What Is The Best Horse Joint Supplementhow Old Is Too Old To Ride A Horse? (Best solution)

Don’t wait until your horse is severely lame to start a joint supplement. Some changes may be irreversible. Start with a supplement that provides 6,000 to 10,000 milligrams (mg) glucosamine and 1,250 to 5,000 mg chondroitin.

Do horse joint supplements really work?

  • Horse joint supplements work. what‘s heartening is we finally have some formal studies in horses that back this claim up. However, if you’ve tried several different supplements, you’ve probably found that some horse joint supplements work better than others in helping your horse move more comfortably or controlling heat and swelling.

Do senior horses need supplements?

Older horses need more fiber, more concentrated calories and more vitamins and minerals. An older horse is often better off with a diet that consists mostly of hay, a specialized, balanced senior equine feed and vitamin and mineral supplementation.

What supplements for senior horse?

Many equine diets are lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. Older horses benefit from omega-3s because they support lower levels of inflammation throughout the body. A well-balanced omgea-3 fatty acid supplement (Contribute) will help maintain healthier systems so seniors feel better overall.

Should I give my horse joint supplements?

The simple answer is yes, your horse could benefit from a joint supplement! Whether a performance animal or pasture pet, joint supplements help horses feel their best.

What is the best horse supplement for joints?

Best Equine Joint Supplements for Sports Horses

  • Integricare TRI-ACTA H.A. Equine Supplement.
  • Pureform Glucosamine Plus.
  • Cosequin ASU Plus.
  • Absorbine Flex + Max Joint Health Supplement.
  • Equithrive Complete Joint Pellets.
  • Ultra Cruz Equine Wellness Performance Supplement.

Do old horses get skinny?

One of the biggest ways older horses are affected by old age is sudden weight loss. It’s a common fact that horses over the age of 20 often lose the ability to process and absorb enough energy to maintain a healthy weight. Your 20-year-old stallion can quickly turn into a thin, ribby, and less robust version of itself.

Are alfalfa pellets good for horses?

“The biggest benefit of alfalfa for horses is that it tends to be more nutrient-dense than most grasses when harvested at the same stage of maturity,” says Martinson. It typically contains more digestible energy, more crude protein and calcium, and fewer nonstructural carbohydrates (sugars and starches).

Are alfalfa cubes good for older horses?

Alfalfa cubes are an excellent source of nutrition for horses, and can be used for everything from putting weight on a skinny horse, to maintaining weight on a pregnant, nursing, or heavily worked horse, to ensuring an older horse receives the nutrition he needs.

Should I feed my horse beet pulp?

Beet pulp is an excellent ingredient for complete horse feeds, where no hay or a limited amount of hay or pasture is fed, such as feeds for older horses or horses with respiratory problems such as heaves.

Is MSM good for older horses?

MSM is used to relieve joint pain in aging horses and performance horses. It helps maintain healthy connective tissue, cartilage, bones, and hooves. It also supports a healthy skin and coat in horses. MSM is an organic sulfur compound found in fresh alfalfa, and grains.

Are horse supplements a waste of money?

Buying a supplement for your horse doesn’t seem complicated. If you don’t do a bit of research beforehand, you might end up with the wrong supplement for your horse’s needs. That, at best, is a waste of money. At worst it could create nutritional imbalances that adversely affect your horse’s health.

How long does it take for joint supplements to work in horses?

Glucosamine is effective in relieving pain, sometimes in as short a time as 10 to 14 days. Studies have shown that it can slow cartilage breakdown and may encourage healing. An effective dose is 6,000 to 10,000 mg/day. The 10,000 mg dose is usually needed for horses that are being worked.

What supplements are good for arthritis in horses?

In addition, many equine professionals feel that supplements are beneficial to horses with OA. Look for products with ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronan (HA), polysulfated glycosaminoglycans (PSGAGs), methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) and vitamin C.

What can you give a horse for stiff joints?

Start with glucosamine. Add chondroitin or a combination product, if you don’t get adequate results from glucosamine. Try a product with HA (hyaluronic acid) or an herbal, like devil’s claw, for pain and inflammation control, if needed.

Can a horse have too much glucosamine?

What is the correct Glucosamine dosage for horses? Needing enough to be effective, yet not too much for it to go to waste, or worse, be unsafe.

What does boswellia do for horses?

For horses, Boswellia is primarily used to maintain healthy joints, helping to keep movements smooth and comfortable. It has also been found to aid in digestion and support respiratory health; and Boswellia can also be beneficial for horses with laminitis.

Horse Joint Supplements Guide

Horse joint supplements are effective. What’s encouraging is that we now have some official studies in horses to support this assertion, which is a first. In contrast, if you’ve tried a number of various supplements, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that certain horse joint supplements are more effective than others in terms of allowing your horse to move more easily or reducing heat and swelling. One of the reasons for this is the varying quality of the components used in the recipes. An further concern is that some supplements may not contain the ingredients that they claim to have.

Some people may see a significant improvement, while others may notice little or no difference.

Be these substances are referred to as “nutritraceuticals” by the Food and Drug Administration, it is important for consumers to exercise caution when using them.

