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Equine Joint Care Guide


Equine joint care – A simple guide An important part of equestrian management is feeding joint supplements for horses and ponies. The majority of horses at some time in their life will suffer from joint problems and lameness caused by injuries, hard exercise, increasing age or as a result of cold and damp conditions.

Feeding the correct supplements can also aid the treatment of lameness in a horse or pony. Studies have shown that feeding equine joint care supplements will help your horse to maintain good joint health and mobility prevent lameness and increase the longevity of their career whether he or she is a competition horse or pony or a family companion.

A number of herbal, nutraceuticial and feed enhancing ingredients are best known to have beneficial effects on a horse or ponies’ joint function. There is much debate as to which is the most effective. Research has shown that a lot of ingredients can be complementary and when combined have an enhanced affect.

Feed supplements for joints are often referred to as Nutraceuticials.- "Nutraceutical" combines the word "nutrient" (a nourishing food component) and the word "pharmaceutical" (a medical drug). The term "nutraceutical" was conceived, to describe the increasing number of products developed for the treatment or prevention of disease as well as for enhancing a horses performance being marketed as dietary supplements and present in commercially produced horse feed. Depending on the circumstances the following ingredients would be considered important. It is imperative to ascertain exactly what the active ingredients are to ensure that you are feeding purely functional ingredients not superfluous fillers which serve no real purpose.

Glucosamine (NaturaJoint)

MSM( NaturaForm)

Manganese Ascorbate is a useful catalyst to aid absorption into the horse or ponies gut.

Devils Claw(NaturaRelief)

Celery Seed(NaturaComfort)

Cider Vinegar(NaturaLife)

Homeopathy( Naturahomeopathy)

Chondroitin sulphate present in many nutraceuticial products is a derivative from sharks cartilage or bovine trachea, neither which are desirable to feed to horses, being herbivores. Chondroitin sulphate if felt necessary can be suitable for dogs and humans as carnivores

Prevention is often better than cure, many top trainers and competitors recommend feeding a joint supplement as standard practise for young horses as they start their careers to offer as much support as possible to enable a good defence against ‘wear and tear’ and rapid recovery from knocks and bumps which are inevitable with competition horses from all sports. MSM is particularly useful when an injury has occurred to enable rapid healing of the cells affected. Comfrey (NaturaMend) is a useful consideration too.