Finding a High-Quality Joint Supplement

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Do you know how to select a joint support supplement that works, is high quality and value for money? Learn how to work out the figures and understand the facts for choosing a horse feed product to support and maintain the most flexible equine joints.

How to select a joint supplement that works

Horses are amazing animals with incredible athletic abilities. They were born to move and run with a healthy body able to repair themselves quickly. However the domestic horse carries out many unnatural activities and the strain of jumping, galloping and highly athletic movements can impact joints.

When the body’s ability to repair itself is weakened, daily damage may occur faster than the repair processes. Research suggests that feeding a joint supplement can aid in maintaining normal repair balance providing extra insurance to support and maintain the bodies own healing ability and preventing arthritis.

How balanced minerals help maintain horse joints

Feeding a forage focused balancer, to improve copper and zinc levels will support strong tendon and ligament heath, at the same time feeding a high-quality joint supplement will provide nutritional support to maintain top quality joint and tendon sheath fluid, support comfort levels, flexibility and strong cartilage so joints remain healthy, sound and flexible.

Many companies use minimum levels of expensive ingredients like chondroitin sulphate and high levels of ingredients that are cheaper in an attempt to make their products more attractive on a cost basis. You should look for a carefully formulated product where the levels of each active ingredient support maximum effectiveness at both the loading and maintenance supplement levels. This means you can increase or lower the levels you feed in response to your horse knowing that you are giving optimum levels of each ingredient in relation to each other.

chondroitin sulphate

Do I need high levels of Chondroitin Sulphate?

A high-quality joint supplement combined with a forage focussed balancer as matched to the analysis of the common nutrient deficiencies in forage will afford the very best support and help for equine joints. Zinc and copper deficiencies are extremely common in equine diets, both in terms of meeting minimum daily intake and also when levels are compared to competing minerals in the diet, like iron and manganese.

Feeding minerals balanced to forage, to improve copper and zinc levels will support strong tendon and ligament heath, at the same time feeding a high-quality joint supplement will provide nutritional support to maintain top quality joint and tendon sheath fluid, support comfort levels, flexibility and strong cartilage so joints remain healthy, sound and flexible.

Look for an equine joint supplement with these five active ingredients:

  • Glucosamine Sulfate – Supports cartilage and the thick synovial fluid that oils the joint. Is best used in conjunction with chondroitin sulphate (please note that this ingredient has the potential to worsen insulin resistance).
  • Chondrotin Sulphate – Primarily used for support of joint cartilage and maintaining the health of the joint capsule. (Chondroitin can also be used as a separate product to support the skin during seasonal itching periods).
  • Hyaluronic Acid – All horses need such good quality joint fluid if their joints are to remain healthy, sound and flexible.
  • MSM – is essential for the health and elasticity of the connective tissues surrounding the joints.
  • Vitamin C – aids healthy anti-oxidant processes

You should have the flexibility to choose the supplement rate which suits your horse – high rate, medium rate or low rate whilst maintaining a high ratio of chondroitin to glucosamine.  The highest rate can commonly be used when arthritic joints present increased stiffness and to support the health of old or highly compromised joints.  The medium rate can be used when carrying out a loading period (30 days) and the low rate as maintenance and prevention for horses either in hard work or in remission from active arthritis.

The table below shows the optimum levels of each ingredient as matched to scientific studies of each active ingredient. The amounts are suitable for a horse 400 – 600 kg in weight.

Active IngredientHigh Feed Rate – 45g per dayMedium Feed Rate – 30g per dayLow Feed Rate – 15g per day
Glucosamine10,000mg7500mg3750mg
Chondroitin7000mg5250mg2625mg
MSM20,000mg15000mg7500mg
Hylauronic Acid300mg225mg112mg
Vitamin C700mg538mg269mg

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Last Updated on December 23, 2021 by Forageplus Team

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