Furthermore, new components are constantly being introduced.

  • The ideal strategy, on the other hand, is to start by checking labels to ensure that the product you are contemplating includes the required components in the proper quantities.
  • Glucosamine is available in two forms: glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride.
  • A basic building block of all connective tissues, including cartilage, in all living things, glucosamine is found in all forms of life.
  • Some goods may contain “natural sources” of glucosamine, such as the sternum or trachea (windpipe) of cattle, or hydrolyzed collagen from other sources, which are considered to be safe (skin, tendons, ligaments).
  • Glucosamine is helpful in relieving pain, and it can do so in as little as 10 to 14 days in some cases.
  • A safe and effective dosage is between 6,000 and 10,000 mg/day.

Additionally, during the first week or two of any horse’s therapy, known as the “loading” period, a greater dose is suggested in order to accelerate outcomes by introducing a therapeutic amount of the chemical into the horse’s system earlier in the treatment process.

Joint Supplement Combinations for Relief

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin appear to be more effective when taken together than when taken alone. Products that contain the necessary therapeutic doses of each component perform the best when used in combination. It is possible that oral hyaluronic acid (HA) will aid to minimize heat and edema during flare-ups. At a dosage of 20,000 mg/day, MSM is an effective anti-inflammatory when administered orally to animals. A sufficient amount of vitamin C is beneficial for joint health, but too much extra C might be hazardous. Although copper and zinc are vital antioxidants, there is no such thing as a “arthritis mineral.”

Chondroitin sulfate is a key structural component of cartilage, bone, and tough connective tissues such as the whites of the eyes. It is also found in small amounts in other body fluids. The pain-relieving benefits of chondroitin are not as noticeable as those of glucosamine, however some observers have noted that horses on chondroitin appear to move more “fluidly” overall when given the supplement. Chondroitin has had mixed outcomes in formal investigations, with the most significant effect appearing to be the prevention of additional cartilage degradation (see Figure 1).

  1. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two of the most important nutrients for joint health.
  2. Many horse joint supplements now contain a combination of these two components (among other things).
  3. Products may state or suggest that when the components are combined, the dosages can be reduced while still achieving the desired effect.
  4. Some, but by no means all, of these lower-dose products are effective, but there are no rigorous, long-term equine studies that can tell us exactly what is happening in the horse’s joints at this time.
  5. Maintaining the importance of glucosamine and chondroitin in any joint supplementation regimen is important to remember.
  6. Anything you purchase, on the other hand, is likely to have a significantly lengthier list of components.
  7. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a kind of sugar that is found in the body’s fluids.

Glucosamine and chondroitin were being utilized in human arthritis patients before those chemicals made their way to horses.

In the 1970s, hyaluronic acid was introduced as an injectable medication for the first time.

Hyaluronic acid has lately been accessible as an oral supplement, which is a welcome development.

The gel formulations are more expensive, but they appear to provide the most quick and consistent outcomes.

Additionally, hyaluronic acid may be obtained in a number of powdered supplements.

It may be necessary to utilize the whole 100 mg dose, or even more, in other circumstances.

You may get an idea of how your horse may respond by first experimenting with a gel in addition to your usual supplement for a few days to see what happens.

Avocado and soy unsaponifiables are plant lipids that are ordinarily shielded from digestion and absorption in the digestive tract.

Pain, on the other hand, did not appear to be affected by these treatments.

In the medical community, ASU is known as a “chondroprotective” (chondro = cartilage).

It will take time before you see any benefits.

The recommended daily dosage for horses is at least 1,200 mg.

It was discovered in one horse research that a dosage of at least 20,000 mg/day was required to be helpful in horses suffering from hock arthritis.

To determine your horse’s response to MSM, get a pure MSM product and administer it in varied amounts to your horse.

It is collagen that has been purified and also broken down into tiny protein units in order to make digestion and absorption of the collagen more easier and more effective.

Recently, collagen hydrolysates have shown promise in the treatment of wound and ulcer healing, as well as the prevention of osteoarthritis (arthritis).

However, the doses necessary to have this effect in humans have been quite high, and a horse may take as much as 40,000 mg per day to achieve this effect.

CETYL MYRISTOLEATE (CMO): Initially discovered as a substance produced in a strain of mice that was unusually resistant to arthritis, CMO (sometimes marketed under the name Celadrin) has received a mixed response from the medical community.

When coupled with therapeutic doses of other joint support minerals, it has been shown to be more effective; however, no trials have been conducted to evaluate the combination of CMO with glucosamine/chondroitin to only glucosamine and chondroitin alone.

Nutritional Supplement Vitamin C is necessary for the health of cartilage and other connective tissues, although it is not recommended to take more than the recommended amount.

There are no equine studies available at this time.

However, because a horse’s body is capable of creating its own vitamin C, this might be an excessive amount.

While a number of anti-inflammatory herbs are frequently included in horse joint supplements, simply because something is included does not imply that the amount included is sufficient to have any impact.

Despite the fact that the list of herbs is lengthy, below are some of the most regularly used, as well as their likely effective dosages: Devil’s Claw is a kind of claw.

