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Let's Talk Joint Supplements

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  • Let's Talk Joint Supplements

    I know this could go in horse care but I wanted to specifically talk about supplements for the performance horse, and typically over in horse care I notice, you get, your horses don't need them. And if I trail rode 2 days a week they'd be right.

    So I have a OTTB who's been off the track for a a couple of months, has vet care and currently gets Adequan once a month, but hoping to wean him off.

    He was on the following smartpaks: smartshine, smartlyte (electrolytes), and smarthoof, and MSM. I've decided to put him on SmartCombo Ultra which has the smartREsilience in it.
    My vet feels like that is throwing $ away and he has some science to back him up. I don't want to throw money away but I also want to support my horse and keep him in the best possible shape for as long as possible.

    Who what do you guys feed as supplements? Do you really think they make a difference or just make us feel better?

    Here's an interesting article: http://www.ker.com/library/advances/308.pdf

  • #2
    I've had my guy on various different supplements. It is actually facinating to see how they affect his body - in good ways and bad - as I go through different rotations.

    Currently, he is on SmartLytes and Cosequin SP.

    Yes - every vet I have ever spoken to has said joint supplementation is throwing your money out the window. However, after spending quite a bit of money on joint injections this year with little to no improvement in my horse - I had a different opinion on what would be considered throwing money out the window.

    I had experienced positive results with Cosequin on my dog and cat prior to adding it to my Smartpak. Yes different species but I felt that it was worth a shot to keep mine more comfy this winter.

    This is the best winter he has ever had since I got him. And he is going much better than he did after his injections this year....

    Comment


    • #3
      http://www.tractorsupply.com/joint-c...-4-lb--5025330

      That's what my horse gets. I don't know if he's a "performance horse" but we do more than just moseying around once a week so there you go. Plus I figure he's a big guy and we do jumping so it's better to get him on some sort of supplement ahead of time than try to fix something after, if you get what I mean.

      Anyway, that one has biotin (for his hooves but gosh his coat is shiny too even though he's fluffy for winter), glucosamine and chondroitin, msm, and various other minerals and things that sound good.

      Before that, I had several different supplements in several different containers that my BO was using, so I figured this was both more convenient and more cost-effective. Plus I can pick it up at TSC instead of ordering over the internet and paying shipping.
      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think most feed through supplements are a waste of money. That being said, I have given magnesium in the past for muscle soreness, which worked, and I do give MSM daily for its supposed anti-inflammatory effects. I started a hoof supplement a year ago, which seems to be working since we have had a very wet winter, and his shoes are staying on in between shoeings. My horse now has very good turnout with great pasture most of the year, which I think has helped the most with his soundness, brain and nutritional needs. As for joint supplements, I think it is more cost effective to go with something like Legend, Adequan or Pentosan than to feed an oral supplement. It depends on the age of the horse, your workload, and whether there is an pre-existing condition (already shows some DJD) whether they really need joint support. I know a lot of the competition horse owners use Legend or Adequan as a preventative/maintenance even if there aren't issues going on. Makes sense to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          My guy has hock injections approx once a year. I supplement with MSM, a hoof supplement, salt and Ultimate Finish. I will start adding a "bug" supplement in March. He also seemed a bit touchy when girthing lately (he isn't usually), so I added some Neigh Lox - figured it couldn't hurt - and I'll be interested to see if it helps. I think the supplements help - esp the hoof supplement, his hooves have improved quite a bit this past year.
          http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

          "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

          Comment


          • #6
            For my OTTB who had a previous tendon injury (after the track, as a jumper) I feed Smart Pak Resilience (the one for acute injury, but I just continued it after the injury since it helped so much) Smart Hoof (used to use Farrier's Formula 2X, but it seemed to stop working) and Devil's Claw/Yucca/HA. I used to give him Adequan monthly, but have switched to Pentosan, from which I see an enormous difference. He's now a dressage horse, just 13 this year. Feed-wise, he gets alfalfa and grass hay, and for dinner (and his supps) he gets a heaping scoop of 50/50 alfalfa-oat pellets with a half scoop of rice bran and a dollop of flax oil (maybe a couple of tablespoons). That keeps the weight and shine on very nicely, and he loves it. (The total amount just fills a quart plastic bag, if that helps). His feet improved on the Smart Hoof to the point where I've been able to pull his hind shoes. He goes in Renegade boots on the trail, but is otherwise barefoot behind. He gets regular chiropractic care. Hope that helps

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh, and he's turned out from 7 am to 4 pm daily.

