Overweight Horses – Feeding Mistakes

Overweight Horses – Feeding Mistakes

Overweight Horses – Common Feeding Mistakes

When it comes to feeding overweight horses, there are many common feeding mistakes that could be a contributing factor. You think you’ve got your horse’s diet sussed. The problem is he’s still carrying too much weight for his own good. Where are you going wrong?  Check our definitive guide of common errors to see where you might be slipping up.

1. You’re feeding too much for his workload

Calorie-counting in overweight horses is the same as it is with humans. If they take in more calories than they burn off, they’ll put on weight. A 500-kilo horse in hard work will burn nearly twice as many calories as his mate who weighs the same but in light work. ie 34,500 calories as opposed to 20,000. So make sure your horse is receiving the right amount of feed for his weight and workload.

2. You’re feeding incorrectly for his breed

Native breeds have evolved to be good-doers, making the most of poor quality grazing. They generally require feeds of a lower-calorie level as they maintain their weight easily.  However, they still need lots of fibre to maintain digestive and behavioral health rather than being starved to keep weight down. While native types don’t tend to require concentrate feeds to provide calories, they do need is a balanced diet. A quality feed balancer eg Fibregenix, with a small amount of fibre, is all they need plus grazing and hay.

3. You’re feeding incorrectly for his age

Feeding young horses correctly is important to ensure they grow at an appropriate rate. It’s also highly important to ensure that the diet is completely balanced at all times. The majority of growth and development problems occur when there’s too much energy/calories going into the diet. Especially in combination with insufficient levels of vitamins, minerals and quality protein. Ideally, you’d want to keep youngsters in relatively light condition (4-4.5 out of 9 on the body scoring scale). This reduces the amount of pressure and strain on growing joints and limbs.

Veterans, however,  may need more calories to maintain condition as their ability to chew may be impaired by dental issues. The digestive system of the older horse also tends to be less efficient at processing feed. However, not all aged horses need a ‘veteran’ mix. Instead, monitor the condition and speak to a nutritionist if advice is needed on what best to feed your older horse.

4. You’re feeding too much for the time of year

In spring and summer, the grass is richer. In winter, it’s poorer and sparser. In winter, your horse can use up to 80% of his feed energy to keep warm.  So if he doesn’t get enough feed his weight may drop accordingly. Most horse owners prefer their horses to maintain a steady weight throughout the year. This doesn’t always follow the horse’s natural metabolic pattern of losing weight in winter and gaining in spring. If a horse comes out of winter already in good condition, he’s likely to stack on more weight when grazing becomes plentiful. Condition score your horse regularly so you know whether he needs more or less feed. Remember, tis is because the level required will fluctuate with the seasons.

5. You don’t know what he weighs

Horses in light/medium work need to consume 2% of their body weight in mainly forage (70-100% of their food intake) a day.   So if you don’t know how much he weighs, how do you know if he’s getting that, too much, or too little? Invest in a good weigh tape or take advantage of the weighbridge services that some feed companies or vets offer.

6. You’re not weighing his feed

If you have a good doer that’s prone to piling on the pounds, don’t just throw some feed into a bucket and hope for the best. You need to be strict with him — and yourself — and weigh his feed. A 500-kilo horse needs 20,000 calories a day in order to maintain his weight. There are approximately 7-8 MJ (or 2,000 calories) in a kilo of good quality hay. So if you’re stuffing his haynet with 10 kilos of hay each night, he’s already receiving all the calories he needs just for maintenance.  And that’s before you include any grass or hard feed!  You may be concerned he’s scoffing his hay ration too quickly and having nothing for the rest of the night.  If this is the case, invest in a trickle net to encourage him to eat more slowly.

7. You’re feeding too much hard feed

We should all know by now that many diseases are linked to high starch diets.   These include laminitis, colic, gastric ulcers, Developmental Orthopaedic Disease (DOD), Equine Rhabdomyolysis Syndrome (ERS) and Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM).   Does he really need all that hard feed?  The majority don’t. We’ve been telling you this for quite a while now!

8. You’re buying the wrong hard feed

Work out how many calories your horse needs for his weight, breed, age, and level of work. Then check the calorie intake he’ll receive from his hard feed and consider honestly whether or not he really needs it.  If he has enough energy for work, then it should be obvious that he doesn’t.

9. Your grass is too good

Grass can contain a lot of sugar and calories, particularly in Spring and Autumn. Or indeed any time after drought-breaking rains.  So, when feeding overweight horses, restrict grazing in the danger periods. Alternatively, yard with hay. A Fibregenix balancer such as Prime Original OR Lami Low-Cal alongside hay provides his daily nutrient quota for health without the guesswork..