Boswellia-500 mg of the extract per day Manganese Despite the fact that manganese is a trace mineral (meaning that it is required in very tiny levels), it is essential for the metabolism of cartilage.

See also:  Who Was The Last Horse To Win The Triple Crown?

If, on the other hand, your horse’s hay, pasture, and feed are representative of the great majority, he is not only meeting his minimal requirements, but he is also likely receiving far more manganese than he requires.

When it comes to minerals, more is not always better.

Copper and zinc are two of the most abundant metals on the planet.

Many horse diets are high in manganese while being low in copper and zinc, if not completely lacking in these minerals.

To summarize, your horse’s mineral supplements should be chosen in accordance with his entire dietary intake.

A supplement does not ensure that the levels included inside it are appropriate for your horse’s diet, though.

Putting It All Together Don’t wait until your horse is extremely lame before beginning a combined supplementation program for him.

Take a supplement that contains 6,000–10,000 milligrams (mg) of glucosamine and 1,250–5,000 milligrams (mg) of chondroitin to get you started.

Avocado and soy unsaponifiables (ASU) as well as cetylated fatty acids (CMOs/Cela-drin) are both slow-acting substances that have the potential to protect against future cartilage loss.

Joint Supplements for Horses: Waste of Money or Do They Work?

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! Bute has long been used to relieve joint discomfort in our horses. Despite the fact that it can successfully ease the discomfort, it can have negative side effects, some of which include liver injury. In order to avoid the health hazards connected with regular drugs, I’ve lately begun using nutritional supplements as a substitute.

  • The use of joint supplements in horses can help to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and other joint-related disorders, but they are not a solution for the condition.
  • Overwork, age, and heredity all have a role in the development of arthritis and other forms of joint discomfort in horses.
  • Horses.
  • Naturally, we all want the best for them in terms of health.
  • As a horse matures, time and use may take their toll on its body, and its joints are frequently the first to feel the consequences of wear and tear.
  • Please keep in mind that this piece is not intended to be a medical recommendation; rather, I am providing a general overview of joint supplements for horses.
Brand Price Prime Buy
Cox Veterinary Acti Flex Joint Compound Gallon PrimeEligible Buy Now
Bute-Less ComfortRecovery Supplement Pellets, Healthy Inflammatory Response, 5 lb / 80 Day Supply PrimeEligible Buy Now
Majesty’s Flex XT Wafers – Superior Horse / Equine Joint Support With Increased Supplement Levels – Glucosamine, MSM, Yucca, Vitamin C – 30 Count (1 Month Supply) PrimeEligible Buy Now
Formula 707 Joint 6in1 Equine Supplement, Daily Fresh Packs – Support for Joint Integrity and Inflammatory Response in Horses – Green-Lipped Mussel, MSM, Glucosamine, ChondroitinCollagen PrimeEligible Buy Now
Absorbine Bute-Less ComfortRecovery Supplement Pellets, Healthy Inflammatory Response, 2 lb / 32 Day Supply PrimeEligible Buy Now
Majesty’s Flex HA Wafers – Superior Performance Horse / Equine Joint Support Supplement – HA, Vitamin C, Yucca, Glucosamine – 30 Count (1 Month Supply) Prime Buy Now

Prices were obtained via the Amazon Product Advertising API on the following day:

Do joint supplements for horses really work?

A multi-million-dollar industry in the United States, and there are literally hundreds of over-the-counter horse joint care supplements available; you can purchase them on the Internet or at any tack and feed store. However, many individuals are skeptical about their usefulness. Some research suggests that joint supplements may be beneficial for horses suffering from arthritis, but it is uncertain if they are effective for other objectives such as injury prevention or performance enhancement.

What do horse joint supplements contain?

All joint supplements for horses are made up of three essential elements.

  • The amino acids chondroitin and glucosamine, as well as MSM (Methyl-sulfonyl-methane), are all beneficial.

Scientists have discovered that as horses age, the manufacturing of chondroitin and glucosamine slows down, leading to joint pain and inflammation. It has been hypothesized that feeding supplements containing these components might decrease inflammation and delay the wear and tear of cartilage in animals.

MSM is a sulfur-containing molecule that has the same exact aim as glucosamine: it helps to slow down the wear and tear of cartilage, increase mobility, and reduce discomfort in order to improve the overall quality of life for your horse’s life span.

So, do horse joint supplements work?

While horse joint supplements are widely used, there is still a lot of controversy about their effectiveness in equine veterinary circles; some veterinarians have had success with certain medications, while others are opposed to their use at all. Horses have a significantly different digestive track than humans, which makes it difficult to adapt joint supplement research to equines because of their diverse intestinal tract. However, despite the fact that some human-specific supplements appear to be useful in general, there hasn’t been enough study conducted specifically on horses to give us a definitive answer one way or another.

To summarize

  • It is unlikely that your horse’s performance would increase much as a result of providing joint supplements to him. Even yet, several horse owners have experienced a minor improvement in mobility, range of motion, and overall quality of life in their horses suffering from degenerative joint disease after administering certain joint supplements to their animals
  • Many owners continue to provide joint supplements in the hopes that it may slow down the wear of cartilage
  • However, this is not always the case. Horse joint supplements are used by some horse owners as a preventative treatment to fight against degenerative joint disease in their horses. Despite this, there have been no scientific studies conducted to demonstrate that supplements are useful in preventing joint deterioration.

