Joint Care for the Competition Horse

Equine joint care is vital and even more so with the competition horse. This blog aims to give competition horse owners guidance in how best to support their horses‘ joints for a safe, successful season.

NutriScience Joint Care for the Competition Horse

What is a Joint and How does it Work?

A joint is the point where two or more bones meet. It is made up of various parts that work simultaneously to allow the horse to move and bend. Horses have three types of joints:

  • synovial
  • cartilaginous
  • fibrous

There are 18 synovial joints in the horse (examples include the knee and hock), meaning it is the most moveable joint and so is the most susceptible to injury. Within these synovial joints at the point where the two bones meet, the ends of each bone are covered in lubricated cartilage – this is to allow for frictionless movement and shock absorption. In the joint capsule, there is an inner lining called synovial membrane which secretes synovial fluid for further lubrication to prevent friction.


When and Why Use a Joint Supplement?

Normally, in the day-to-day life of a horse, joint cartilage is continually being broken down with replacement cartilage manufactured in a naturally balanced way. However, various factors can upset this balance and cause inflammation to the joint structures. Equine joints are naturally built to withstand the weight of the horse’s own body. However, when we make additions (such as a rider, tack etc) there is considerable strain put on the joints, which can upset the natural balance. Further joint balance distribution can be caused by:

  • Increased training
  • Trauma
  • Competition
  • Ground conditions
  • Old age
  • Diet
  • Body condition
  • Fitness level/muscle tone
  • Seasonal restrictions (joint stiffness in winter owing to restricted turnout/limited exercise)


Therefore, it is crucial to actively manage your horse’s joints at any age to enable ease of mobility, minimise daily wear and tear as well as limit potential problems in the future. A proactive approach to joint health will ensure your horse remains mobile, healthy and able to perform at their best.


What Ingredients are Important in a Joint Supplement?

Joint supplements have been developed to provide targeted nutrition that supports healthy, functioning joints and easy mobility. The following ingredients should be present in joint supplements:

  • Glucosamine – an amino acid that assists in the manufacture of cartilage
  • Chondroitin Sulphate – a molecule that assists in lubrication and shock absorption of the joints
  • Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM) – a naturally occurring sulphur compound which helps soothe knocks and improve joint mobility
  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA) – the principal constituent of Synovial Fluid for joint lubrication
  • Vitamin C – an antioxidant that helps with cartilage formation  

When choosing a joint supplement, take note of ingredients as well as formulation. Be sure to research the product and examine how it will fit in with your horse’s feeding regime. Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts such as vets or equine nutritionists for advice or information before purchase.


Arthri Aid Joint Mobility Supplement

Arthri Aid Equine Joint Mobility Supplement has been formulated to aid the lubrication and help to promote regeneration of shock absorbing tissues of your horse’s joints. It contains all the above ingredients in a powerful and potent formulation that is trusted by riders all over the world. Arthri Aid Equine Joint Mobility Supplement is available in two presentations:

  • Liquid – palatable and fast acting
  • Powder – economic and highly effective

To conclude, equine joint health should not be overlooked to ensure mobility, performance and comfort for your horse. For more information or advice on joint supplementation, please contact our equine nutritionist on 051 304010 or here