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Joints in less work – a cause for concern?

There is an aged old saying, ‘a working joint is a healthy joint’, this is of interest in the current situation. Less mobile joints can be just as susceptible to stresses and strains developing as those joints in work. COVID has meant for many horses and ponies a significant reduction in their workload, which for some may jeopardise their movement in general.

So how does exercise can help?

Most of us are able to check our horses every day, we observe their normal behaviour signs and whether there are any lumps or bumps that may have appeared since we last checked on them. Having a feel down their legs is always advisable to detect any abnormalities, of course some legs may fill overnight if stabled while others will be tight and cool. It is the abnormalities to look out for which will enable you to process whether there should be cause for concern.

So what can you look out for?

To address concerns or as a precaution, joint support in the form of supplementation can provide a host of benefits for all horses and ponies. There is plenty of scepticism surrounding joint supplements,

Which one do I use?

Which one has the highest levels?

The truth is not necessarily in the ingredient inclusion but with the type and quality of ingredients and the ratio in which each ingredient is included. For example, the well-known Glucosamine has to be stabilised by a salt to avoid oxidative stress. This can be readily available as Glucosamine Sulphate, while Glucosamine HCL has been found to lose much of its active component through the digestive process.

When looking at ratio of ingredients, there have been many trials to understand the correct ‘therapeutic’ dose to provide per 100g of bodyweight. Supplements containing high levels of popular ingredients, may well exceed the ‘therapeutic’ dose and therefore provide little to no further benefit while being significantly more expensive per day to feed. It can be as simple as watching sugar dissolve in water, there is a limit to the absorption of that water where the sugar remains in a crystallised state.

Antioxidants are often forgotten about, yet they can reduce oxidative stress by flushing out free radical toxins from the system. Many of the ‘signs to look out for’ require antioxidants to directly target these areas and get to work. Once the antioxidants have cleared the way, your vital joint ingredients can begin to offer their benefits and your horse and pony can start to enjoy their flexibility.

For more information on flexibility, contact our FREE Nutritional Advice Line, we would love to hear from you and we love to speak about horses! 0800 373106 / info@naf-uk.com

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