              Comment


              • #8
                I keep my mare on Cosequin ASU as a support supplement, but I'm not sure it's super critical. She's young and sound, but my vet recommended it as something that could be an extra help in combating long term arthritic changes common in performance horses.
                "A canter is the cure for every evil."

                Comment


                • #9
                  My mare hurt herself in her paddock when she was 3. Over the years I used almost every joint supplement until I started using Grand Meadows Grand HA Synergy. It has worked wonders for her.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I absolutely believe in supplements if you are using the correct ones for your horse. My guy is 17, in great shape and still an active 2'6 horse (schools higher at home occasionally). He has great feet, no problems with keeping weight on, etc. I started him on a joint supplement a few years ago, because frankly, he's getting older and still in full work and I'd like to keep it that way! Do your research and pay attention to the signs your horse may give you about what/where hurts. I read a lot of journal articles specifically about joints, leg wear and tear with show horses, etc. The best combination to have in a supplement for joints is: Chondroitin Sulfate, HA and Glucosamine. He has been on HylaSport for about 6 months now and there is a noticeable difference! I've known him since he was 5 and he's moving and jumping better than ever now. I think it makes his body feel fluid and just comfortable. Sorry that last part sounded like an infomercial..however, because of the HorseTech products, I believe he hasn't had to have an injections.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I believe certain supplements work well on certain horses. Just like with people, a particular supplement won't work on every horse. But, I have heard that Chondroitin Sulfate, HA and Glucosamine are a magic potion, so to speak, to look for in a supplement, as Bear Necessities mentioned. Years ago, my riding instructor recommended this supplement for my gelding: http://www.tractorsupply.com/dumor-r...15-lb--5065178

                      It really works for him, so he's still on it. This instructor had a TB on this supplement that, at 28 years old, was still running and jumping through Hunter Paces, sound as a dollar, keeping up with the "young bucks."

                      Best of luck to you in finding the right thing for your horse!
                      ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

                      The equine love of my life: Gabriel
                      4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not sure if you consider polyglycan a supplement, but that's what my guy gets. He's 17, did the junior jumpers with me, along with moderate/high intensity schooling at home. 2 lessons a week of jumping 4'3"+ and four 35 to 45 minute hacks a week. One normally being a training ride from our pro rider.

                        He's had it easy for the past year and a half due to college, but is now back up to two lessons a week mostly 4" to 4'6" and gets a few hacks during the rest of the week, but nothing as intense.

                        In the 9 years I've been riding/ owned this horse, he's had no soundness issues and has never received hock injections etc of any kind. Still flexes negative every time I get paranoid and ask the vet about it, so I'd say the polyglycan is doing its job!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I believe in using supplements ONLY:

                          (1) For a specific, real, vet-diagnosed problem;
                          (2) If the said vet recommends them specifically.

                          This is to date a very small subset of:

                          Hoof supp. temporarily for horse that was regrowing a sole following an abcess;
                          MSM to help support degenerative suspensory problem;
                          Chasteberry for a horse who was sub-clinical Cushing's w/laminitis.

                          Most of the rest has no science to back it up WHATsoever. And we have one horse here on SmartBugOff and ReitSport which tastes so darn crappy that not only HE won't eat it, but the resident scavengers won't either--says it all for me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I used to feed joint supps. I bought into the Cosequin trend, because of the research, and fed the ASU to my guys and though there was an improvement, it was honestly not justifiable. I now just inject with pentosan, glucosamine, or polyglycan depending on what the horse needs. Made a huge difference and it just makes more sense for me due to the price.

