Joint care and mobility
Every time the horse’s limb hits the ground a certain amount of force will pass through it. This in itself is not a problem, indeed it is recognized that controlled stresses through joints help to strengthen them, and the body routinely repairs itself. The problem occurs when the joint is exposed to continuous, unnatural stresses, this is almost universally the case in the competition horse.
Jumping horses put all the force of jumping through one leg as they land. Dressage horses routinely stretch their joints to the maximum. Endurance horses need fit joints to maintain soundness over long distances, and often difficult terrain. Elderly horses are also prone to joint problems as a natural result of wear and tear.
Long term drug therapy is undesirable. Not only is drug use illegal for the competition horse but research now shows that commonly used pharmacological pain relievers can actually accelerate break down of vital joint tissues over time.
Healthy joints are protected by cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the joint bones and synovial fluid, which helps lubricate and keep the joint active. Healthy cartilage is essential for optimum joint function. When the cartilage between the joints breaks down, the joints rub together causing painful conditions which can compromise the joint mobility. Collagen is a major component of cartilage, giving it its cushion effect. Synovial fluid lubricates the joint and also supplies nutrition to the cartilage thus helping the joint to naturally repair itself.
As the horse is asked to meet increasing athletic demands, his body must constantly repair and replenish damaged joint tissues and fluids. Adding joint supplements to the feed, such as Glucosamine, will enhance the horse’s ability to maintain healthy joints.
Although it's impossible to prevent joint stress, there are effective ways to minimize wear and tear, and many advocate feeding a joint supplement early in the athletic horse's career and continuing throughout his lifetime. Horse Joint Supplements can be used to support existing conditions, but the vast majority of riders and trainers advocate early use of these supplements in order to help maintain healthy joints.
Feeding joint supplements helps maintain cartilage strength and resilience for everyday joint suppleness. Joint supplements contain Glucosamine which enhances the level of glycosaminoglycans (GAG’S) in the joint. These GAG’S are the building blocks in the cartilage matrix.