So what is the best joint supplement for older horses?

I’ve tried a variety of joint supplements in a variety of formats, including liquid, powder, and wafers. I haven’t discovered a type that is significantly superior to another. A great deal depends on your horses and how they ingest and react to the supplement in question. Different substances are included in the finest joint supplement for elderly horses in order to maintain cartilage, connective tissue, and joints. Glucosamine sulfate along with chondroitin sulfate, MSM, and vitamin C are some of the most important components to search for.

  1. So, which joint supplement is the most effective for elderly horses?
  2. Acti Flex Cox Veterinary Lab Joint Compound is my preferred liquid joint supplement, while Manna Pro Rapid Flex is my preferred powder joint supplement.
  3. Majesty’s Flex wafers are a popular choice for a variety of reasons, including the following: First and foremost, it contains the “holy trinity” of joint-supporting ingredients: MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
  4. It also contains Yucca extracts, which are a potent anti-inflammatory plant that can help horses suffering from degenerative joint disease lessen their pain and inflammation.
  5. Third, and perhaps most crucially, these wafer-based supplements are simple to give, allowing even owners of numerous horses to simply separate feed the horses who are most in need of the supplements from the other horses.

The wafers help to prevent waste, which is something you see a lot of with other food additive supplements.


  • Extremely little wastage
  • Each horse receives one wafer, which may be blended with their particular feed. Protects and restores cartilage that has been injured. Joint mobility has been improved. It also has a positive effect on the hair, skin, and coat.


  • Some horses would not eat it because they were finicky
  • Because of the molasses and cornmeal, a few horses developed a great deal of anxious energy while traveling with them. Changes in pricing

What is the best anti-inflammatory for horses?

The Absorbine ButeLess Support for Inflammatory Response is a product that we endorse. The key constituents of Absorbine Bute-Less pellets include Devil’s Claw, Yucca, and Vitamin B12, among other things. Horses benefit from them because they give significant inflammatory alleviation without being hard on their tummies. Even lame horses or horses suffering from founder/laminitis were able to show indications of recovery after only a week of supplementation with this product! Bute instruction is recommended for horse owners to keep on available in case their horse becomes injured and they need to give it promptly.


  • Not recommended for pregnant mares or horses suffering from ulcers (asdevil’s claw may worsen sores)

How long do joint supplements take to work?

When it comes to horse joint supplements, the amount of time it takes for benefits to appear varies from supplement to supplement. This is mostly owing to the fact that their constituents are different. I had an elderly horse that developed stiffness and discomfort in her stifle joint, which I had to put down. She never recovered sufficiently to be able to ride, but she did improve and began moving about more freely after around six weeks on supplements. Most horse owners also discover that certain supplements are significantly more effective than others in terms of lowering discomfort and enhancing mobility.

  1. In general, any horse joint supplement you choose must have the three substances listed above since these compounds perform better together than they do individually.
  2. You may also seek for compounds such as collagen, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, as well as herbs such as devil’s claw and yucca.
  3. If you use it consistently for at least one month, you may notice a significant reduction in the ‘cricking’ sound made by your horse’s joints!
  4. A strategy that works for one person may not necessarily be effective for another.

Key takeaways: Do joint supplements really work, or are they a waste of money?

Research suggests that the use of MSM in conjunction with other nutrients such as glucosamine and chondroitin as well as Vitamin C and herbs such as Yucca and Devil’s Claw may help to avoid further degeneration of joint and cartilage wear and strain in older horses. Young horses may also benefit from these supplements since they have anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects on their joints. However, because no two supplements are same, careful product selection is required. Apart from that, what works for one horse may not always be effective for another.

Aside from that, further trials and research are required to put an end to the controversy over whether horse joint supplements are effective or if they are simply a waste of money.

FAQs on Horse Joint Supplements

Maintaining a healthy weight in your arthritic horse, evaluating its feet on a regular basis, providing a joint supplement that contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, MSM, and Omega-3 fatty acids, and introducing range of motion exercises into its daily routine are all things you can do to assist.

Should I give my horse joint supplements?

Consult with your veterinarian before administering joint supplements to your horse to confirm that they are safe. For example, you should avoid giving some supplements to pregnant mares and horses suffering from ulcerative colitis since they may include substances that are detrimental to your horses.

Are horse joint supplements a waste of money?

The improper supplements may not give any alleviation to your horse and, even worse, they may induce nutritional imbalances in the animal if you purchase them incorrectly. A waste of money might arise as a result of this!

Joint Supplements for Young Horses

Researchers are investigating the effects of glucosamine and other related supplements on yearlings in order to better understand and treat degenerative joint disease in humans. In an effort to break the vicious cycle of degenerative joint illness, researchers are investigating the effects of glucosamine and other related supplements on yearlings. | Arnd Bronkhorst’s official website Is it possible for dietary supplements such as glucosamine to assist horses avoid developing arthritis? There has been very little study done to determine which components are beneficial to horses and in what amounts.

