performance horse using horse joint supplements

Health Review: Best Joint Supplement for Horses

If you are looking for the best joint supplement for horses I have reviewed the top options available today and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.

Whether you are looking to help a lame horse, minimize arthritis pain, improve the joint of a senior horse, or simply to prevent joint issues from happening in the first place, a high quality joint supplement can be the answer you are looking for.

Check the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my top joint supplement for horses picks or read on for the full review:

  1. GLC 5500 Powder
  2. Cosequin ASU Plus Equine Powder
  3. COX VETERINARY Acti Flex Joint Compound 
  4. Hyalogic Hyaluronic Acid Horse Joint Supplement
  5. Cosequin Equine Optimized with MSM
  6. AniMed GLUCOSAMINE 5000 Powder
  7. Nusentia Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM Horse Joint Supplement
  8. Manna Pro Corta-FLX Powder Equine Joint Supplement
  9. Pennwoods Equine Joint Plus
  10. AniMed Pure MSM

Do Horse Joint Supplements Work?

In recent years scientific studies have started to focus on the effectiveness of joint supplements on improving equine joint mobility and lessening inflammation.

Certain compounds can improve joint swelling and increase your horses mobility without resorting to a short term fix such as pain medication.

There are multiple underlying causes that can lead to inflammation, joint pain, and swelling and it is important to understand the cause in your horse’s situation to ensure proper supplementation.

Supplements that Improve Horse Joint Health

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is an effective and common ingredient in horse joint supplements. Glucosamine is quite effective in reducing joint pain and studies have shown that improvements can be seen in as little as two weeks after starting supplementation.

General dosing guidelines is 6,000mg/day to 10,000mg/day. Follow manufacturer instructions on dosing but generally the higher end of the range is intended for performance horses or for the initial week of supplementation, also known as the loading phase.

Glucosamine is a building block of all connective tissue and is found in your horse’s cartilage.

Glucosamine can be derived from multiple sources but the best sources for horse supplementation come from pure glucosamine or those extracted from shell fish.

Chondroitin

Another important part of a horse’s body. Chondroitin is a component of bone, cartilage, and connective tissue in the horse. Chondroitin used in isolation does not show the same level of equine joint pain relief as glucosamine but some studies show promise that chondroitin supplementation, even when used alone, can prevent further cartilage breakdown.

General dosing guidelines are 1,250mg/day to 5,000mg/day.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Research has shown evidence that combining glucosamine with chondroitin supplementation shows superior results to either compound being supplemented in isolation.

More research is needed on what doses are optimal when combining the two supplements but at this time it is recommended to maintain the individual dosing guidelines when combining glucosamine and chondroitin.

Hyaluronic acid

Another important part of the horse’s cartilage, hyaluronic acid is also found in the joint fluid of your horse.

Hyaluronic acid has shown benefits to helping acute joint swelling and joint pain. When dosed properly in conjunction with glucosamine and chondroitin, hyaluronic acid can assist in rapidly reducing equine joint inflammation.

You can find hyaluronic acid in oral and powder supplement forms. Dosage is generally recommended at 100mg/day and can be used alongside glucosamine and chondroitin.

(ASU) Avocado and Soy Unsaponifiables

these are fats from plants that evidence shows may help prevent cartilage breakdown in horses with arthritis. There has been no evidence supporting that ASU supplementation reduces pain but it does show promise in reducing joint inflammation.

General dosing guidelines suggest supplementing 1,200mg/day.

MSM Methylsufonylmethane

MSM has been used as an anti inflammatory supplement for horses for a number of years now. While it has shown positive effects in reducing joint inflammation in horses, long term effects have not been fully studied.

General dosing guidelines vary and go up to 20,000/mg/day

Hydrolyzed Collagen

Hydrolyzed collagen is an important component of a horses bone, cartilage, connective tissue, and even their hair.

The variety found in horse joint supplements comes from animal proteins and naturally has glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid in it.

Evidence indicates that hydrolyzed callagen improves equine joint mobility through the absorption of amino acids found in the base connective tissue of the supplement.

Another benefit of collagen is that it aids in the healing of wounds and ulcers in horses in addition to being a direct treatment for horse arthritis.

Dosing guidelines have not been thoroughly studied and up to 40,000mg/day has been recommended for optimal benefits.

CMO Cetylated fatty acids

CMO first raised eyebrows in the scientific community for showing very promising results in reducing arthritis symptoms in mice. Evidence for the same benefits in horses has been mixed and ongoing research is needed.

Some evidence suggests that when used in conjunction with supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, may improve the symptoms in horses with arthritis but at this time it should not be used unless desired effects have not been found when supplementing with the established horse joint supplements.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important part of a horse’s overall health, including joint and connective tissue health.

Vitamin C should only be supplemented for horses in the case of a deficiency as toxicity levels can be reached with over supplementation which can lead to further health issues.

