Knowledge is power when it come to looking after our horses on a budget – I’ve got the ‘goss’ so read on!
We all love our horses, so it makes sense that we want longevity in their ridden life. It doesn’t matter if we are pleasure riders or performance riders, the horse isn’t designed to withstand the impacts of ridden life.
Joint health is a non-negotiable for me in what I spend on my horses, and I want to tell you why, and then help you navigate your best option.
The reality is, what you choose to supplement with needs to be carefully considered with your horses base diet. Many of the ingredients in these expensive products could be doubling up/or already included in your current diet in sufficient levels.
If you understand your ingredients and the daily recommended intake for each, you can even put together your own supplement and save a huge amount of money!
Joints consists of cartilage which connects to bones, acting as padding while encapsulating the joint. Synovial fluid keeps the joint lubricated and limits friction, or wear-and-tear, between the bones.
The aim of supplementing for joint health is to:
- Reduce inflammation
- Increase the horses ability to synthesize collagen and other proteins
- Increase the horses ability to synthesis hyaluronic acid
- Slow the rate of or inhibit enzymes that deteriorate cartilage
- Improve synovial fluid composition
- Manage pain
You can read more about why equine joint health is important here
What do you spend your money on?
There are so many supplements on the market and navigating them is hard. I have done the leg work for you with a number of scientific evidence-based articles. I won’t lie, it’s hard to track these down as there is limited studies in horses available. Some of the most popular supplements have limited evidence and have even shown to be ineffective.
But my take home… if you feel something is working and your horse feels better then I’m still all for using it. Ultimately, we just don’t have enough research, but you know your horse.
Lastly… FeedXL is a fabulous program to get you started, for less than $20 it can give you an idea of how your current diet looks to help you decide what you need. Just remember before adding any new supplement to your horse’s diet, it is recommended to consult with a qualified equine nutritionist or your Vet.
Full disclosure, I have my own supplement available called ‘Joint Sense’
It is basic, no frills or extras, meets recommended dosage from research and because I don’t have any fancy packaging and expensive marketing its more affordable.
I am all about the horse, so this might not meet your horses needs either once you have followed rules 1, 2 and 3 above.
It doesnt matter how you enjoy your horse, they all need joint care for soundness and longevity, but it doesnt have to break the bank!