See also:  What Is Horse Years To Human Years? (Solved)

According to Josie Coverdale, MS, PhD, an associate professor in equine science at Texas A&M University, “This is very intriguing pilot study that may give us a better sense of which food intervention tactics have the greatest promise and which age range of horses may benefit from them the most.” However, she warns that avoiding arthritis will not be simple or achievable by a single measure.

  1. The tension of early training can induce inflammation in joints, particularly in the joints of the legs, which are subjected to the most strain.
  2. A damaging cycle known as degenerative joint disease is triggered as a result of this.
  3. DJD shortens the lifetimes of many horses, and no cure has been discovered to yet.
  4. A model of joint inflammation was developed by the TAMU researchers, which comprised Dr.
  5. The model was developed by Dr.
  6. Lucia.
  7. During this procedure, lipopolysaccharide derived from E.

These results were obtained after using this model to examine the effects of supplementary glucosamine on the performance of a group of fourteen yearling Quarter Horses.

84 days after starting on these diets, each horse was given an injection of LPS into one knee and an injection of sterile fluid into the other knee to serve as a control, respectively.

They discovered that the horses that received glucosamine showed less symptoms of cartilage breakdown in response to inflammation and greater signals of cartilage regeneration than those who did not.

Coverdale is studying for use as an anti-inflammatory feed additive, is also being looked into by the research team.

CLA is no longer included in horse supplements.

According to Dr.

If a comparable sort of research were conducted with horses who were subjected to intense activity in order to induce equivalent inflammation, it would take months and a significant number of horses to produce reproducible findings.” In the latter stages of a study supported by the American Quarter Horse Association, a research group at Texas A&M University is investigating how horses of different ages respond to LPS-induced inflammation.

The long-term objective, according to her, is to identify “a specific window of opportunity, the optimal combination of nutrition and age, in order to get the most beneficial results.” In its original form, this essay appeared in the September 2014 edition of Practical Horseman magazine.

Conditioning Arthritic Horses: Do’s and Don’ts – The Horse

Let’s start with the good news: horses are living longer lives and being active for longer periods of time than they have in the past. This means we can spend more time with and ride on our favorite equine friends, which is a win-win situation. The bad news is that With increasing age, horses—particularly sport horses—begin to suffer from a variety of health problems. One of the most frequent types of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), which may make horse rides painful for both the horse and rider.

We contacted two experts in the field of senior horse care for their recommendations on how to treat horses suffering from osteoarthritis.

AVP (Equine Medicine, Equine Surgery Soft Tissue), MRCVS, a senior veterinary surgeon at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Hapton, Norfolk, United Kingdom, and Karyn Malinowski MS, PhD, professor and founding director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, discuss how to help these horses perform to their maximum potential through exercise, management, and veterinary intervention.

Do:Know Your Foe

Isn’t it only OA, after all? This is the ubiquitous creaking, aching ailment that we all experience in our knees, backs, and other joints as we age. Yes, but it’s critical to comprehend some of its complexity as well as why it may be so difficult to control in horses. As Jarvis explains, “Osteoarthritis is a slowly progressing disease process that affects the horse’s joint, causing damage to the articular cartilage (within it), the bone beneath it, as well as local soft tissue structures,” the joint’s articular cartilage, the bone beneath it, and the soft tissue structures around it.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for arthritis at this time; veterinarians are unable to entirely stop or reverse the effects of the ailment on the body.

“Each horse will have a different perception of the intensity of discomfort,” she explains.

The disease of OA, however, has another aspect that should not be overlooked.

In Malinowski’s opinion, “we know that horses with arthritic joints benefit from mobility and frequent exercise.” So “horse owners should exercise their horses for the duration of the animal’s ability to do so without apparent discomfort.”

Don’t:Assume it’s Only Arthritis

As Jarvis points out, “the incidence of osteoarthritis (OA) is considered to be higher than 50% in horses older than 15 years,” so there’s a big possibility you’ll have to deal with it at some point. Crepitus is a popping, grinding, and crackling sound and feeling that occurs in an afflicted joint that is produced by excess joint fluid. Other classic OA indications include heat, swelling caused by excess joint fluid, lameness/pain, stiffness, deformation caused by bony abnormalities, and heat.

“For example, if a horse is stabled overnight and appears stiff the next day, it may appear sound the next day,” says Jarvis.

Although these clinical indications might be indicative of osteoarthritis, they can also be indicative of various musculoskeletal disorders ranging from soft tissue damage to fracture – some of which have quite different therapy and management regimens than OA.

Do:Embrace Exercise, but Plan Workouts Carefully

However, while it may seem contradictory, keeping an arthritic horse active and exercising is usually preferable to allowing him to develop into an arthritic puff on the pasture. The preservation of muscle mass surrounding the damaged joint aids in stabilizing it, preventing joint laxity (looseness) and aberrant loading, according to Jarvis, which can lead to additional soundness difficulties. However, depending on the degree of the condition, it is necessary to exercise the arthritic horse in situations that would promote lifespan rather than situations that will put him at undue danger for more joint discomfort.