10. You’re buying the wrong hay

When feeding overweight horses, you need to choose the most suitable forage possible. A late cut, coarser hay will typically be less nutritious than an early cut forage.  Good doers don’t need cereal or legume hays – look for simple grassy hay instead.  If you can’t find a more suitable forage, soaking the hay for several hours can help to leach out sugars.

11. You’re trying to starve him into being skinny

Horses can’t do ‘crash diets’ any more than humans can. They’ve evolved to trickle feed.  This means they need an almost constant supply of forage for their digestive system to work correctly. If you withhold food from them, they may develop ulcers, and may also gorge quickly on food when presented with it. All dietary changes should happen gradually and over a significant period of time to be effective especially in overweight horses.

12. He’s a good doer

Feeding overweight horses can be a nightmare. Some just seem to get fat on thin air. If your horse is putting on weight despite taking all the precautions above, then speak to us. He may need to have a special feeding program devised for him. Being a good doer can also be problematic for competition horses. Feeding them for their level of activity can provide too many calories and cause them to gain weight. One solution is to feed less hard feed and provide a good balancer such as one from the Fibregenix range.

Reviewed and updated Feb 2020

Building Healthy Hooves

Building Healthy Hooves

Building healthy hooves

Building healthy hooves is something that doesn’t happen in a couple of weeks or even a couple of months. Yet it seems to me that some horses have a bigger shoe habit than Imelda Marcos. When you’re paying upwards of $140 every four to six weeks, it can be so frustrating if your horse has chipped, cracked or thin feet that don’t hold on to a shoe for any length of time.

Scientific studies in different countries have shown an incidence of poor hoof quality in 30-40% of the horses studied. However, nutrition is just one part of the equation in building healthy hooves. Farriery, genetics, conformation, management, and environmental conditions all play their part too.

Hoof Growth and Structure

Hoof growth is relatively slow, at around 0.2mm a day, meaning that the horn takes 9-12 months to grow from the coronary band to the weight-bearing surface. Any adverse changes, therefore, take a while to correct. You only have to look closely at a hoof to see that it’s actually highly complex in structure. Hoof wall thickness and strength are created by layers of linked cells. The strength of the hoof depends on the ability of these layers to hold together.

Building healthy hooves must, therefore, concentrate on the hoof cells and the lipid “glue” that holds the wall together.

Dietary Nutrients for Building Healthy Hooves

First and foremost, building healthy hooves requires a balanced diet – one containing appropriate amounts of all nutrients, from energy and protein down to the smallest micronutrient.

hoof showing poor condition with cracks and flaresThe B-vitamin biotin was the first micronutrient identified as a benefit for the production of hoof horn. Research has shown that at least 3mg of biotin per 100kg of a horse’s bodyweight is desirable. However subsequent research reveals that biotin alone will improve only 6% of cases with deficient horn quality. Subsequent research identifies that a diet balanced in macronutrients and containing more than 60 specific micronutrients is essential to optimise the horn growth rate and quality in horses.

High-grain, low-forage diets may not support hoof growth. Not only may B-vitamin production be low, but low calcium availability can also result in weakness – calcium is reported as having a direct effect on the attachment of layers of hoof horn.

It’s easy to understand why grass-fed horses may have nutritional hoof problems, as the grass is often very poor in essential nutrients.

Changing conditions such as wet and dry weather and uneven ground certainly have an impact on the physical qualities of hoof horn.  Ie it tends to dry out and crack in hot, dry conditions and becomes waterlogged and weak during the wet periods. Unless your horse has been receiving the correct lipids in its diet which can be incorporated into the hoof matrix, it’s likely to suffer from cracked hooves, collapsed heels, horn infections and frequent shoe loss.

healthy hooves

Nutrients for Hoof Health you never thought about…

Nucleotides – these molecules make up the structural units of DNA and RNA.  They promote rapid cell proliferation aiding the growth of the hoof wall. Another benefit of adding nucleotides to the diet is their role in maintaining a healthy immune system.  This means that any bacterial infections present, particularly common in the hoof, can be fought effectively.

Omega 3 essential fatty acidOmega 3 is particularly important in the role of hoof care with its healing and natural anti-inflammatory properties.  A horse normally gets Omega 3 from forage. However, if the pasture is scarce or unavailable, a deficiency can and will exacerbate hoof wall problems.  Therefore, preventing deficiencies in this nutrient is paramount.

