The best joint supplements for older horses provide additional nutritional support for normal and healthy joint function to help keep them in good working order, comfortable and moving at their best, enabling your horse to live a full and active life.
Throughout your horse’s life, his musculoskeletal system and joints will be put to the test – and there’s a lot for your horse’s joints to contend with throughout the year. In the winter, the increased likelihood of restricted turnout means they’re likely to be moving less and when this is combined with colder temperatures, stiffness is a common result. If the ground’s not hard then it’s wet, which can lead to more roadwork and increased concussive forces on the joint, too. Whereas in the summer hard ground is also unavoidable if you’re not confined to a school. Even if your horse is retired and able to live out full time, his joints – and the rest of his body – will require more support to maintain a good condition.
How to choose a joint supplement for a veteran
Look out for the most common ingredients found in joint supplements, which includes:
- glucosamine – this works as a building block for lots of different processes in the body, and is particularly important for maintaining the cartilage between joints, which assists in smooth movement and reducing concussion of joints. Studies suggest a 500kg horse needs 10g glucosamine a day.
- MSM (methyl sulphonyl methane) – it’s suggested this possesses anti-inflammatory properties and could have a protective effect against some forms of exercise-induced injuries. An effective equine dose of MSM is said to be at least 1,200mg per day.
- HA (hyaluronic acid) – this is widely used for reducing heat, pain and swelling, and is known to help with lubricating the joints as well as maintaining healthy cartilage and connective tissue. Recommended dosages vary greatly, but you should expect a joint supplement to deliver upwards of 100mg of HA a day.
Joint supplements that are formulated specifically for older horses will tend to have the highest specification in a manufacturer’s joint supplement range – higher than most in our guide to the best joint supplements for general use.
Consider the form the supplement takes – joint supplements can come in liquid, powder and pellet forms. Your horse may have a preference to one over another, which could make all the difference as if he won’t eat it, your horse won’t receive the benefit.
Cost is another consideration – we’ve calculated the daily cost of all the supplements featured in this guide to help you compare them easily. To make it as comparable as possible, we’ve used the smallest tubs available, but if you’re better off buying a larger volume of supplement if you can as the daily cost can become significantly lower.
If you compete with your horse then it is important you make sure any supplements you use do not contain any prohibited substances.
Joint supplements for older horses: what are your options?
Here is a selection of the best joint supplements for older horses that are currently available, including the manufacturers’ descriptions of their products…
NB: Cost per day has been calculated using the maintenance measure for a 500kg horse in light work (where there was variation) and the RRP of the smallest available tub. Some products require you to feed more with a higher workload, which will increase the cost per daily measure, while buying a larger tub will likely decrease it – these costs per day are a guide only.
NAF Five Star Superflex Senior
Sizes: 660g, 1.98kg
RRP: £33.99 for 660g
Daily measure: 22g
Cost per day: £1.13
Five Star Superflex Senior is a unique formulation providing a high specification of key joint support nutrients as well as omega-3 fatty acids and naturally sourced antioxidants to support healthy, flexible joints in older horses that still leading active lives.
YuMove Joint Care Plus
Daily measure: 40g
Cost per day: £3.47
This has 25% more MSM and glucosamine and 50% more green lipped mussel compared to the standard YuMove Horse formula, so it can offer extra joint support for stiffer, more senior horses.
Nutriscience Arthri Aid HA Powder
Sizes: 1.2kg, 3kg
RRP: £50 for 1.2kg
Daily measure: 15g
Cost per day: £0.63
This apple-flavoured powder includes glucosamine, MSM complex and hyaluronic acid for improved joint mobility. It’s a super-strength alternative to the regular Arthri Aid.
Equine America Buteless Super Strength
Sizes: 1.5kg, 5.5kg
RRP: £65.50 for 1.5kg
Daily measure: 50g
Cost per day: £2.19
Described as the ultimate nutritional support for joint and muscles in older horses with significant wear and tear or needing help to maintain mobility. It includes powerful levels of natural plant-based ingredients including boswellia, yucca and turmeric, as well as MSM to help the horses’ own anti- inflammatory processes. It’s a low-sugar formulation, which makes it suitable for those prone to laminitis.
Sizes: 2l, 5l
RRP: £179 for 1l
Daily measure: 60–90ml
Cost per day: £5.37–8.05
Designed to provide horses what they need during periods of intense work and is the result of seven years of scientific research into nutritional supplements for healthy tendons and joints in top-class sport horses.
Aviform Suppleaze VS
Sizes: 1kg, 2kg, 4kg
RRP: £79.95 for 1kg
Daily measure: 64g
Cost per day: £5.11
This is a combination of Aviform’s Suppleaze Gold and Suppleaze Progen for horses that require the highest specification of supplement. It contains full clinical levels of glucosamine HCL, chondroitin, MSM, HA, bioactive collagen peptides, curcumin, boswellia and vitamin C. Available in a 100% compostable pouch. BETA NOPS compliant.
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