Whether it is trail riding, roping, or jumping, horses’ joints are receiving the entire impact, because of this it is important to ensure that their joints stay sound and strong. Proper joint care will help your horse stay active and comfortable throughout its years.
When it comes to joint health there are many things horse owners can be doing on a day-to-day basis to prevent future joint issues. Here are a few recommendations on things you can do to promote healthy joints for your horse.
Regular exercise is an important part of keeping your horses joints healthy. A good exercise routine helps build joint strength, prevents stiffness, and increases range of motion. It is important to note that if you heavily work your horse one day to allow a few rest days after for proper recovery.
Weight management is essential to ensure your horses joints don’t get run down too quickly. The extra weight adds more pressure on the joints causing quicker deterioration. If your horse does get overweight, gradually increase their level of exercise to help lose the weight. Abruptly increasing their amount of exercise can also cause damage to the joints.
Proper nutrition is not just important for joint health, but for overall horse health. A healthy diet that consists of good quality hay, grain or pasture is critical for joint developmental support.
The health of your horses’ hooves directly impacts the way it moves which in result affects its joints. Uneven or cracked hooves will cause increased tension on joints. Regular trimming or shoeing will help maintain proper hoof health. For more tips on hoof health check out or blog “How to Maintain Strong Healthy Horse Hooves”.
Pay attention to the way your horse stands, walks, gallops, etc. Visually inspect them for any weight being carried more on one side, limp, and overall motion.
Knowing What is in Your Horse Joint Supplement
There are hundreds of horse supplements out in the market. Before purchasing any, it is important to note what key ingredients are essential for supporting joint health. Here are a few key ingredients that play important roles in joint health.
Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a source or organic sulfur that supports healthy joint functions and acts as an anti-inflammatory. MSM is widely known for providing anti-inflammatory and healing affects to joints after hard training. Although the exact mechanisms being MSM joint benefits are not yet fully understood, there are many possibilities to explain its benefit. MSM is good carrier of sulfur, an important component of connective tissues found in joints. MSM is also able to reduce oxidative stress and inhibit the release of anti-inflammatory markers, reducing overall inflammation.
Manganese is a trace mineral that helps ensure proper bone formation and connective tissue growth. This mineral is required to produce chondroitin sulfate, a major structural component of cartilage. Manganese also activates many enzymes and plays an important role as an antioxidant.
Vitamin D is necessary to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for proper growth and development of bones and joints.
Vitamin C has many antioxidant abilities that can improve joint movement by preventing damage by free radicals. This vitamin is also essential for cartilage and connective tissue health. Vitamin C also serves as a cofactor to collogen synthesis.
Glucosamine is the most researched ingredient for joint supplements, it’s been used in the equine industry for decades. It helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage while promoting the growth of new cartilage.
When it comes to joint health prevention is key, do not wait until your horse is old or becomes lame because some damage may be irreversible. With the proper supplement and routine exercise your horse is well on its was for long lasting joint health.