Whether your horse already suffers from joint issues or you want to prevent them from occurring, you should consider the nutrients you are feeding your horse. With a whole range of joint supplements on the market for you to add into your horse feed, it can be difficult to know which the best are and what you should be looking out for. Fortunately, we have put together a short guide on the best nutrients for horses’ joint health, so you can be sure that you are providing your horse with the best nutritional support possible.
Glucosamine has brilliant lubricating properties that enables it to act as a shock absorber and cushion your horse’s joints when they are exercised. The joints need to stay hydrated in order to help with free movement and suppleness of the joints. Glucosamine can also help to build cartilage around the tough connective tissue, which protects the joints. In turn, this helps to maintain the condition of the joint, which ultimately helps to slow down the process of deterioration over time. Whether you have an older horse with arthritis or a competition doing fast work, glucosamine is effective for all.
This is a natural component of Aggrecan, which is a large molecule that is found in cartilage. This has a synergistic effect when used with glucosamine, and together they act as building blocks for repair, but they also both have their own anti-inflammatory properties. Together they also inhibit the synthesis of Nitric Oxide Synthase and Prostaglandin E2.
HA Hyaluronic Acid
This is both an essential component of synovial fluid and proteoglycans. It can be taken orally by horses, but there is also injectable forms that can be inserted right into their joints of vein. It helps to improve swelling that is usually seen with joint disease.
Green Lipped Mussel Extract
This has become increasingly popular in recent years, since its success in cats and dogs. It has been shown to be beneficial for arthritis. Green lipped mussel extract contains a combination of marine omega 3 fatty acids.
Usually found in the British hedgerows, rosehip is known for the beneficial effects of helping to manage arthritic pain and are packed full of anti-oxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids.
MSM, otherwise known as Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane is a source of sulphur, which is essential for the maintenance of repair of structural tissues in the body, including cartilage, hoof and skin. MSM also has anti-inflammatory properties.
This is made by the horse in the liver. Older horses and horses in work all have an increased demand for Vitamin C, which has been shown to pass from the blood into the joint fluid of horses. This allows it to neutralise any damaging free radicals that have been produced from excessive wear and tear.
As you can see there are many ingredients and nutrients that are really helpful for the joints. If you want to find out more, speak to your vet or an equine nutritionist, so you can find the best joint supplement for your horse.