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How many of you have your horses on Joint supplements

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  • How many of you have your horses on Joint supplements

    So my question is what do you do for your horses, how old are they, do they have problems AND What do you use?

    I am debating about putting my 7 yr old who is doing the 3'6" this year on a joint supplement.

    I know there are two worlds of thought

    1. If you do it now before there are problems you will have to do it for ever because his body will stop doing it itself

    2. Do it now BEFORE there are problems

    Now my horse has NO problems to speak of. If he goes lame it's because he plays way to rough not because he's sore.

  • #2
    I've had my mare on Cosequin since she was four and a half, she's coming seven this year. I figured do it now before there are problems just to give the joints a boost for health and longevity. Does it make a difference? Don't know, but at least it makes me feel better
    "Beware the hobby that eats."
    Benjamin Franklin


    • #3
      Retired Childrens, A/O hunter now 21 has been on joint supplements (GL mix) since he was 6. This was waaaay back when there was only a handful to choose from. Preventative. He was (show) retired sound at 15, still ridden 4+ times a week and jump occasionally. He is just now showing some soreness. He is 15.2
      -my opinion is yes


      • #4
        Have tried most of what's out there. Some work better then others. One problem is the orals tend not to be digested well or there just is not enough in them to do much. Joint injections work well and quickly and are more expensive-but it all goes where it's needed. But that really should be done only after a good vet work up to be sure that is what's going on.

        I had the best luck with the oral Hyalauronic acid in gels like Legend and Hyalauronex, they had to eat them but the gel made it easier to get it into them. The IV Legend (also HA) which helps with lubrication within the joint and the IM Adequan which is fairly similar.

        Most of the OTC products coming in powder or pellets did little or nothing and it was difficult to tell how much ended up in them...and, if you fed the max recommended or loading dose, it got pricey. There were a couple of Glucosamine/Chondroitin powders that were right up there pricewise but seemed to make a difference-about the same as the monthly Legend or Adequan shot-but only pricewise, the shots worked better. Much less of an actual effect with the orals by comaprison.

        I used this stuff after the vet identified joint issues like OCD in a teenaged Hunter and navicular changes in 2 middle aged geldings. Although the navicular is not really a joint mobility issue, it seemd to make them more comfortable, probably because the joints around the hoof and places where small bones come together inside the hoof were a little better lubicated/cushioned.

        You might go over to Horse Care and just type in "joint supplements" or "Lubrisyn" in that search box. There have been several very long running threads discussing various products posters have tried and the results...just be prepared for everything from ulcers to barefoot to be suggested as well.
        Last edited by findeight; Apr. 27, 2010, 11:43 AM.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


        • #5
          My dressage-c/t horse is on legends now and then and also oral supplements. I love joint armour from kentucky performance products. Great stuff!! The vets at UGA recommend cortiflex w/ HA or cosequin. I put my daughters 13 year old pony on it after he started having some hock arthritis and it did okay but the joint armour helped him the best. I also use MSM on both. The best way to go is adequin or legends, I tend to like legends better. Our pony got his first legends shot last week also. I also like to use omega powder, good for coat skin and joints as told by the vets.
          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


          • #6
            Originally posted by nlk View Post
            I know there are two worlds of thought

            1. If you do it now before there are problems you will have to do it for ever because his body will stop doing it itself

            2. Do it now BEFORE there are problems
            Just wanted to add a third:
            3. Don't bother, because there's no evidence the things do anything anyway.

            Lots of posters will chime in with accounts of how this or that oral potion changed their horse's life. But the truth is that there is virtually no science that shows that oral joint supplements actually improve joint health.

            That said, I haven't seen any support for your argument 1. So if you want to go ahead and supplement, I don't think you need to be put off by a fear that you'll be somehow dooming your horse to a life of dependence.

            If you want to do something preventive for your horse--or do some sort of treatment down the line when he needs it--I'd recommend choosing more proven therapies. Adequan and Legend both have solid evidence behind them. And joint injections, when appropriate, absolutely do what they are supposed to do.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the suggestion findeight and to everyone else for chiming in!


              • #8
                Save your money on oral supplements and go directly into the joint when he needs it or start him on injectable. Whith the exception of Cosequin, there is NO scientific studies on the orals.


                • #9
                  I don't have any of my horses on daily joint supplements. They are all on Glanzen, and for several years I ordered the Glanzen with the joint supplement in it, but never noticed a difference. I also tried many different kinds of joint supplements after an old horse of mine injured himself (unrelated to his joints, but I thought perhaps a supplement could help him be a little more comfortable overall). I never noticed a difference with any of those either.

                  My riding horses:
                  1. 9yo 17h OTTB gelding doing the 1.40m jumpers - no problems
                  2. 13yo 15.3h Oldenburg mare doing the 1.30m/1.40m jumpers for the last 6 years - no problems
                  3. 9yo 15.1h DWB mare - no supplements at all - 1.10m jumpers - no problems
                  (I don't think my babies or my pony count for this "study" )

                  I have, however, been using Polyglycan before shows for many years. I definitely notice a difference with my mare (who shows at or near the top of her scope level), and I used it for the first time with my TB before his 1.40m debut and he felt incredible at the show after some sort of an accident a month ago (maybe a flip over in the paddock....whatever it was it had him all crooked and NQR), but then I had a bunch of bodywork done on him, had his hocks injected, and used my Back On Track sheet on him for the week before and week of the show. So who knows if the Polyglycan contributed on top of all of that!