” “Exercise can range from regular walks with a book in hand to a mild hack, but it should always be preceded by a warmup and a cool-down,” says the author.

Allow your horse to take walk breaks whenever necessary, and encourage good movement and balanced gaits.

“Before moving on to higher level maneuvers, such as dressage, reining, or jumping, the horse should be able to move freely,” she explains further.

  • “Concussive road work is detrimental to horses suffering from osteoarthritis, regardless of whether they are shod or unshod,” Jarvis explains. Instead, limit most of your workout to areas with softer ground, such as grassy fields or well-maintained arenas, to avoid injury. Additionally, avoid using slick terrain, which puts horses at risk of sliding or falling. She goes on to say that for certain arthritic horses, it may be important to restrict activity to flatter terrain because hills can put a large amount of stress on joints. OA horses can be jarred by sharp twists and quick starts and stops, according to Jarvis, so be steady in your requests during work. Malinowski recommends that you consider other workouts if necessary. “Swimming is fantastic!” you could say. The horse is given the opportunity to move without suffering the concussion of falling on an arthritic leg.” Finally, set reasonable goals for yourself in terms of physical activity and understand that osteoarthritis will worsen over time. In Malinowski’s opinion, an arthritic horse can progress to the point where it is no longer able to do higher-level motions or jumps without experiencing difficulty.

“Once osteoarthritis has progressed to a more advanced stage, merely pottering around on a level, (even-footed) paddock is beneficial for the older horse,” says Jarvis.

Do:Work With Your Veterinarian to Provide Appropriate Support

Unsurprisingly, the therapy that is most appropriate for a given horse is dependent on a variety of circumstances, according to Jarvis. In terms of treatment choices, she notes, “they will vary depending on how many joints are impacted by OA, the severity of the condition, any concomitant conditions, and, of course, economic constraints.” When only one or two joints are afflicted by OA, intra-articular drugs (such as corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid) can be used to support the joint or directly reduce inflammation, she says.

  • The use of systemic oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as phenylbutazone (Bute) or firocoxib, is sometimes recommended by veterinarians when the arthritis is more extensive (Equioxx).
  • Do not alter the dose or frequency of administration without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • A gastric support medication may be prescribed if your veterinarian suggests a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID) in order to assist decrease the drug’s effects on the stomach lining.
  • Independent clinical trials on supplements are increasingly being done by supplement producers, despite the fact that they have not always have evidence to back up their claims.

Don’t:Forget About Ice

Horse researchers are continually discovering new information about horses, as well as about how to care for and manage them. While some of these studies call into question what we’ve been doing for decades (such as rotational deworming), other data demonstrate that these age-old approaches have a role in modern-day horse care. Ice is one of those more recent things to consider. Ice is a general aid in the reduction of inflammation, whether it’s muscular or skeletal in nature, according to Malinowski.

Don’t:Overlook Hoof Care

Proper foot care is essential in ensuring that arthritic horses remain sound and comfortable when under the saddle. It is critical that the feet are properly balanced in order to guarantee appropriate weight distribution across the joints, according to Dr. Jarvis. As a result, long toes and collapsed heels place undue strain on the joints, ligaments, and tendons, necessitating regular trims. Regular trims can also reduce breakover (the way the horse’s heel lifts off the ground and rotates over the toe during movement), thereby promoting soundness in the long run.

Your veterinarian and farrier may even propose customized shoeing for your horse in order to decrease the impact on his joints.

Do:Keep Your Horse at a Healthy Weight

What exactly does diet have to do with osteoarthritis? A great deal. In addition, “an overweight horse will have difficulty with excessive loading through the joints, and obesity is usually associated with various inflammatory and degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis (OA) in humans and other species,” including horses, according to Dr. Jarvis. Maintaining your horse’s weight and body condition at an appropriate level (ideally 4 to 6 on the 1-to-9 Henneke scoring scale) is especially important if he is still performing more technical or strenuous work.

Don’t: Work Your Horse During Flare-Ups

When your horse is having a flare-up, Jarvis advises you to “keep your horse moving,” he adds. Equine athletes who have afflicted joints may have a flare-up “after playing in the pasture or slipping,” resulting in “a swollen joint and evident lameness,” according to the author. “It is important to address these flare-ups as soon as possible since the inflammation ultimately causes more damage to the joint.” Fever flare-ups may be treated with joint injections and/or anti-inflammatory drugs; always consult with your veterinarian before administering any medications.

Take-Home Message

The ridden or even competitive career of a horse does not have to come to an end just because of an OA diagnosis. Keeping him healthy, happy, and comfortable may just necessitate a bit extra thought and effort on your part. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action, schedule your workouts carefully, and employ management strategies to keep your joints in good working order. And, most importantly, “keep the horse moving on a regular basis,” advises Malinowski.

