I've had good longterm success with both SmartFlex Sr. and Smart TLC (both contain Devil's Claw). If I need an anti-inflammatory on a sporadic basis (i.e. not daily or for a few weeks at a time), I use aspirin, bute or banamine depending on the circumstances. I don't think Devil's Claw and similar non-scrip products give similar results in a short period of time.
We have given 10 tablets of Aleve (naproxen) when we have not had any bute. We always keep Aleve at home for the people, so it is also available for the horses in a pinch. I always keep a bottle of Banamine at home in case of a colic. In a pinch, you can give a dose of Banamine for lameness or fever, if you don't have bute. I usually don't buy bute because it always seems to be out of date when I finally need it.
Ameriherb (you have to request a login ... but it's worth it. They NEVER send spam-selling-type emails) has Calendula flowers petals for $7.00 a pound (and that's a lot!)
I had a concussion founder with my QH a number of years ago, and a "specialist" (no, not a vet, a farrier) recommended them. He ate them happily and it seemed to help his tootsies. Now, I would give you some links... but when I search for "Calendula anti-inflammatory" I started seeing a number of animal tests that were being done ... so I stopped.
Anyway, just passing on some experience. Valid? I don't have a clue ... but the horse sure enjoyed them, so that was something! The extremely precise dose was ... oh, about a handful.
"For God hates utterly
The bray of bragging tongues."
Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders
As I said, ALL NSAIDS have virtually an identical side effect/risk profile, and a virtually identical efficacy profile. You do get variability in dosing interval--for instance, aspirin has to be dosed multiple times per day to get a potent anti-inflammatory effect, whereas some of the others are OK with once- or twice-daily dosing. But I would NOT consider one or the other "safer" because they are all virtually identical in terms of risk of ulcers, etc. That goes for bute, banamine, aspirin, aleve, etc. etc.
Someone posted a link to a study in The Horse (which is not a scientific journal, but does discuss things on a slightly higher level in terms of requiring actual data, unlike rags like the Horse Journal) that did a small but properly done study of rose hips in racehorses. They gave a whopping amount, and their data (as yet unpublished) suggested some possible benefits, but it's all preliminary and what they considered a measurable benefit is unknown/not listed in the abstract. Still, it's a small step in the right direction.
If your concern is side effects from long term use, depending on the site, you can use topical NSAIDs such as Surpass. There is some evidence that it has few bad effects on the stomach than oral NSAIDs. Surpass is prescription only.
Some vets are prescribing cox 2 inhibitors such as Equioxx. The idea is that they should be easier on the stomach. In humans, cox 2 inhibitors have a bit of a bad history. Everyone and his brother was prescribing them for a while because they were supposedly "safe" NSAIDs. Then, studies started being published showing that they have cardiovascular risks.
In humans, bute seems to be more toxic than other NSAIDs. It is no longer used in the US for humans. It would be interesting to see if there are any veterinary studies to show if other NSAIDs such as naproxen/Aleve have fewer side effects than bute in horses.