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Joint Supplements Aren't the Only Way to Support Your Horse's Joints

Joint health is a common concern for horse owners, but with conflicting evidence on different supplement's efficacy and bioavailability, in addition to the frequently high cost/day, horse owners may not choose to feed a joint supplement. If you’re concerned about your horse’s joint health, there are lots of ways to promote joint health!

Maintain an ideal body condition score (4-6).

Maintain an ideal body condition score to minimize excess load on the joints. While some disciplines prefer a horse to be almost to the point of being over-conditioned, this can actually impair performance and make the horse's body work harder. Maintain a body condition score of 4-6. Check out our body condition scoring resources here.

Maintain ideal biomechanics with regular, quality hoof care. 

Your horse's hoof balance impacts how they move, and biomechanics are incredibly important in joint stress. Maintaining your horse on a regular schedule with a knowledgeable hoof care practitioner can keep their hooves in balance, to optimize their biomechanics.

Progressive conditioning and mindful exercise programs. 

Ensuring your horse is fit enough for the work you are asking them to do is another big factor in promoting longevity. Asking too much, too soon of the horse's body increases risk of injury, even if that injury isn't super obvious to you, it still may be happening within your horse.

Think of when you go on vacation and walk on cobblestones all day, and then get back to the hotel and your knees are killing you. Adaptation matters. Take the time to build your horse's fitness via regular exercise, instead of putting your horse's body (joints included) through a stressor that it's not adapted for.

A balanced diet that meets your horse's requirements. 

Your horse's nutrient requirements reflect their body's need for nutrients to fuel the chemical reactions that support normal health and function. Imbalances or deficiencies mean that the body has LESS to work with.

As with any support supplement, feeding a joint supplement on top of a diet lacking in essential nutrients will not be effective in meeting the desired goal.

Hay alone is not enough to meet your horse’s vitamin and mineral requirements, and if you’re feeding a commercial feed BELOW the recommended feeding rate for your horse’s body weight, you’re likely to have lacking areas as well. Get in touch for a free discovery discussion or learn more about our services here.

As with any aspect of equine health, joint health is multi-factorial. Combining multiple strategies allows us to help our horses put their best foot forward!


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