Your horse doesn’t have to be a retired senior to be experiencing joint discomfort. Even the most conditioned athletes can experience joint pain due to constant exercise, lack of certain nutrients in his diet, and more. We’ve put together a list of factors that can help you determine the best types of supplements that are best suited for your horse’s needs.
1. How old is your horse?
Age can play a big role in the decision-making process when choosing a supplement. If your horse is showing signs of stiffness and discomfort as he gets older, a senior-specific joint supplement may be a great option to help keep him comfortable.
Our Exceed 6-Way supplement includes yucca, a plant native to North and Central America. Yucca has been used by ancient and modern civilizations to relieve musculoskeletal discomfort. Yucca is known for its antioxidant properties as well as the ability to promote a normal response to inflammation.
It’s never too soon to start. It’s also important to protect young, athletic horse’s joints from injury. Arthritis prevention is key and typically easier (and cheaper) than trying to treat joint discomfort later on.
2. What’s their workload like?
Knowing this can help determine how much joint support your horse needs. More work equals more stress, which in turn requires more support. Your horse’s competition status is also something to consider, as well.
Some joint supplements may contain herbs that are not allowed by competitive organizations. It may be a good idea to double check your prohibited substances lists if your horse competes.
3. Know your ingredients.
If you’ve looked at joint supplements before, you’ve likely come across many different ingredients. We’ve listed a few of the common ingredients to get a better understanding of how they can help your horse.
Glucosamine | This ingredient is the building block of chondroitin sulfate, a specific type of polysulfide glycosaminoglycan (GAG), a small but complex molecule that plays an important role in the production and protection of joints. Glucosamine plays multiple roles within joint function and health. It helps increase the production of new GAGs and therefore new cartilage, has also been shown to help inhibit free radicals and enzymes that break down cartilage.
Chondroitin Sulfate | This ingredient supports production of new cartilage and inhibits breakdown, helping to support a natural inflammatory response lending to overall joint comfort.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) | This ingredient assists body to produce its own internal antioxidants which helps support natural inflammatory response by providing protection against oxidative stress. It is a great source of sulfur, which plays an important role in maintaining the health of collagen, cartilage, hooves, hair and joint fluid.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) | Hyluronic Acid helps support healthy cartilage and joint fluid. Hyaluronic acid is what makes joint fluid "sticky" because it is known to protect cells in the joint, HA is especially useful during periods of high-level joint stress.
Ester-C | Otherwise known as vitamin C, Ester-C is a unique patented ascorbate complex bound with calcium carbonate. Ester- C® is naturally processed in purified water without the use of alcohol or acetone solvents. This makes Ester-C® a more readily available, readily absorbed form of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the tissues of the body and also important in the production of connective tissues like tendons and ligaments. Ester-C® has up to 4X more metabolic activity than standard vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
4. Teamwork makes the dream work.
A general rule of thumb is that a combination of ingredients typically works better together, rather than a single ingredient alone. Research has shown glucosamine and chondroitin work significantly better when given together than separately. These two ingredients should be viewed as the cornerstones of any joint supplement, in addition to other joint support ingredients for a well-rounded daily support system for your horse’s hard-working joints.
5. Not all joint supplements are created equal.
There are hundreds of Joint Supplements out there, so it’s hard as a horse owner to know what’s best. The truth of the matter is there are many supplements out there that poor-quality with false claims. It’s best to go with a company name you recognize. For more information, check out our blog post about things to know when shopping for supplements.
If your horse is showing signs of discomfort in his joints, he may need an extra boost of nutrition in his diet to help improve comfort and performance. Check out our comprehensive line of joint support supplements for your horse.
For more information about MVP supplements, contact our team today at 833-809-4848.