Your horses joint health- what should you know?

10th January 2019

Equine Joint health issues are one of the most discussed topics throughout the equine world. Subsequently there is a raft of supplements, treatments and therapies available to choose from to support your horse.
Choosing from the available options for your horse can be difficult so here are a few helpful facts.
Horse have approximately 205 bones in their skeleton (like adult humans at 206 bones) and three different joint types, some of these joints are very complex in their movements eg; the Carpus or Knee.

There are three types of joints in your horse

Synovial Joints

• Are moveable and most susceptible to injury
• Two bone ends covered in articular cartilage for frictionless movement
• Joint capsule contains inner lining called synovial membrane – secretes synovial fluid for lubrication
• Example: Carpus joint or Knee and Elbow

Cartilaginous Joints

• Are slightly movable or immovable depending on the particular bones
• Held together by fibrocartilage (collagen fibres), hyaline cartilage
• Example: in between the vertebrae of your horse's backbone

Fibrous Joints

• Are immovable joints
• Held together by fibrous tissues which harden into bone
• Example: The joints making up your horses skull

The key ingredients proven to support your horse's joint health are;

Glucosamine HCI

Glucosamine HCI is effective in relieving your horse's joint pain to a certain extent, is proven to slow cartilage breakdown and increase the Hyaluronate content in the joint. Hyaluronate is a fundamental component of Synovial fluid – joint lubricant. Glucosamine HCI increases the levels of glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) in the joint. GAG’s are the ‘building blocks’ in the cartilage matrix.

Chondroitin Sulphate

Compliments the presence of Glucosamine HCI, Chondroitin Sulphate is a natural ‘water magnet’ in the joints. Correct amounts of Chondroitin Sulphate enable the joint to withstand constant compression and concussion. ‘Cartilage destroying’ enzymes found in damaged joints are also inhibited by Chondroitin Sulphate


MSM is a source of bioavailable sulphur which is required for the synthesis of connective tissue. MSM works best with both Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulphate in the maintenance of the cartilage matrix.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is naturally present in your horse's joints. Synovitis and osteoarthritic cartilage (inflammation) reduce the quantity and quality of this HA. The most important role of HA is to increase the viscosity of the synovial fluid to reduce the friction between the joint surfaces for fluid movement.

Curcumin (Tumeric)

Curcumin is the active component of Turmeric which is well known to have antioxidant properties and to provide support for digestive, musculoskeletal and immune systems. Pure Curcumin is easier for your horse to absorb than standard Turmeric. As an antioxidant Curcumin is very effective in reducing cell damage post-exercise caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals such as stress, toxins and chemicals etc.

Couldn’t they just take a weight off their legs more?

The ambulatory nature of horses probably hardly needs a mention as we guess anyone in the horse world knows horses are not suited to lying down and resting for hours on end like humans, your horse can generally be recumbent for 72-96 hours before life-threatening complications can appear. There is a large amount of stress and pressure on the equine skeletal system particularly if your horse is in work.


conformation when joint health issue are diagnosed, it does highlight the particular importance of nurturing mares in foal and promoting healthy breeding through feed and relevant supplementation to give foals the best start in life.

To conclude

all horse are very susceptible to joint problems of one kind or another, particularly horses in regular exercise across the many different disciplines. Supplementation is one way of assisting your horse's joint health, below is a shortlist of supplements from TRM relevant to the maintenance of joint health and as fed to the horses of some of the worlds leading equestrian riders.

Curcumin and Hyaluronic Acid Support Supplement

KuraSyn 360x is a complementary feed supplement for horses containing highly bioavailable Curcumin (Active Component of Turmeric) combined with Hyaluronic acid. It contains a fast-acting Curcumin extract complexed with a naturally occurring oligosaccharide and has significantly better absorption compared with standard Turmeric.

Stride HA
A fast-acting mobility supplement

STRIDE HA is a fast-acting liquid formulation for the nutritional maintenance of healthy cartilage and joints in horses, with the additional benefit of Hyaluronic Acid. Contains all four key ingredients for joint health

For optimum skeletal development and conformation

Calphormin is unique in that it contains a balanced combination of macro-minerals, trace minerals, amino acids and the added benefit of Sodium Zeolite a bioavailable silicon-containing compound. The foundations for a horse's future success can be laid down before it is even born.