Last updated on March 23rd, 2020 at 10:23 am
Are you looking for the best joint supplement for horses?
As our horses age, they can develop arthritis and other joint conditions which cause them to become lame. The good news is that there is help in the form of supplements.
The best joint supplements for horses do work quite well. However, if you have experimented with a couple of different supplements, you have likely found that some equine joint supplements tend to work better than others at aiding your horse to move a bit more comfortably.
A big reason for this is due to the variable quality and quantity of the ingredients. Another reason is because some supplements don’t contain all of what they claim to. Lastly, some horses with similar conditions often respond quite differently to the same supplements and doses. Some show great improvement, and yet others seem to show no benefit.
Let’s take a look at some of the best joint supplements for horses in 2020.
- Best Overall For 2020: Nutramax Cosequin ASU Equine Powder
- Best For Adult Horses: The Missing Link 5-Pound Equine Plus Formula with Joint Support
- Best For The Money: Majesty’s Flex Wafers
- Best Resveratrol Supplement: Equithrive Joint
- Best For Arthritis: NaturVet, ArthriSoothe-Gold Advanced Joint Formula
- Cheapest: Cox Veterinary Lab Acti Flex Joint Compound
- Best Combination: Horse Health Joint Combo Hoof & Coat
- Best For Older Horses: Richdel Legacy Pellets Joint Support for Senior Horses
- Full Spectrum: GLC 5500 Powder
Best Joint Supplement For Horses Reviews
BEST FOR ADULT HORSES
BEST FOR THE MONEY
BEST RESVERATROL SUPPLEMENT
BEST FOR ARTHRITIS
BEST FOR OLDER HORSES
Nutramax Cosequin ASU Equine Powder – Best Joint Supplement For Horses 2020
The Nutramax Cosequin ASU Equine Powder is our top pick for the best joint supplement for horses in 2020. This horse joint supplement powder comes with many of the key ingredients that seem to play a key role in relieving soreness in horses.
We really like that this supplement is broad spectrum and has a perfect combination of key ingredients – ASU, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, and MSM. These key active ingredients, work both via their own biochemical mechanisms of action, and in conjunction with one another to provide comprehensive joint health for your horse. This is why we feel that this is the best joint supplement for horses 2020.
Based upon feedback, most horses start to see improvement within about four weeks after starting taking Nutramax Cosequin ASU Equine Powder.
The Missing Link 5-Pound Equine Plus Formula with Joint Support for Horses – Best Joint Supplement For Adult Horses
Many feel that The Missing Link 5-Pound Equine Plus Formula with Joint Support for Horses is the best joint supplement for adult horses. They have good reasons for their view.
Often, when a horse is fed only grain or hay for their diet, they miss out on a lot of key nutrients vital for good health. What we like most about The Missing Link supplement is that it contains a blend of high quality ingredients which combine key nutrients like dietary fiber, phyto (plant) nutrients, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and naturally-occurring antioxidants derived from natural whole foods and whole food concentrates. It targets the gap between what a horse needs and would get from an all natural diet and what it gets from today’s commercial food. The manufacturer also uses a patented, proprietary cold-pressing method to ensure that the Omega 3 is as fresh as possible.
Not only is this a great supplement for horse joints, it is great for the overall health of the horse. The unique blend of ingredients may help energy levels, the immune system, intercellular health, and ligament, tendon, and muscle functions. This is a complete horse supplement, and that’s why many feel that this is the best joint supplement for adult horses.
Majesty’s Flex Wafers – Best Equine Joint Supplement For The Money
Majesty's Flex Wafers is our selection for the best equine joint supplement for the money. These crispy wafers provide your horse with five important joint support supplements in a single easy-to-administer, tasty treat. As we mentioned in our calming supplements for horses guide, Majesty makes high quality horse products.
Some horses simply don’t do well with powders or liquids, so being able to provide them with 5 key joint-positive ingredients in a tasty wafer allows you to care for your horse at a lower cost. Unlike powders or liquids, there is no waste with the Majesty Flex Wafers. Although there were some reports of a few horses not liking the taste, most horses seem to enjoy the taste and you can watch them eat the entire serving.
Key ingredients include MSM, Glucosamine KCL, Chondroitin Sulfate, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), and Yucca Extract. Other ingredients include apple sauce, oats, and molasses, all of which horses love.