Best Horse Joint Supplements

GLC 5500 Powder

This is a high quality Gllucosamine and Chondroitin horse joint supplement. Ingredients are pharmaceutical quality and the glucosamine comes in four bioavailable versions allowing for maximum absorption and maintaining effective levels in your horse.

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Manganese

Cosequin ASU Plus Equine Powder

This premium horse joint supplement has multiple active ingredients formulated to improve equine joint health and reduce lameness, arthritis, and joint inflammation. Contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, ASU, and Sodium Hyaluronate.

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • MSM
  • ASU
  • Sodium Hyaluronate

COX VETERINARY Acti Flex Joint Compound 

High quality ingredient horse joint supplement intended to reduce the need to purchase multiple different supplements for the same results. This horse joint formulation includes Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Superoxide Dismutase, and Vitamin C. Additional active ingredients include Boswellia Seerrata, and Hyaluronic acid. This is an excellent premium quality horse joint supplement.

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • MSM
  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Vitamin C
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Boswellia Seerrata

Hyalogic Hyaluronic Acid Horse Joint Supplement

A high quality Hyaluronic acid supplement for improving cartilage health in horse’s joints. Each bottle has 90 doses and the oral applicator prevents wasting the supplement, increasing the efficiency when administering it to your horse.

  • Hyaluronic acid

Cosequin Equine Optimized with MSM

A well respected and top selling horse joint supplement. Contains therapeutic levels of cosequin and MSM. Two scoops provides 10,000mg of MSM. This is a good option for treating a horse experiencing joint pain and inflammation and not as a preventative or for ongoing supplementation.

  • Cosequin
  • MSM

AniMed GLUCOSAMINE 5000 Powder

Contains 5,000mg of quality Glucosamine per tablespoon. This is an excellent high quality glucosamine supplement for horses at an excellent value making it an economical way to provide your horse with daily joint supplementation help.

  • Glucosamine

Nusentia Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM Horse Joint Supplement

Contains quality glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM joint supplements. Liquid to improve bioavailability and absorption. And ideal joint supplement for senior horses, horses with arthritis, and performance horses.

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • MSM

Manna Pro Corta-FLX Powder Equine Joint Supplement

Quality ingredients formulate for optimal joint supplement absorption. Contains active ingredients for improving joint mobility and reducing inflammation. Includes Collagen Hydrolysate, Chondroitin, Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, and Yucca extract.

  • Collagen Hydrolysate
  • Chondroitin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Yucca extract

Pennwoods Equine Joint Plus

High quality ingredients with a unique blend. Contains MSM, Glucosamine, Vitamin C, Devils claw, kelp meal, and New Zealand green shell mussel powder. This equine joint supplement offers excellent absorption and a wide array of beneficial ingredients.

  • MSM
  • Glucosamine
  • Vitamin C
  • Devils claw
  • Kelp meal
  • New Zealand green shell mussel powder

AniMed Pure MSM

This is a high quality, pure MSM powder joint supplement for horses. If you are looking for MSM to reduce swelling and joint inflammation this is the best supplement currently available without any other added ingredients.

  • MSM

For more equine tips and guides read these articles:

Conclusion

Maintaining good horse joint health is important and providing the best horse joint supplement is great for treating inflammation, pain, arthritis, and more, but it is also an excellent way to prevent a horse from developing joint pain and issues.

Here is the quick list with my picks for the best horse joint supplements once again. To check prices and customer reviews view the links below

  1. GLC 5500 Powder
  2. Cosequin ASU Plus Equine Powder
  3. COX VETERINARY Acti Flex Joint Compound 
  4. Hyalogic Hyaluronic Acid Horse Joint Supplement
  5. Cosequin Equine Optimized with MSM
  6. AniMed GLUCOSAMINE 5000 Powder
  7. Nusentia Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM Horse Joint Supplement
  8. Manna Pro Corta-FLX Powder Equine Joint Supplement
  9. Pennwoods Equine Joint Plus
  10. AniMed Pure MSM

Joint Supplements for Horses FAQ

Should I supplement Glucosamine for my horse’s joints?

Glucosamine has been extensively studied and has consistently shown benefits to joint health, including in horses. It has shown promising results in the treatment of arthritis and joint inflammation making it an worthwhile treatment for horses suffering from arthritis and joint pain caused by inflammation. It has shown benefits in restoring joint cartilage which is a major cause of joint pain in horses.

How does Glucosamine supplementation improve joint health?