What’s in Your Horse’s Joint Supplement? – The Horse

Is it possible to identify one of the most prevalent reasons for lameness in horses? Osteoarthritis (OA) is the condition in question, and you are correct. Even though it is widespread, osteoarthritis (OA) is an incurable illness, and once it manifests itself in a joint, there is no turning back. Knowing this may prompt you to race over to the supplement aisle of your local feed or tack store, only to be confronted with an overflow of oral joint supplements, each label boasting its potential to prevent or reduce the growth of osteoarthritis (OA) progression.

See also:  What Does A White Horse Represent? (Solution found)

So, which oral joint components have been studied especially in horses and have had published results?

GlucosamineChondroitin Sulfate

Glucosamine is an amino monosaccharide (a kind of sugar) (sugar attached to the amino acid glutamine). As a glycosaminoglycan (GAG), chondroitin sulfate is an essential component of articular cartilage, which serves as a cushion between the bones of the joints.

Mode of Action

Both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are anti-inflammatory and nutritional supplements that assist to preserve and nourish joints.

Glucosamine is a precursor of GAGs, such as chondroitin sulfate, which it chemically changes into as a result of this transformation. Chondroitin sulfate increases the resilience of articular cartilage to compression.


Researchers have carried out several in vitro (in the laboratory, on tissue samples) experiments to better understand the method of action of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate at the cellular level, either alone or in combination with other compounds. It should be noted that, in contrast to in vivo investigations conducted on real animals, these trials do not exactly replicate the circumstances seen in nature. One involved corticosteroid joint injections, which veterinarians routinely use to enhance joint health in order to prevent joint degeneration.

When cartilage was exposed to a corticosteroid, researchers at the University of Illinois discovered that glucosamine helped prevent proteoglycan synthesis, according to Byron et al.

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) discovered in 2003 that glucosamine reduced the expression of genes for matrix metalloproteinases (enzymes responsible for cell degradation) in articular cartilage from horse cadaver limbs, indicating that it may be beneficial in protecting joint cartilage from degradation.

They came to the conclusion that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (GC) might help attenuate part of the inflammatory response following joint stress after cultivating cartilage using a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (GC) (Harlan et al., 2012).

Prior to commencing on the supplement, the horses had an average of 1.7 joint injections each year at intervals of 6.8 months.

Rodgers did point out that it takes six to eight months of constant usage of a GC supplement before you begin to notice effects.

During Murray State University in Kentucky, researchers analyzed horses’ arthritic pain after 150 days of oral GC supplementation and discovered that it did, subjectively, lessen overall discomfort at a walk and trot and after bending an arthritic joint, according to the findings of their study.


Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organosulfur chemical that occurs naturally in the environment and belongs to the same family as dimethyl sulfoxide, which is more widely known as DMSO.

At ambient temperature, it appears as a white powder, whereas DMSO appears as a liquid.

Mode of Action

Although little is known about the mechanism of action of MSM, experts believe it has a function in the creation of glutathione (an intracellular antioxidant that is crucial in avoiding cell damage).


Researchers at the University of Madrid in Spain evaluated 20 show jumpers who were actively competing in order to determine whether or not oral MSM supplementation could reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress (basically, this is what happens when the horse “burns” energy and a few unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals, which have an unpaired electron, are formed). Because of the unpaired electron, they react quickly with other molecules, causing damage to them as well as to cell walls.

Horses that received MSM for seven days before to competing showed lower levels of exercise-related markers of oxidative stress and greater levels of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase in all blood plasma samples examined during a 35-day period.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that is present in joint cartilage as well as the lubricating synovial fluid (joint capsule).

Mode of Action

Synovial fluid contains a significant amount of hyaluronic acid. Each chondrocyte (cartilage cell) in articular cartilage is coated with hyaluronic acid, which provides the cartilage with its shock-absorbing qualities.


The researchers prescribed a 30-day postoperative treatment with an oral gel that contained either hyaluronant or not to 48 Thoroughbred yearlings who had undergone arthroscopic hock surgery to remove osteochondritis dissecans lesions in a 2006 study. They used an oral gel that contained either hyaluronant or not. The yearlings who received the HA therapy had less joint swelling than the yearlings who received the gel without the HA treatment. Veterinary researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU) recently conducted an in vitro study in which they cultivated synovial cells with HA for 24 hours before challenging them with the pro-inflammatory chemical lipopolysaccharide to trigger an immune response.


Resveratrol is a phytonutrient that is generated by plants, such as grapes, in reaction to damage or infection.

Mode of Action

When administered to humans and other mammals, resveratrol has antioxidant, anti-apoptotic (prevents cell death), and anti-inflammatory properties.


Resveratrol, according to the findings of the study, reduced cartilage disintegration in laboratory animals suffering from artificially caused osteoarthritis. The effects of a resveratrol supplement on horses with naturally occurring hind-limb lameness that was limited to the lower hock joints were investigated by scientists at Texas A M University in order to explore this hypothesis.

They discovered that horses that consumed the supplement for four months after receiving intra-articular corticosteroid injections in the lower hock joints were much less lame, both clinically and subjectively, than horses who consumed a placebo supplement over the same period (Watts et al., 2016).

Fish Oil

Oily fish such as mackerel and herring are sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Mode of Action

It is well recognized that the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are contained in fish oil, have anti-inflammatory and collagen-stimulating characteristics, and that fish oil can help to reduce inflammation and promote collagen production.