When compared to other similar horse joint supplements on the market, these wafers cost about half the price for the same nutritional value. That’s why we rate these at the best equine joint supplement for the money.
Equithrive Joint – Best Resveratrol Supplement For Horses
Equithrive Joint is our top pick for the best resveratrol supplement for horses.
Equithrive Joint was the first horse nutraceutical that contained the potent ingredient resveratrol. It is believed that resveratrol, which is a natural molecule, can reduce gene expression of inflammatory enzymes. Another key ingredient of this product is Hyaluronic Acid. There have been studies done showing the positive effects on horses with this supplement combination.
So, what does resveratrol do for horses? Well, according a study by researchers at Texas A&M, horses taking the compound see vast improvements in mobility.
But beware, not all resveratrol products are created equal. Equithrive Joint products are made from Resverasyn®, a proprietary form of resveratrol, that is 99% pure resveratrol which has been reduced in size to more easily absorb and is then encapsulated to help protect the compound from being deteriorated before it reaches tissues in the horse’s body. This is why we feel that Equithrive Joint products are the best resveratrol supplements for horses.
NaturVet – ArthriSoothe-Gold Advanced Joint Formula – Best Joint Supplement For Horses With Arthritis
NaturVet – ArthriSoothe-Gold Advanced Joint Formula is our top pick for the best joint supplement for horses with arthritis.
This product was veterinary formulated and contains some of the key active ingredients recommended for horses with arthritis – MSM, Hyaluronic Acid, Glucosamine and Chondroitin. This extra-strength formula helps to maintain horse joint flexibility and to also lessen discomfort and aches often associated with exercise. It also contains important antioxidants which can help protect your equine against free radicals which can lead to cellular damage. From our research, this is the best joint supplement for horses with arthritis.
Cox Veterinary Lab Acti Flex Joint Compound – Best Cheap Joint Supplements For Horses
Cox Veterinary Lab Acti Flex Joint Compound is one of the best cheap joint supplements for horses and perhaps the best liquid joint supplements for horses.
Featuring Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Sulfate, Superoxide Dismutase and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), this product comes in a quart size bottle which provides for a 32 day supply. These same active ingredients are found in far more expensive horse supplements.
Most horse owners report positive results in just a few weeks after starting their horse on Cox Veterinary Lab Acti Flex Joint Compound. When looking at the price vs ingredients, this is one of the best cheap joint supplements for horses and also one of the best liquid joint supplements for horses.
Horse Health Joint Combo Hoof & Coat – One Of The Top Joint Supplements For Horses
Horse Health Joint Combo Hoof & Coat is one of the top joint supplements for horses. What makes it great for horses is that it is a complete supplement with some very potent key ingredients.
In addition to vitamin C, MSM, manganese, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate for joint health, it also contains zinc and biotin for a lustrous coat and improved skin condition. As if that weren’t enough, it also contains 16 mg of biotin per dose, which is a B-complex vitamin that has been shown to strengthen hooves. Like we said, this is a complete supplement, which is why we rate it as one of the top joint supplements for horses.
Most horses seem to love the cinnamon apple-flavored pellets.
RICHDEL Legacy Pellets Joint Support for Senior Horses – Best Joint Supplement For Older Horses
RICHDEL Legacy Pellets Joint Support for Senior Horses is perhaps the best joint supplement for older horses.
These pellets are specially formulated for senior horses 15 years or older. This product contains pellets made with MSM, Ester-C, Vitamin E, Yucca, Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate. Other ingredients include rice bran and dry yeast for added taste and smooth digestion. This combination of ingredients is why we rate it as the best joint supplement for older horses.
GLC 5500 Powder – Full Spectrum Joint Supplement For Horses
GLC 5500 Powder is the best full spectrum joint supplement for horses. It is made using a patented formula that includes 4 forms of glucosamine, maganese, ascorbate and Chondroitin.
GLS 5500 Powder is unique in that it uses clinically proven CS A-4 which is believed to aid the speed of healing and help minimize degenerative enzymes of your horse. The 2 pound container should last quite a while, as this powder is quite potent.
