Best Horse Joint Supplement

Best Horse Joint Supplement

The best horse joint supplement has a small but quality ingredient list. Horse joint supplements are used widely within riding disciplines. Rider’s cite use of joint supplements to address one of their main concerns; mobility and performance. Horse owners may need guidance on joint supplements, however they should also be aware of exactly what they are feeding.

Ingredients including in the best horse joint supplements include;

  • Glucosamine
  • Methylsulfonylmathane
  • Chondroitin Sulphate
  • Vitamin C
  • Hyaluronic Acid



Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound in the body, forming a structural component of cartilage that cushions the joints. Through exercise and age, cartilage and other soft structures surrounding the joint can become weaker and begin to breakdown. This can result in pain, swelling and stiffness. Therefore, the inclusion of glucosaminis is essential when looking for the best horse joint supplement.

 However, a 2014 study observed supplementing with glucosamine showed a trend to increase new cartilage production and decrease the breakdown of existing cartilage during inflammatory processes. Therefore, using a joint supplement containing glucosamine is beneficial for horses in rehabilitation from injury.

In addition, researchers have suggested that glucosamine used in young horses may be useful to decrease risk and severity of arthritis in horses. Not only can it reduce cartilage breakdown, it has also been show to regulate gene expression of some mediators of osteoarthritis in equine joints.


Chondroitin Sulphate

Chondroitin sulphate works in combination with glucosamine to support healthy cartilage. Another naturally occurring compound in the horses body, it also works as a structural component of cartilage and soft tissue structures.

The most effective horse joint supplements contain chondroitin sulphate to complement glucosamine. Perfecting the ratio of chondroitin sulphate to glucosamine is essential though, as too much either can cause a reduction in total glycosaminoglycans (GAG). GAG’s have an essential role in the including regulation of cell growth and proliferation, binding cells to form larger structures, anticoagulation, and wound repair. Therefore, ensuring chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine are supplied in a rationed form can be vital for healing, repair and development of joint structure. Therefore, to reap the benefits of these compounds, owners should reach to well-balanced formulas which contain a blend of both glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate.

However, chondroitin sulphate does have independent benefits too. Laboratory studies have found that chondroitin can reduce the activity of enzymes and substances that break down collagen in joints. Meanwhile, other studies have demonstrated that it has several anti-inflammatory properties. Some research has found that chondroitin can prevent the breakdown of cartilage and can also stimulate repair mechanisms.



Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring form of sulphur, found in plants and animals. MSM is commonly used in joint supplements, possessing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These stress-protective properties also help other compounds within quality joint supplements or the horse’s diet to have the best effect.

In horses it is used to relieve joint pain in aging horses and performance horses. In addition, it helps maintain healthy connective tissue, cartilage, bones, skin, coat and hooves.

Sulphur’s, such as MSM, are involved in many metabolic functions including carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis and protection from oxidative stress. Therefore, horses who are deficient in MSM may experience inflammatory or degenerative issues like slow recovery from exercise, hoof problems or joint pain.

MSM has benefits for horses with high workloads, minimizing oxidative damage and inflammation allowing their muscles to recover quickly. It is frequently given to high performance horses to maintain function and performance.

Minimising and protecting against inflammation, MSM can help to;

  • Decrease recovery periods after hard exercises
  • Prevent excess stress on tissues and reduce injury occurrence.
  • Aid pain relief after exercise
  • Aid pain relief in inflammatory condition such as arthritis
  • Support the immune system


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential in the horse’s diet for so many reasons, with one of these being joint health.

Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, which forms the basis of bones and soft tissue within the horse body. It is also a potent anti-oxidant, protecting against oxidative stress and inflammation. The blended function of an antioxidant and supporting collagen synthesis mean that this vitamin is essential in protecting against joint degeneration.

A 2019 study investigated vitamin C’s effect on bone and cartilage metabolism to investigate how the nutrient may benefit people with osteoarthritis. Using cell cultures, researchers found vitamin C induced a cascade of reactions that help protect cartilage against damage. IN particular they found better levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, which mis-regulation of can cause cell differentiation, cancer and aging processes. Therefore, supporting the effect of vitamin C’s role in protecting against degeneration.

 Plus, higher doses of vitamin C seem better. One study found that found those who consumed the highest levels of vitamin C showed significantly less damage to the cartilage compared to those with lower intakes of the antioxidant.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is an added bonus to any horse joint supplement, Also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, it is a gel-like substance that is naturally present throughout the horse’s body. In the joints, natural hyaluronic acid has several functions, including lubrication, growth of cartilage and bone, and reducing inflammation. Hyaluronic acid also acts like a moisturiser, keeping tissues hydrated. 

It is thought, that when feeding hyaluronic acid, it is absorbed and accumulated by tissues such as those surrounding the joints. Therefore, including hyaluronic acid in horses diet can keep horse joints hydrated and free from pain and injury. This is further supported by research suggesting that supplementing diets with hyaluronic acid significantly reduces pain, stiffness, and improve function in humans. In horses, inflammation has been reduced in association with oral hyaluronic acid supplementation, which could aid functionality and alleviate pain and stiffness.

Lactobacillus has been reported as a bacterium that plays a critical role in hyaluronic absorption. Therefore, ensuring a healthy gut is also essential when considering how supplements may work to improve joint health.