Linseed is the seed of the flax plant. It can be seen in many fields across Britain and is easily recognised by its distinctive blue flower.

Linseed can help improve your horse’s coat and condition. Whole linseed and the oil-extracted cake, are both available for feeding horses. The cake is sometimes used in coarse mixes.

This traditional feedstuff fulfils a similar function to soya, sunflower, barley, vegetable oils and milk pellets, and is often found in showing and conditioning feeds.

Beware cyanide

Linseed must be carefully prepared as the raw seeds are poisonous. It must be cooked before feeding because it contains a chemical that, if fed uncooked, liberates the deadly poison cyanide.

Preparing linseed

Soak the raw seeds overnight and then boil vigorously for a few minutes to kill off the poison. Leave to simmer until a jelly forms and then leave to cool. Once cooled, feed immediately or it will turn rancid.