Joint Supplement For Horses Buyer’s Guide
Many joint supplements for horses contain several ingredients. The purpose of this guide is to help you navigate the top joint supplements for horses. Some of them have complicated names and this guide will help you determine what supplement is best for your horse and how this can help your horse based on the ingredients in each supplement.
Ingredients To Look For
So how do you choose which supplement will work? Following is a list of Ingredients to look for, their benefits, and what will be effective based on your situation. Having this knowledge you can make an educated decision about the best equine joint supplement for your horse.
Glucosamine is the component of cartilage and connective tissues in all living beings. Many studies have been conducted for joint supplements with glucosamine. Glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride are common formulations with both being effective.
Pure Glucosamine can be fabricated or isolated from an outer shell of shellfish, which contains high amounts of Glucosamine. Examples of natural forms of glucosamine could include hydrolyzed collagen from ligaments, skin, or tendons. Another example comes from cattle, specifically from the sternum or trachea. Our recommendation for the best glucosamine for horses is to use pure Glucosamine or Glucosamine from shellfish.
Glucosamine is a pain reducer, and can show beneficial effects in as little as 10 to 14 days. Recommended dosing is 6,000 to 10,000 mg/day. The higher 10,000mg dose can be used for work horses or horses with high activity levels. The first week or two is the “loading period” which helps get a beneficial level of glucosamine into the horse. Glucosamine has been proven in many studies to slow cartilage breakdown and may encourage healing.
An element for bone, cartilage, and tough connective tissues is chondroitin sulfate. One possible benefit of chondroitin is that is can help with protection of breakdown of cartilage. But many studies have provided less than conclusive results. Chondroitin appears to be less effective in pain relief and reduction than glucosamine, however some horses on chondroitin have been reported to move more fluidly. Dosing recommendations for chondroitin is between 1,250 and 5,000 mg per day.
Glucosamine + Chondroitin
The combinations of glucosamine and chondroitin has shown exemplary results in current studies, as opposed to results if either is used alone. Some products have claimed that when the ingredients are combined you can lower the dose and get the same effect.
There are no studies documenting or confirming this. Several joint supplements combine these two ingredients. Many products may contain both of these ingredients, but the dosage amount of one, or both, is often lower than the individual dosages listed. There have been no substantial equine studies showing the benefit to the horse, in terms of joints. The best equine joint supplement recommendation is to use a combination product that supplies a full dose of glucosamine (for pain control) and a correct dose of chondroitin.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are critical components in looking for a joint supplement that will be effective. The top joint supplements for horses contain both of these ingredients. But, you will also find many other ingredients in these supplements.
Human arthritis patients were using Glucosamine and Chondroitin before it was used with horses, as it is an important component of both the cartilage itself and the joint fluid. However, Hyaluronic acid dates to the 1970’s as an injectable drug. Equine medicine has an older history with regards to hyaluronic acid than with human medicine.
Now available as an oral supplement, benefits of hyaluronic acid include control of heat, swelling, and pain. Formulations of gel give quick benefits. Recommended dosage is 100 mg/day.
Hyaluronic acid can also be found as supplements consisting of powder. A beneficial difference can be achieved by adding 20 mg of hyaluronic acid (“hyaluronate”) to a Glucosamine and Chondroitin combination product.
Some other cases may require a dose of as high as 100mg of hyaluronic acid. This may be recommended if your horse does not respond well to just the glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement. You can try a gel as an addition to the supplement for a few days as well.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an effective anti-inflammatory, however it is uncertain with regards to side effects. There was an equine study which showed that it takes a dose of at least 20,000 mg/day to be effective in horses with arthritis in their hocks. MSM can be an effective in varying doses for helping with arthritis. Pure MSM is recommended in order to assess your horse’s response and to accurately assess its effectiveness.
Avocado and Soy Unsaponifiables (ASU)
Avocado and soy unsaponifiables are sometimes referred to as ASU’s. ASU’s are plant fats that come from a process of purification and usually protected being absorbed or digested in the intestinal tract.
One study has indicated that these substances provided protection against breakdown of cartilage. This study was done on horses using supplements under a surgical procedure which induced arthritis. ASU’s did not show any effect in terms of pain reduction. Other studies have indicated that the growth factors for repair and maintenance have increased and that the release of inflammatory substances can be inhibited.