Tips to keep your horse’s hooves healthy

  • Practice good equine husbandry on a daily basis when caring for your horse’s feet
  • Ensure your horse receives regular expert care from a competent qualified farrier
  • If your horse has poor feet, take into account the nutrient supply from forage and hard feed. Look for gaps, most likely in vitamin, mineral and trace elements
  • Feed a supplement known to supply the essential micronutrients for building healthy hooves which you can combine with forage only or an alfalfa-based low cereal diet.
  • Feed a Fibregenix balancer which contains calcium, nucleotides, Omega 3 and a potent and comprehensive hoof improvement supplement of biotin, methionine, lysine, and organic chelated zinc and copper. These amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are very important when building healthy hooves.
Do Chelated Minerals Perform Better Than Non-chelated?

Do Chelated Minerals Perform Better Than Non-chelated?

Do Chelated Minerals Perform Better than Non-chelated Minerals?

Some months ago, I had a conversation with a well-respected nutritionist and asked if chelated minerals perform better than non-chelated minerals?  To my surprise, she made some quite dismissive statements over their usefulness, in direct contrast with undisputed scientific research. This is an often-asked question as it impacts the cost of feeds and supplements.

It’s important to be aware that not every mineral benefits from being in a chelate form.  However, research and many validated studies demonstrate that there are certain minerals that are very beneficial in chelate form.  So, here are some common and not so commonly asked questions to clarify what’s behind the hype…

Chelate Minerals – the Facts.  What is a Chelate Mineral?  

image showing chelate ligand compared to non-chelate

A chelate is a chemical compound consisting of a metal molecule (the mineral) combined with an organic molecule (the ligand).(See diagram)

The ligand is the critical component of a chelate.  Primarily because it transforms the previously inorganic molecule (the mineral) into an organic mineral form.  This makes the mineral more biologically effective than its inorganic form, and that in turn makes it more bioavailable. Got that?

What’s the benefit?

Chelates prevent trace minerals from interacting with certain feed components and other minerals in the horse’s body.  Because of their enhanced bioavailability, at least a 33% reduction in supplement rates is possible compared with inorganic minerals.  Interestingly,  this reduction rate doesn’t compromise performance.  

However – not all chelates are created equal. Some chelated minerals are more bioavailable than others. Yikes!

How environmentally friendly are my horse’s mineral supplements? Are They Necessary and Do Chelated Minerals Perform Better?

Horse droppings in paddockInorganic trace minerals are poorly absorbed by horses, so traditional practice has involved over-supplementing them in feed formulations. However, horses can only absorb a certain level of specific minerals.  When over-supplemented, they simply pass through the system and are excreted – literally ‘peeing/pooping’ money away.

Minerals that aren’t absorbed are excreted in faeces and urine and find their way into soil and waterways. This contaminates both surface and ground water.  Additionally,  it can have a detrimental effect on soil microorganisms which are essential to maintaining soil structure and quality.

Research has shown organic minerals demonstrate improved absorption with no need to supplement them in excess of recommended daily allowances. This means feeding organic minerals to your horse can help alleviate much of the negative environmental impacts from horse excretions. In today’s environmentally friendly climate, this is a bonus.

What about just adding a larger proportion of a less effective but cheaper mineral?

Macro and micro mineral imageMinerals within the body interact with each other and there are certain mineral ratios that need to be be taken into account. Be aware that a large intake of one mineral can actually block digestibility/absorption of another mineral.

The Feed Manufacturer’s dilemma.

Most minerals occur in several forms. For example,  feed manufacturers can choose from at least six forms of manganese. So what makes one form more desirable than another?

Feed manufacturers usually take into consideration two factors –  digestibility and cost.  As you’d expect, the most easily digestible mineral forms are also those with the highest cost.

How Readily Absorbed is the Chelate Mineral I’m Feeding my Horse?

It depends. Trace mineral uptake from the digestive tract relies on how soluble it remains until it reaches its site of absorption.  And from then on, how efficiently it’s absorbed into the blood.

Organic mineral forms have become far more commonplace in the market, so it’s important to understand why some chelated mineral forms have advantages over others.

So What Makes One Form Superior to Another? Are chelates better-absorbed minerals?

IT’S THE FORM THAT DEFINES THE FUNCTION!

3 Common Chelate Forms found in feeds/supplements

1. Proteinates

Many companies describe their chelates as hydrolysed proteins (proteinates).  This means they’re chelated with short-chained peptides and amino acids derived from hydrolysed soy proteins for better stability.  Furthermore, it also means they’re less reactive in the digestive tract. The downside is that the molecular size of metal proteinates is sometimes is higher than the desired size.  This actually decreases their bioavailability.  They’re less expensive compared with single amino acid chelates, and unfortunately not much more beneficial.