In research conducted at Colorado State University (CSU) in 2011, Trinette Jones, PhD, who is now an assistant professor at Tarleton State University in Texas, discovered that horses receiving the omega-3 supplement had lower gene expression of the aggrecanase ADAMTS-4 eight hours after inducing synovitis (inflammation of the synovial membrane). As Jones explains, “Aggrecanases (protein-degrading enzymes) are involved in the breakdown of proteoglycans in articular cartilage, and (their) activity has been demonstrated to be enhanced during osteoarthritis in horses.” As a result, decreasing the activity of ADAMTS-4 during inflammation may be beneficial in protecting joint cartilage, according to her.

Jones, on the other hand, points out that “we only assessed gene expression, not protein expression.” Further research is required to evaluate whether or whether oral supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids has an effect on the concentration of aggrecanases.

Green-Lipped Mussel

The green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) of New Zealand is a big mollusc that is particularly well-adapted to its environment.

Mode of Action

Green-lipped mussel extract is another source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that is naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids. Despite the fact that the particular mechanism of action of the extract is unknown, experts believe it to have anti-inflammatory qualities.


It has been demonstrated that oral supplementation with marine-derived DHA and EPA can reduce joint inflammation while simultaneously improving lameness grade, hind-limb flexion reflexes, and ease of movement. An oral green-lipped mussel extract administered orally for 56 days to horses diagnosed with fetlock lameness showed substantial reductions in lameness severity, better joint flexion test responses, and decreased joint discomfort in a research conducted in 2012.

Avocado Soy Unsaponifiables

A blend of unsaponifiable oils derived from avocados and soybeans is used to make this product.

Mode of Action

Avocado soy unsaponifiables (ASU) are a kind of unsaponifiable that helps to prevent cartilage deterioration and aids in cartilage healing by increasing collagen formation.


Researchers at Colorado State University inflicted osteoarthritis in the knee joints of 16 horses.

Half of the participants took the ASU orally in molasses, while the other half took molasses alone as a placebo. The ASU had no effect on symptoms of discomfort or lameness, but it did minimize articular cartilage degradation and boost GAG production, which was beneficial (Kawcak et al., 2007).

Combinations of Ingredients

There are also a few studies that have been conducted on a combination of joint support substances. GC, MSM, DHA, and EPA were shown to lower lameness grade and enhance ease of movement in horses that were rode, groundworked, or exercised at pasture in a recent study published by the Animal Health Trust in England (Murray et al., 2016). Using the synovial cells from the OSU study stated above, researchers noticed considerable reduction of inflammatory markers when they cultivated them with a combination of HA and GC and then subjected them to lipopolysaccharide, as opposed to when they cultured them with just the HA alone (Kilborne et al., 2017).

Summary of Oral Joint Supplement Research Findings in Horses

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate Protects proteoglycan production Inhibits gene expression of a proteinase responsible for cell breakdown Reduces inflammation Might reduce frequency of joint injections Reduces arthritic pain
MSM N/A Reduces blood markers for oxidation and inflammation
PUFAs N/A Reduce inflammation Reduce lameness severity and joint pain Improve ease of movement
Hyaluronic Acid Protects synovial cell viability Reduces inflammation Reduces joint swelling
Avocado Soy Unsaponifiables N/A Increase GAG production Reduce articular cartilage erosion
Resveratrol Prevents cartilage breakdown Reduces inflammation Reduces lameness severity

Practical Applications

In summary, there has only been a small amount of published research on oral joint supplements and their effects on horses. What would nutritionists and veterinarians recommend as a combined support strategy, given the limited quantity of scientific evidence available? Oral supplements must be taken on a regular basis in order to be effective. Oral supplements may not be the ideal option for horse owners who do not visit their horses on a daily basis or who do not have services available at their barn to administer feedings.

  • Joint supplements, despite the fact that they are categorized as nutraceuticals, are nonetheless pharmaceutical substances.
  • “The importance of consulting with your veterinarian is crucial.” The elements in a joint supplement that will be the most helpful for a particular horse will vary from horse to horse.
  • The inflammation process, according to him, is a complicated physiologic event that is coordinated by literally hundreds of chemical mediators.
  • In addition, several joint supplements have anti-inflammatory affinities for distinct inflammatory mediators, which makes them particularly useful.

“It all boils down to how well each horse performs.” Jones says that when it comes to polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), “there is substantial evidence in other species and limited information available in horses that support the anti-inflammatory properties of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA,” and that “supplementation is necessary to obtain the highest concentrations possible for the horse.” Because of their known anti-inflammatory qualities, including them into a joint supplement may be useful.” The bottom result, according to Miller, is that including a joint supplement into a horse’s feed regimen early in life is considerably more advantageous than introducing a joint supplement after the horse begins to exhibit indications of distress.

This is due to the fact that research has shown that these sorts of medications are far more effective at preventing joint issues than they are at treating them after they have occurred.

Always get supplements from a trustworthy supplier to avoid side effects and toxicity.

If you continue to use the site, we will assume that you are in agreement with this policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.