The classification of ASU’s are as a “chondroprotective”. This means that they can protect cartilage, but don’t expect to see quick results. Patience is require and positive results can appear down the road with ASU’s. When looking at a comparison of ASU’s to glucosamine and chondroitin, there is not much in the way of proven studies indicating either way. Also it is uncertain whether adding ASU to a standard combination-type supplement improves results. There are different options for ASU’s, but the best joint supplement for horses with arthritis may or may not include ASU’s. Recommendation for dosage for the equine is at least 1,200 mg/day.
Cetylated Fatty Acids (cetyl myristoleate, or CMO)
In certain instances, CMO may help with protection of cartilage and pain reduction. CMO was originally discovered in mice who appeared to be resistant to arthritis, but few studies have been done in this area. CMO may offer better results when used in conjunction with therapeutic dosages of other joint-healthy nutrients.
No studies have been completed to discern where the combination of CMO with glucosamine/chondroitin versus just the glucosamine and chondroitin alone shows any differences in effectiveness. Minimum dosing for your horse can be at least 1,400 mg, but no studies have been done to provide data regarding CMO.
Hydrolyzed collagen is broken down and purified collagen to aid with digestion. It consists of small protein units that can be absorbed. The benefit is hydrolyzed collagen is believed to come from the connective tissue-specific protein and amino acids. Collagen is a protein that forms the basis for all connective tissues in the body, which include cartilage and bone. Collagen also contains hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin which occur in a natural form.
Recently, Collagen hydrolysates have been used to treat arthritis. They also are excellent at promoting healing in ulcers and wounds. Few studies have been done in this area, but collagen hydrolysates can assist in pain reduction. Equine dosing may be as high as 40,000 mg a day to achieve results. With regards to combinations of hydrolyzed collagen and other joint supplement ingredients, few studies have been done in this area as well.
Many herbs are often added to equine joint supplements which may have anti-inflammatory effects, however there is no guarantee the amount in the supplement will be sufficient to have any effect. Herbs can be useful for horses that have recurrent pain even though they are using other joint nutraceuticals.
Vitamin C can be necessary for connective tissue and cartilage health. However, excessive amounts of Vitamin C may even damage cartilage. With regards to Vitamin C, no equine studies have been done to provide data. Horses can eat grass to the equivalent of about 1,000 to 2,000 mg/day of vitamin C from grass. The horse equivalent of a human dose found to have a mild effect seems to be around 4,000 mg/da. However, a horse’s body is able to make its own vitamin C, so 4,000 could be too much. A horse on feeding on fresh pasture is ingesting about 1,000 to 2,000 mg/day of vitamin C from the natural grass.
Manganese is necessary for the production of chondroitin sulfate in the equine body. Manganese has a critical role in cartilage metabolism and is to be used in very small amounts. Your horse is probably meeting his minimum requirements by eating hay, pasture and grain and probably getting a lot more manganese than is necessary. No studies however, show benefit for supplementing manganese, or have been done on deficiency of manganese. The avoidance of manganese entirely is recommended or find the lowest dose you can (25 mg or less). However, make sure you are getting the other ingredients you are looking for when looking for the best joint supplement for horses with arthritis.
Copper and Zinc
Copper is an important element in the formation of connective tissue. Both Copper and Zinc are part of the antioxidant enzyme systems of the body. It is important to supplement Copper and Zinc, as in many horse diets there is a lack of both. Your horse’s mineral supplements should be based on your horse’s diet. There is no one mineral that will solve arthritis problems. When looking for the best equine joint supplement, make sure that Copper and Zinc are a part of the equation. If your supplement contains both, 50 mg of Copper and 150 mg of Zinc may be reasonable.
- Begin supplement use with a joint supplement that provides 6,000 to 10,000 milligrams (mg) glucosamine and 1,250 to 5,000 mg chondroitin.
- Avocado and soy unsaponifiables (ASU’s) can protect against cartilage breakdown, but act slowly.
- Hyaluronic acid can be helpful for horses with persistent heat and swelling, and flare ups of pain which can indicate ongoing inflammation.
- Start a joint supplement before your horse is badly lame and before it is too late to change their condition. Waiting too long may mean changes are not possible.
Last update on 2020-04-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API