2. Polysaccharide complexes

The mineral is coated with polysaccharide molecules. They’re larger molecules based on chains of simple sugars known to be highly soluble in the digestive tract. However, many studies have reported no beneficial effect on animal performance.

3. Amino-acid chelates

The mineral is chelated with a single amino acid. Due to higher bioavailability, amino acid chelates are a better chelate compared to polysaccharide and proteinates forms.

The best example of these also happens to be the most expensive form – glycinates.

Why Glycinates?  Do these chelate minerals perform better than non-chelates?

  • Glycinates are derived from glycine and readily absorbed in the gut. Compared to the amino acids Methionine, Cysteine etc  glycinate chelates get transported right into the intestinal cells.
  • The low pH of Glycine chelates reduces their sensitivity to the acidic conditions in the digestive tract, so the absorption of the mineral is improved.
  • They remain as a chelate until absorbed and they don’t interact with other gut constituents.
  • Added bonus – Glycine chelates are non-hazardous AND are environmentally safe.

Chelate Minerals in Fibregenix

All the balancers in the Fibregenix range include specific glycinate minerals as they are better-absorbed minerals.  Why? Because based on the latest research, our ethos is – we’re committed to your horse’s health. We want the very best for him.  That’s why we ensure that every ingredient in our formulations passes the test of absorption.

Now that level of detail is something you don’t find in your average feed balancer….

© Fibregenix, June 2019.  Ref Sources: Chelated Minerals Enhance Nutrient Bioavailability, KER Equinews, Supplementing Trace Minerals Safely and Organically, 

Feeding performance horses

Feeding performance horses

Feeding performance horses

Feeding performance horses can be likened to finely tuning a race car. They can all too easily breakdown due to internal mechanical issues. Particularly when it comes to digestion as the horse’s digestive system is highly sensitive. Any compromises to that delicate environment will have significant effects on performance, appearance and temperament. Feeding, therefore, is a key contributing factor in digestive health in feeding performance horses. Even the environment, well-being and good husbandry can play a role. As performance horses often lose their appetite as they get fitter, this can also be disruptive to digestive health.

Nutrient-dense

A nutrient-dense, high-quality feed balancer provides essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed on a daily basis when feeding performance horses.  It enables smaller amounts of hard feed to be fed which is better for the digestive system. The Fibregenix feed balancer range contains an innovative nutrient supplement as part of the digestive health supplement package. Purified Nucleotides – which have a positive effect on digestive health.  Considered an essential nutrient, these molecules form the building blocks of DNA and RNA. They’re present in the horse’s natural diet, albeit at low levels and can’t be stored by the horse. During periods of strenuous activity or stress, nucleotides often become ‘limited’. Therefore, there are enormous benefits to adding them to the horse’s diet. The specific blend of purified nucleotides in Fibregenix is designed to balance the lower levels found in the diet.

Three main advantages of Nucleotides:

  1. Nucleotides increase the length and surface area of the intestinal villi. This aids nutrient absorption and ensures optimum digestive health and nutrient yield from the diet.
  2. Competition horses can often be affected by loose droppings as a result of poor digestive health or stress issues. Including nucleotides in the diet promotes a healthy gut environment by encouraging the beneficial bacteria to thrive.
  3. There’s a high cell turnover within the digestive system. Nucleotides promote cell replication of red blood cells.Feeding performance horses additional nucleotides will have a positive impact on performance, stamina and ongoing fitness levels enabling better recovery.

Feeding Performance Horses with Fibregenix Platinum Pro

Platinum Pro contains performance-suited levels of nutrients, specifically formulated for performance horses which have a higher nutritional requirement for work.  Protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals  and a comprehensive hoof supplement are just one part of this multi-faceted balancer supplement. The additional benefits are fatty acids for coat condition and skin health and a powerful combination of antioxidants. Stress can comprise digestion and the immune system so Platinum Pro contains a natural form of bioavailable Vitamin E. It’s an essential nutrient for the performance horse that is often under stress from the rigours of competing, training and travel.  Platinum Pro additionally includes blood-building nutrients such as vitamin B12, folic acid and iron. These assist oxygen transportation to the working muscles.

Digestive Aids Specific to Feeding Performance Horses

Platinum Pro has a major focus on digestion when feeding performance horses.  Its Digestive Enhancer Pack consists of nucleotides and an approved live probiotic yeast supplement that doubles the digestibility of fibre in the diet. Doubling fibre digestibility can help to increase calorie intake which in turn maintains weight and condition.

