds go bad if you say yes to soaking the chia seeds along with the grain. I hope I haven’t confused you with what I’ve written. Thanks

  8. Donna Schroeder
    June 8, 2019 / 2:39 pm 25 pounds for $57.02 bulk black chia seeds

    • Carla Eskelsen
      June 12, 2019 / 12:59 pm

      Thank you, Donna.

    • Carla Eskelsen
      June 12, 2019 / 1:07 pm

      Woh! The shipping would be over $20 to Utah. I’d really have to look at the math on this, and the other options linked on this page.

  9. JMT
    September 1, 2019 / 2:48 am… shipping

  10. carol
    September 19, 2019 / 9:04 pm

    I’ve been feeding chia seeds for a couple of years to my horses. I purchase them in the bulk section at Winco grocery store for $1.98/lb.

    • Jeanette
      May 16, 2020 / 8:58 pm

      My girlfriend was just telling us about the benefits of Chia seeds, and she also got them at Winco for 1.98 / lb. Also could I soak them along with their beet pulp?

  11. Peggy Helie
    February 2, 2020 / 8:23 am

    Hi there, I know this thread is 2 years old now. But I started my mare on Chia seeds, 1/4 per day. She also gets grain, the barn we board at feeds Kalm N Ez as well as Nutrena Empower Rice Bran. The grain contains 14% of Protein, while the Rice Bran contains 22%.
    She was not getting the Bran because the phosphorus contents would be to much.
    She has since been taken off of Chia because she keeps having “soft” stools, she never runs a fever, drinks and eats normal just is lose or soft constantly. She is about to be 15 years this year.

    When I fed the Chia, she was on 6lbs of grain along with 1/4 cup of Chia. She did great for the first few month, underwent a positive transformation in personality, coat and mane seemed to have improved dramatically.
    However, she also became more alert/spooky than normal. She normally was a laid back as they come, could stand tied for 10 mins or 4hrs, now she stands tied quietly only a few minutes before pawing the ground profusely.

    I want to give Chia one try, I read where someone asked if Chia could replace grain completely and the answer was yes.

    How much would one feed daily if one replaces grain with Chia completely?

    She has access to some grazing and is on free choice coastal Bermuda round bale.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated, sorry for the long read. But I wanted to give the whole picture.

    Thank you!

  12. Barbara Beals
    May 18, 2021 / 10:39 am

    You can buy bulk Chia Seeds at Winco by calling Winco and ask for bulk dept. Comes in a 25 pound sack for $1.98/pound minus 5%. They are the Black Chia seed, my horse gets 1/4-1/2 cup per day and has really helped his coat shine and new mane hair coming in. His stools are firm again. All the horses where I board are now on Chia seeds daily.

  13. November 24, 2021 / 5:34 am

    I feed my warmblood mare one third of a mug of micronised linseed daily. Please can you tell me if the chia seeds would be better in any way. I like what I have read so far. Many thanks.

  14. Kim Orr
    January 7, 2022 / 1:01 pm

    Not finding bulk chia seed (Amazon says unavailable without any ETA). Getting expensive to feed. Any ideas?

  15. Catherine
    June 4, 2022 / 2:39 pm

    BioStar has organic chia seed. I’m wondering if anyone has found it anywhere else?

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