Joint Supplements For Horses

Joint Supplements for Horses - Glucosamine and chrodroitin sulphate work together to ensure optimal musculoskeletal health

Navigating joint supplements for horses can be a minefield with masses on the market, all claiming to do different things. Joint supplements can be an essential part of a horse’s diet to maintain joint health, but are you supplementing correctly for your horse?

To enhance the health of their horse’s joints, owners should turn straight to the ingredient list to assess whether it will suit their horse’s needs. Supplements containing a combination of naturally occurring body substances, as well as supportive vitamins and minerals, such as Synequin for horses, will benefit joint health.

What To Look For In Joint Supplements For Horses

Turning to the ingredient list, it may seem impossible to figure out what ingredients will benefit your horse’s joint health. Looking out for these key ingredients, you’ll find your horse has everything they need for good joint health!


Glucosamine is an essential ingredient to promote joint health. Although naturally occurring in the body in tissue and fluid surrounding joints, supplementation is sometimes needed to ensure your horse is getting adequate amounts for recovery from injury and exercise.


Glucosamine works as a building block for lots of different processes in the horse’s body. However, the substance is most effective at developing and maintaining cartilage between joints. The condition of cartilage can take a hit from everything, from the workload of your horse to their age. As an essential part of the horse’s musculoskeletal system, healthy cartilage assists in smooth movement and reduces concussion on the joints. Therefore, it is vital that the health and development of this cartilage is prioritised through horses’ working lives and through their retirement.

Chondroitin Sulphate

Chondroitin Sulphate is also a naturally occurring substance within the horse’s body. It works alongside Glucosamine to provide excellent joint health overall.

Joint Supplements for Horses - Glucosamine and chrodroitin sulphate work together to ensure optimal musculoskeletal health
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate work together to ensure optimal musculoskeletal health.

Chondroitin Sulphate plays a vital role in soft tissue structure, especially cartilage. It helps to prevent the breakdown of cartilage and improve the health of existing cartilage. In humans, supplementing with Chondroitin Sulphate compared with a placebo has been shown to improve pain and the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms!


MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane and is a natural compound found in very small quantities in cereals and grains within your horse’s diet.

With anti-inflammatory properties, MSM can support easing muscle aches and pains, whether that’s after a hard schooling session or due to age-related wear-and-tear.

MSM also has other health properties, such as playing a central role in connective tissue health and maintenance of healthy hooves, skin, and coats.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a great, complimentary vitamin for joint health and should be considered when choosing a joint supplement.

Vitamin C is an essential component in the normal production of collagen. Collagen gives strength, structure, and elasticity to the musculoskeletal system, which is vital for a horse’s ability to cope with the physical demands of riding and recovering well from exercise.

Not only is vitamin C and its role in collagen production essential for horses still in work, but it is also needed for retired horses! Age decreases the speed of collagen production, leading to increased wear-and-tear, pain, and lengthy recovery periods from injury for your horse. Collagen is also essential in maintaining the health of skin, bones, and even blood vessels.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are not an essential supplement, with sources including forage and soya bean oil, regular a part of horse’s diets. However, additional supplementation can be great for horses suffering from joint pain and stiffness, such as the older horse or those suffering from soft tissue damage.

In human research, supplementing diets with omega-3’s has been reported to reduce joint pain, duration of morning stiffness, and the perceived need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID). Moreover, in horses, additional omega-3’s in the diet have led to lowered inflammation in arthritic joints, as well as being beneficial for downregulating inflammation of synovial membranes or those suffering from mild synovitis.

When to Use

Supporting joint health should be a life-long quest for horse owners to ensure the comfort, welfare, and longevity of our horse’s working life.

Consider a joint supplement for younger horse's when embarking on demanding athletic training
Consider a joint supplement for younger horse’s when embarking on demanding athletic training

Incorporating a joint supplement into your horse’s diet may come as an extra expense in the short term, however, in the long term, joint supplements can ease the worry of pain and injury caused by riding and field exercise.

When feeding the younger horse, joint supplements may not be an essential inclusion within their diet. However, joint supplements should be considered if they are embarking on a demanding athletic career. On top of a well-balanced diet, a joint supplement will provide the younger horse with a primed nutritional profile for musculoskeletal recovery after hard work!

For the older horse, showing signs of stiffness and pain is a common occurrence. With age also affecting the integrity of musculoskeletal structures and production of essential properties to maintain musculoskeletal health, incorporation of a joint supplement is highly recommended for increased mobility, comfort, and reduced pain!

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