When people have aching joints, you likely won’t find them hitting the gym, or maybe not even moving very far from a chair.
On the other hand, when you notice physical signs that your horse may be suffering from a joint issue, he has likely been enduring episodes of chronic pain while performing his daily routine for a while. Regardless of the species, many animals will suffer in silence until they can’t anymore.
While most equestrians have the utmost respect and love for their companion animal, there are ultimately undue stresses typically placed on the horse’s body based on perceptions formed over their size and the fact they were initially built for labor.
There is a tendency to take them above their capacity with a dependence on their strength and power to pull off whatever feat is placed in front of them.
Sadly, horses’ joints, as in humans and domestic animals like dogs, deteriorate. They require extra support in order to remain free of pain and healthy for the long-term. That’s why regardless of their activity level, age, or past history, integrating joint supplementation into your equine wellness regimen can potentially be of benefit.
Starting ponies at a young age will encourage supported joints as they develop and throughout the aging process. For an outline on joint supplements for horses go to this page.
Choosing Supplements For Joint Health With Your Horse
It’s vital to learn your horse so you recognize the signs of a problem immediately. They might be slight with his movement or possibly the greeting, the way his head raises, his response when the saddle is applied, or if he jerks away when being brushed. These are all behavioral indications there is a problem with the way the horse feels.
Claims suggest joint supplements (see the supplement guide here) can help with age progression, allow better mobility, and decrease arthritis impact. You can start a horse on these substances at an early age in an effort to maintain a sense of wellness and seamless movement.
The ingredients in the compounds will vary depending on the specifics of the horse, i.e. senior horses will have a certain set of ingredients distinct from those of a younger, developing age. Common ingredients found in supplements:
- Hyaluronic Acid: This element is an integral component for ‘shock absorption’ and lubrication for the joints.
- Glucosamine: Glucosamine is a broadly studied joint support component found to be fundamental for articular cartilage. It helps to prevent breakdown and supports renewed growth.
- Chondroitin Sulfate: This substance works along with glucosamine in supporting joints in an effort to stimulate growth of cartilage and prevent breakdown. It has been found to be key in producing proteoglycans and Hyaluronic Acid.
- Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM: This an organic sulfur resource acting as an anti-inflammatory.
- Type II Collagen: Articular cartilage tissue consists of collagen which deems the primary structural protein for connective tissue located in ligaments, tendons, bone cartilage and skin. Nearly all the collagen in the articular cartilage tissue is Type II offering lubrication, strength, and resiliency along with growth stimulation of the cartilage. See what’s new in joint supplement ingredients here: https://equusmagazine.com/horse-care/horse-joint-supplement-ingredients
The suggestion when reading labels on packaging is to ensure that the products you purchase have been manufactured through a facility that is FDA-approved and belongs to the NASC or ‘National Animal Supplement Council.’
Claims indicate this organization is responsible for ‘policing’ the industry to ensure that its member companies are producing health supplements deemed effective and safe.
All pet parents have a bond with their companion animals, but there is a special relationship between a horse and their human and it can withstand many years given the proper care and attention. Equestrians who develop this bond know through instinct when their pony is not well merely by looking at them upon their greeting.
It’s always been said that the best solution to a problem is prevention. And that rings true with health. If you don’t want to see you’re equine suffering from joint pain or impending arthritis conditions, prevention is key.
Talk to the horse’s vet and develop preventative care inclusive of supplements at an early age. In this way you can help to extend overall wellness and perhaps a longer span for companionship.