A little bit about Joint Supplements

Horse in MotionWhy does my horse need a joint supplement?

Joint deterioration is progressive and degenerative, meaning once it starts, it will continue to get worse.   In addition, by the time a horse starts to show signs of discomfort, the damage to the joint is already in and advanced stage.   Research has shown joint deterioration affects horses of all ages, breeds, disciplines, and workloads – even wild mustangs that haven’t been ridden a day in their lives.

Your horse’s body is designed to repair and rebuild the nominal “wear and tear” to joints that comes with being a horse in its natural state (roaming, grazing, etc).  However, the increased demands of riding, training and competing often cause more damage than your horse’s body can keep up with.   This is why most horses’ joints benefit from the extra support a supplement provides.

Joints supplements help make sure that your horse always has a steady supply of the ingredients he needs to cope with the stress of exercise and maintain healthy joints.   Make sure your horse has the support he needs to help keep him going strong.

Show how do I shop for a joint supplement?

Start by looking at the ingredient listing.  Different Ingredients have different jobs.  Here is just a few for you to review.

Glucosamine: Most important of all joint nutraceuticals.  Research suggests that glucosamine supports the production of new cartilage and inhibits cartilage breakdown.  Key building block for tissue integrity and it helps maintain joint mobility.   Two forms – Hydrochloride and sulfate, which deliver equally effective amount of glucosamine.

Chondroitin Sulfate:   Stimulates production of hyaluronic acid and proteoglycans; inhibits enzymes that break down cartilage.  A major component of cartilage.   Key function include the ability to provide connective tissue support and increase water retention for synovial fluid production.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA):   Integral component of joint fluid and articular cartilage; provides lubrication and shock absorption.  Gives elasticity to the joints and retains water in the cellular matrix.   HA is important for tissue hydration, lubrication and proper cellular function.

MSM:  Bioavailable form of sulfur for building and repairing cartilage;helps support a normal inflammatory response.  Important for connective tissue integrity and has been show to help maintain normal, healthy cartilage.

Olive Extract:  Powerful antioxidant from olives that support joint and connective tissue health.

ASU: Derived from avocados and soybeans; protects cartilage and works with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate

Cetylated Fatty Acids (CFA):  Combination of specific fatty acids that support joint and connective tissue health.

Silica:   Mineral involved in collagen and calcium health.  Supports joint, connective tissue, bone, heart and digestive health.

Devils Claw, Yucca, Boswellia, turmeric, cat’s claw, Fever Few, White Willow, and Cayenne are Herbs used to fight discomfort in joints and other tissues, and to support a normal inflammatory response.

These are not all the ingredients that are available or that can be helpful for joint support – just the basics.    Remember as you are looking, not all joint supplements are created equal.   Quality of the ingredients are as important as the ingredients themselves.  Looking through all the products can be confusing.  We have in store just a few products that we tried and tested.     I know that there are more great products out there and this is just a short list.     I have to say that my favorite of the bunch is the Arthroxigen.  This product is strong support.   Arthroxigen provides the highest level of support for joints, tendons, and ligaments, while working to minimize stiffness and discomort.    And now this great product is available in a pelleted competition ready formula for those of you that are concerned about testing for Devils Claw – Arthroxigen CR – Free of Devils Claw.

If you have a joint supplement that you have seen continued success with, please take the time to share it with us so that we may all continue to learn from each other.   And if you have used any of the products that we currently have on the list, please take a moment to leave a review.