                            I feed MSM and electrolytes, but neither are expensive. I just can't wrap my head around people spending so much on supps that many are not backed by research or facts. I guess it is their money to waste, but I just don't see the need. Smartpak has made a gold mine off selling supps some horses don't need.
                            I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My vets and I agree that oral supplements seem to be a waste of money. My guy does get MSM daily, but other than that, I do the loading dose of Adequan (1 injection every fourth day for 7 injections) as needed (about every 9-12 months).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I believe the larger issue behind the supplement question is:

                                Why are our horses so "compromised" to begin with?

                                (1) Inadequate turnout/movement/socialization
                                (2) Inadequate warmup, cool-down, general conditioning
                                (3) Grass replaced in the diet with inflammation-promoting substances (starch, sugar, soy)
                                (4) Waaaaaaayyy too much cranking them in tight circles
                                (5) Waaaaaaayyy too much repetitive concussion caused by endless jumping while the rider learns how to count to 5!
                                (6) Square Peg/Round Hole--wrong conformation for job.

                                Or to put it another way:

                                Horses who live out, on enough acreage to graze, while working primarily long, slow distance in straighter lines (IOW, the way we "used" to use actual working horses) seem to do pretty well from breaking in to age 30+ without needing any of this stuff.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                                  I believe in using supplements ONLY:

                                  (1) For a specific, real, vet-diagnosed problem;
                                  (2) If the said vet recommends them specifically.

                                  This is to date a very small subset of:

                                  Hoof supp. temporarily for horse that was regrowing a sole following an abcess;
                                  MSM to help support degenerative suspensory problem;
                                  Chasteberry for a horse who was sub-clinical Cushing's w/laminitisu.

                                  Most of the rest has no science to back it up WHATsoever. And we have one horse here on SmartBugOff and ReitSport which tastes so darn crappy that not only HE won't eat it, but the resident scavengers won't either--says it all for me!
                                  Smartpak=the biggest thing yet to milk money out of horse people, If you have it and want to spend it fine, but I get a crack out of getting those little sales catalougues with people swooning " I just put him on smarthoof ultra and I can see the diiference after just two weeks"!
                                  forget the packaging and look at the ingredients, along with talking to your vet.
                                  (Ive tryed the "bug off" did nothing, A lot of supplements rely on the placebo effect)
                                  Please support S. 1406 to amend the Horse Protection Act and Prevent all Soring Tactics to the Tennessee Walking horse!
                                  https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s1406

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                                    I believe the larger issue behind the supplement question is:

                                    Why are our horses so "compromised" to begin with?

                                    (1) Inadequate turnout/movement/socialization
                                    (2) Inadequate warmup, cool-down, general conditioning
                                    (3) Grass replaced in the diet with inflammation-promoting substances (starch, sugar, soy)
                                    (4) Waaaaaaayyy too much cranking them in tight circles
                                    (5) Waaaaaaayyy too much repetitive concussion caused by endless jumping while the rider learns how to count to 5!
                                    (6) Square Peg/Round Hole--wrong conformation for job.

                                    Or to put it another way:

                                    Horses who live out, on enough acreage to graze, while working primarily long, slow distance in straighter lines (IOW, the way we "used" to use actual working horses) seem to do pretty well from breaking in to age 30+ without needing any of this stuff.
                                    I agree. My horse has access to zero grass. That's a bunch of the reasons he's on the supplements (non joint) that he is. I realize that grass would solve the issue, but I don't' have that available to me.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My vet is actually the one who recommended equi-thrive for my mare's joints. Horsie is a 12yo WB show hunter (show 3' school, higher). The mare is sound, but the lead changes were sticky. I was planning to get her hocks injected but the vet recommended the supplement containing Resveratrol. We started it in November. At about 3 weeks I noticed a change. The lead changes got better and the mare seemed more comfortable. When the equithrive ran out, I switched to the Resveratrol-Smartpak (smartflex 4, I think). The mare will get her hocks done this spring, but I'll continue the supplement. It really seemed to make her happier and I'd like to keep horse showing her (happy and sound) for as long as possible. Interestingly, I moved barns recently and switched vets. The new vet was raving about Resveratrol as well....
                                      A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                                      http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        When my boy is on 30 mg/day of biotin, he has nice feet and keeps his shoes, but I stopped with the joint supplements. They did not seem to do anything.
                                        Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)

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