                  I tend to be pretty conservative with joint injections (i.e. I held off on doing my mare's hocks until she was 13 and had been doing the 1.30m/1.40m jumps for several years, and I held off on my boy until I had two bodyworkers tell me that they thought he could benefit from hock injections), so I guess I feel like the Polyglycan (or Adequan or Legend or whatever route an individual prefers) is kind of my "middle of the road" approach. If I could find a joint supplement that I thought really did something I would absolutely add it to the horses' daily feed.
                  Flying F Sport Horses
                  Horses in the NW


                  • #10
                    I have my 7 year old on joint supplements. She is on Platinum Performance, Flex Force HA, Flex Force Glucosamine, and MSM. I have had her on the PP since I bought her at 4, and the HA, extra Glucosamine and MSM since she had some slight lameness issues at 6. I can see the difference between when she is on them and when she is not. I have used the PP CJ in the past with excellent results, but it was too expensive to continue long term.


                    • #11
                      i notice a difference when my horse is not on his joint supplement, for what it's worth. he's definitely got more suspension and is all around more supple.

                      i know this because he wasn't getting his supplements for a period of time, and his gait lost some suspension and got a bit stabby up front. placebo effect, some might say....but that's not possible because i didn't even know he wasn't getting them - he just felt different. and i, thinking nothing had changed, was scratching my head trying to figure out why. turned out we had a groom who simply wasn't feeding supplements when he didn't feel like it. i didn't realize until the barn owners caught him and i did the math and realized my supply had lasted months longer than it should have. mystery solved. now he's back on and moving as well as ever. studies or not, i definitely see a difference.

                      i feed dynamite's free and easy with a boost of msm.


                      • #12
                        I have my six-year-old TB mare on Cosequin Optimized. She had a chip removed from an ankle two years ago and I had two vets recommend Cosequin as a preventative to keep the joint healthy. One works almost exclusively on racehorses and sporthorses so he deals with a lot of joint issues and the other is my regular vet who is very conservative about recommending supplements and who also makes a lot of effort to keep up on the literature. So given two recommentations that I respect I decided to go for it and make the investment. Also, my vet did say it is not addictive in that a horse can go off of it at any time without ill effects.

                        My mare is 17.1 and big boned and I'm hoping she'll be my A/O hunter.

                        I'm probably going to put my 15-year-old on it too. He retired sound after nearly 50 starts and though he didn't begin jumping until he was twelve and usually doesn't do anything higher than 3', I think his joints have probably seen enough abuse that he might benefit, and I can't see going with injectables as a preventative.


                        • #13
                          This is a topic ive had quite a few lengthy discussions on What ive found is there is really no proof that the oral onse worl (but we had great sucess w/ an older pony staying sound and comfortable on BL solution a few years back, but im pretty sure u cant show w/ them on it for drug rules etc) i have a 12 yo event horse who is on ZERO supp. vetted him a few moths back and has really great xrays. if your horse doesn't have any issues it may not be worht it, i think having a FIT horse that is up to the job being asked is the most imp.
                          that being said. i am contemplating doing something such as legends (or maybe a generic IM glucosamine) because my thinking is with the injection you actually know they are getting it, and from what ive heard people have had a lot of luck with it!


                          • #14
                            Current horse, 7yo jumper doing 3'6" and hoping for higher gets nothing. We did do a course of Adequan, for really no reason at all (he does not and has never had any lameness). But we didn't even do the full 7 dose course, we did a 3 dose course (vet recommended this, not sure it's really as effective as the manufacturer's 7 dosage.) He's going to old school route, we don't even wrap at shows.

                            Now my old event mare got just about every joint supplement under the sun. We tried everything to make her comftorable. Joint injections, adequan monthly, chiro. But she was older and actually had significant arthritis or other problems in joints including: coffins, front fetlocks, hocks, and stifles. She was wrapped, liniment-ed, and poulticed up at every show. FWIW I could tell a difference in her. Used a supplement with Hyalauronic Acid in it that had noticeable effects, but was pricey. Corta-Flex was my cheap stand by that also seemed to help.
                            More than any supplement with her was proper maintenance. Careful warm-up, cool out, and a carefully planned training schedule. Since she actually had arthritis wrapping/liniment/poultice definitely helped her out at the shows.

                            One thing I really think is good for their legs and general health is nice long walk out times. Cool off under saddle, hose, and then walk out in hand.


                            • #15
                              10 yr old OTTB who recently started some MSM and will start adequan in six months as we start to show more.
                              "to each his own..."


                              • #16
                                For years I have used Vapco's Flex-It and had superb results. It is oral.
                                Works on bone and muscle.
                                Ask and allow, do not demand and force.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by touchstone- View Post
                                  Just wanted to add a third:
                                  3. Don't bother, because there's no evidence the things do anything anyway.
                                  That's my choice...never used them, never will, don't believe in them.


                                  • #18
                                    I do not do any oral supplements. My horse only gets hay and a scoop of Triple Crown Senior. When horse was 16, my vet did some flexions and she was positive in both hocks. I put her on a course of Legend and Adequan which I can do myself along with getting her hocks injected. She is a 1.10 meter jumper/equitation horse. My vet said the orals do not do work and it was better to address a specific problem. Most horses as they age with have some changes to their joints which require some maintenance if they have had a competive career. Supplements can be a real drain on the pocket book.


                                    • #19
                                      I take them and notice a difference. I feed one of my horses Four flex HA and I feel it works well for him.

                                      I know others have said there is no scientific evidence they work but with my own personal research it works.

                                      Now, saying that, whenever I give one of my horses joint supplements he gets freaky... so they do something......

                                      I do love Adiquan and Legend... but unless I am working my horses 'really' hard -- it's quite pricey.
                                      Live in the sunshine.
                                      Swim in the sea.
                                      Drink the wild air.


                                      • #20
                                        I put my 10 year old on ReitSport from SmartPak. So far so good. He didn't really have any big issues but thought I would do preventative. I did have his hock and stifles done last winter cause his flexion test showed that he was a little off.