There is still more research needed to identify definitively how glucosamine supplementation works. One possible reason is that glucosamine may incorporate within the cartilage and in turn strengthen the horse’s cartilage. Some researchers argue that too little glucosamine is absorbed in the joint fluid but may instead trigger a mechanism that creates a strengthening of the cartilage by the horse’s system. It is also theorized that supplementing with glucosamine may activate reactions that inhibit the breakdown of the horse’s joint cartilage. This may be possible considering that cartilage is constantly breaking down and growing, therefore if the growth rate is improved by glucosamine the bone cartilage will strengthen in time. The inverse would occur if cartilage breakdown rate exceeds strengthening rate. This would ultimately lead to osteoporosis. It is additionally possible that glucosamine supplementation may inhibit directly, the increase of inflammation in the horse’s joints.

What type of glucosamine supplement should I give my horse?

Glucosamine comes in multiple chemical forms. Glucosamine sulfate and hydrochloric acid are the most common forms studied and used in supplementation, though glucosamine sulfate has a larger body of research overall. Preliminary results show that joint supplementation with glucosamine sulfate is more effective than via hydrochloric acid. In fact, many researchers now believe that the sulfate compound is an integral part of the joint health improvements in horses taking the supplement. This may in fact be the key to the supplementation benefits found in MSM and chondroitn sulfate as they both contain this compound.

Glucosamine HCL is available in supplement form but it is currently believed to be less effective in isolation. The results have been mixed and in light of these results it is recommended that if an HCL supplement is used that you provide your horse with chondroitin sulfate or MSM as well.

The key here is that current research points to joint health benefits in horses who receive glucosamine and sulfate together.

Should I use injectable joint treatments for my horse?

There are a number of options for injecting into your horse most commonly hyaluronic acid. These treatments have shown joint health improvements but they come at a higher cost than oral joint supplements along with the added difficulty of having a vet administer the treatment. It is recommended to first utilize an oral equine joint supplement and assess the effectiveness before opting for injections.

Is hyaluronic joint supplementation effective in horses?

Hyaluronic acid has shown excellent joint health benefits when injected but the research shows it is less effective as an oral supplement. Less effective does not indicate there is no benefit, but more research is necessary to fully understand it’s joint health effects. One study revealed evidence that oral hyaluronic acid supplementation in race horses post exercise improved joint healing. The evidence is lacking in it’s effectiveness in treating equine arthritis. At this time it is not known if HA benefits go beyond exercise induced inflammation healing.

Is it safe to give my horse glucosamine supplements?

Glucosamine supplementation in horses has been extensively studied and has been shown to cause no negative side effects. It is recommended to always follow dosing guidelines and to use a high quality supplement to avoid unwanted and potentially harmful additives.

Can glucosamine prevent the development of equine arthritis?

Glucosamine supplementation has shown evidence in cartilage repair and strengthening. It therefore may in fact help in the prevention of the development of arthritis in horses.

Will glucosamine increase my horse’s blood sugar levels?

Insulin resistance in horse’s is a valid concern but in regard to properly dosed glucosamine supplementation there does not appear to a risk with utilizing glucosamine. Again, it is important to follow proper dosing levels.

What is the proper glucosamine for horses dose?

Dosing levels from horses have been drawn from human studies. While equine supplements range widely in dose levels, you should always base the dose on your horse’s weight. The average supplemental dose is 8-10gms per day.

What are the MSM supplementation benefits in horses?

MSM has been lightly studied at this point. Most studies have been in humans with a couple specifically conducted regarding horse supplementation. MSM is very similar to DMSO in it’s chemical construction. It has the potential for reducing inflammation in the joints of horses in addition to reducing muscle pain and spasms induced by exercise. Some evidence shows benefits in equine arthritis in the knees and spine.

In one study, MSM utilized with Vitamin C reduced oxidative stress in horses following jumping exercises. Jumping is incredibly high impact and causes significant joint stress and often can lead to injury. Horses studied who received MSM and Vitamin C were found to return to pre exercise inflammation levels quicker than horses who did not receive the supplementation. There was additional evidence that horses who received MSM were more protected from exercise induced injury. Again, more research is needed but MSM may have joint health benefits in horses, especially performance horses.

Does Vitamin C supplementation improve horse joint health?

Vitamin C has been studied extensively and shown to provide antioxidant effects. This is a known inflammation reducer in horses as oxidative stress causes damage to the horse’s cells which can lead to pain and joint inflammation.

Further research is needed but currently it is recommended that higher doses are needed to see therapeutic benefits with equine vitamin C supplementation. This is upwards of 2000 to 10,000 mg per day.

Vitamin C is believed to aid in the synthesis of collagen which is an integral component in muscle and joint tissue. It may additionally increase wound healing and white blood cell activity.

A study in racing horses showed evidence that vitamin C supplementation prevented cellular damage post exercise.

Other research shows that vitamin C supplementation may protect your horse from cartilage degeneration. Another study showed that 9 of 10 horses with equine arthritis exhibited significant improvements in joint health following Vitamin C supplementation at a very high dose. This may be a top joint supplement for horses.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *