Most horses at some point or another will need to take joint supplements. It rarely matters whether they are a youngster or in their later years in life, and the type of work your horse takes part in is also not a deciding factor when it comes to joint pain.
Unfortunately, horse’s joints are not built to last and the demands on their bodies can often be too much. Prevention is always better than cure, but it can be difficult to always determine immediately whether your horse is struggling with arthritis or joint pain.
It is often the case it becomes more noticeable over time, usually when it is too late. Horse joint supplements are a great way to help combat joint pain and arthritis in horses and can be used as an alternative to joint injections, which can become costly over time and don’t necessarily give the effective long-lasting relief that your horse needs.
With so many horse joint supplements on the market these days it can be very difficult to choose which ones will be most effective for your horse. Let’s take a look at some considerations when looking for the ideal joint supplement for your horse.
What are Horse Joint Supplements?
Joint supplements are a great solution to joint pain. They are designed to help your horse move much more easily and seek to reduce the impacts of arthritis, joint pain, and lameness. Your horse must be able to move smoothly and feel comfortable with everyday movement.
Horse supplements help to support normal and healthy joint function and can be key in eliminating stiffness, which can be common during colder weather. Older horses can massively benefit from joint supplements, as they tend to feel the effects of ongoing injuries with age. They are also prone to osteoarthritis in their later years, leaving owners with no choice, but to administer either joint supplements or joint injections.
How Do I Choose A Horse Joint Supplement?
Like with many supplementation products, you can’t always get it spot on the first time, with trial and error usually being the only way. However, there are some key areas you should consider before purchasing horse joint supplements that may assist you in purchasing the right formula for your horse first time.
Ingredients are a huge consideration with any horse supplement. At the end of the day, brands are there to sell their products to consumers, and sometimes just because a label may read that it is the best on the market, doesn’t always mean it is.
A typical example of this is products that are packed with inessential ingredients and fillers. These do not usually contribute to the overall effects the product will have on your horse and are therefore very unnecessary in the mixture. Being in the know about what each ingredient does and what effects they may have on your horse is very beneficial. Some key ingredients to look out for are:
- Hyaluronic Acid
These are the 4 most popular ingredients for horse joint supplements that have been proven to work and a good mix of all 4 will set you in good stead. Over time you may discover through trial and error that one ingredient works slightly better for your horse, in which case you can adapt accordingly.
Brand vs Price
The brand could be a factor for you when choosing joint supplements. There no doubt about it that some of the more well-known brands have much higher review ratings which may give you a better indication of how well that particular product will work for your horse. Having peace of mind that you are using a trusted brand could also be appealing.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the lesser-known brands don’t work and if you are comparing ingredients it may be completely possible to get a much cheaper supplement with a lesser-known brand that has the same ingredients as a more expensive, well-known brand.
Supplements can sometimes be expensive and it is highly possible you could be paying a higher price just for the brand name. If you know your ingredients, you could end up with a much better buy.
Older Horse’s vs Younger Horse’s
Although both older and younger horses can suffer from joint problems and arthritis, their needs can often be very different. Younger horses may require a supplement that has a strong emphasis on protecting and repairing cartilage particularly if they are in hard fast daily work. Older horses tend to have had arthritic symptoms for a while and may a supplement geared more towards pain relief and inflammation reduction. There are many supplements on the market for all different types of equines, but once again, knowing the ingredients and what each does can make this decision much easier.
There is a selection of methods used to administer joint supplements. Liquid or Powder form is usually the easiest method as you can mix it into your horse’s feed very easily without them knowing it is there. For fussy eaters, a syringe or tablet could be the better option. For severe joint conditions, a joint injection may be the best option that will need to be administered by your vet. Ultimately this is a decision you and your horse will need to make.
The very best single piece of advice I will leave you with is, know your ingredients. This can make such a huge difference in the type of supplement you buy and having that knowledge will allow you to make the best-informed decision about what is likely to work well for your horse.