An overall joint and hoof supplement should be a vital part of your horse’s care routine. These types of supplements often serve as an early preventative, acting to support your horse’s joints, hooves and overall health.
Have you been thinking of putting your horse on a joint and hoof supplement but are unsure where to start? Before choosing a new supplement, here are three things to consider.
- What is your goal for the new supplement? In other words, what benefits are you hoping to get from the new supplement? Sometimes it can be helpful to make a wishlist of what you would like—including anything from ingredients to benefits to cost—to help you narrow down the choices. Also, it is always a good idea to work with your veterinarian and/or farrier to pick an effective supplement. Not only do they know your horse’s body and medical history, they can also help you identify particular ingredients they feel would be beneficial for your horse.
- Is your horse a picky eater? The most effective supplement for your horse is the supplement you can get him to eat. There are a lot of joint and hoof supplements on the market, and some of them are tastier than others! If you have a horse that tends to be a picky eater, keep that in mind when shopping. Look for formulas that are easy to feed and flavors your horse is likely to approve of.
- Have you done your research? It is important to know which ingredients are which in joint and hoof supplements. Here are a few of the most important ingredients to look for:
- Glucosamine is the best-studied ingredient in joint supplements. It is the basic building block of all connective tissues, including cartilage.
- Chondroitin sulfate is a major structural component of cartilage, bone, and tough connective tissues. If possible, look for the combination of the trademarked FCHG49® Glucosamine Hydrochloride and TRH122® Chondroitin Sulfate. These two ingredients together have been shown to support joint cartilage better than either ingredient alone. Together, they help support the cartilage matrix and help inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage in cell culture studies.
- Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) is derived from avocados and soybeans. Studies using cartilage cells have shown that it lowers the expression of several components involved in the process of cartilage breakdown in joints. ASU complements the positive effects of the glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, providing broad spectrum joint support for the equine joints. This ingredient is unique, with Cosequin® ASU Joint and Hoof Pellets and Cosequin® ASU being the only formulas containing both ASU, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
- Biotin has been shown in research to support the quality and growth of hooves in horses. This vitamin is necessary for the formation of proteins that make up the hoof.
- Methionine and lysine are important for protein production in horse hooves and can be in limited supply in the equine diet. Proteins support hoof integrity and protein deficiency is associated with signs of poor hoof quality such as cracking, crumbly, or poor growing hoof walls. Methionine and lysine supplementation may be recommended when signs of poor hoof quality are noted in horses.
- Copper and zinc play important roles in the formation of protein, which is important for horses’ strong and durable hooves.
Also, read the reviews. Product users can give you the inside scoop on what it is like to feed and use the supplement you are considering. Top horsemanship instructor and clinician Julie Goodnight chooses Cosequin ASU Joint & Hoof Pellets.
“The most effective supplement for your horse is the supplement you can get him to eat, which is why the ingredients that make this formula unique and effective are packed into tasty pellets horses love.
– says Goodnight. “I know this formula is good for their joints, hoof durability and their health overall.”
Choosing the best joint and hoof supplement for your horse does not have to be stressful. Taking these few simple steps beforehand can save you time and money by helping you narrow down the options when supplement shopping.
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