Gut health

The Gut Health supplement pack in Fibregenix consists of FOS and MOS prebiotics. The unique FOS in Fibregenix is a short chain of sugar molecules, providing a feed-source for the beneficial micro-organisms. The FOS prebiotic also reduces the risk of digestive problems and has a positive impact on immunity, vital when feeding performance horses. Despite the presence of ‘good’ bacteria in the digestive system, harmful (pathogenic) bacteria can proliferate causing an unhealthy gut environment. Furthermore, the stress of competing/travelling will negatively affect the general health of the horse.

The MOS prebiotic can eliminate harmful bacteria.  It mimics the cursor that the harmful bacteria bind to on the gut wall. Once these harmful bacteria have bound to the MOS they are rendered useless and ‘flushed out’ of the digestive system.  This promotes the overall health of the digestive system.

Nutrition for performance horses can be optimised by adding Platinum Pro to the diet.  It will ultimately better equip them to deal with the demands and stresses of a performance lifestyle. In turn, this means they will be able to perform and stay at their peak for longer.

Feeding the endurance horse

Feeding the endurance horse

Endurance Horse on good nutritionFeeding the endurance horse – when nutrition is paramount

In many equine sports, it can be possible to get away without dotting all the I’s and crossing all the t’s in preparing the horse.  But there is nowhere to hide at the top of endurance racing. When exercising at the limit, nutrition is one of the fundamentals of performance. Feeding the endurance horse is highly specific. From the overall forage to concentrate ratio down to the details of electrolyte balance. The speeds at which elite endurance horses travel when racing means their muscles work aerobically most of the time.  It’s only when tackling steep hills or in the sprint to the line that they go anaerobic. Muscles are most efficient when working aerobically, and to do this a horse can “burn” either fat (lipid) or glycogen. The dietary source of the lipids is either volatile fatty acids from the digestion of fibre or the oil supplied in the diet.

The Importance of Fibre when feeding the endurance horse.

Fibre is probably the most important nutrient (after water) for the equine endurance athlete. The digestion of fibre takes place slowly. The energy it releases is produced more evenly and for longer after the end of the meal. This means you get more ‘kilometres per litre’. Additionally, fibre seems to bind water as it passes through the gut, acting as a fluid and electrolyte reservoir.

Fatigue and diet

Notwithstanding poor training, when feeding the endurance horse the onset of fatigue can be affected by nutrition. Fatigue is measured not only by time but at the vet checks during a race. If the horse’s heart rate exceeds 64bpm after 2min you are out. Depletion of muscle glycogen stores, combined with insufficient dietary fibre, is one of the main sources of fatigue. So is dehydration. Fluids and electrolytes are lost in sweat and, if not replenished, affect performance markedly.

Feeding the endurance horse 

Top tips

  • The laws of physics dictate that the power to weight ratio (max power/min weight) will mean faster speeds.  However, the reserves an endurance horse calls upon mean that it can’t be unduly thin.
  • Energy should come predominately from fibre and oil. Fibre should come not just from forage and some alfalfa. It also can include compounds containing soya hulls and sugar beet pulp. Typically, hard feeds with 6-10% oil are used, but huge amounts will make the horse fat and can affect fibre digestion. It’s not necessary to cut out starch altogether. The horse needs some to maintain muscle glycogen levels, necessary for the “power” work of going up hills or galloping.
  • Water and electrolytes are crucial throughout and after a ride.
  • If you go slowly on endurance rides, you just need forage and low-energy feed. Horses have evolved to cover long distances like this. It’s only when going at a speed that the extra feed counts.

The role of the Feed Balancer when Feeding the endurance horse

Feed balancers can be a highly useful feedstuff for an endurance horse.  They can partially or fully replace the amount of grain feed being fed. Additionally, they’ll provide the vitamins and minerals required on a daily basis.  Fibregenix includes quality digestible protein, fibre and essential fatty acids.  So a Fibregenix balancer alleviates the need to feed additional supplement except for electrolytes.

The Fibregenix balancers for feeding the endurance horse

For shorter distances up to 60km, Fibregenix Prime Original is ideal. Fibregenix Platinum Pro suits longer distance racing.  This requires an elevated level of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients such as the key antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and selenium.  Both balancers contain a natural form of Vitamin E.  This powerful antioxidant is essential for the endurance horse that is often under stress. Natural vitamin E has been found to be 5 times more bioavailable than synthetic vitamin E. Platinum Pro also contains a comprehensive blood-building formula which aids oxygen transportation to the working muscles.

Digestive health – a key factor in feeding the endurance horse

Fibregenix Platinum Pro contains 4 key digestive aids to tackle both hindgut and foregut health.  Its foregut gut health pack consists of FOS and MOS prebiotics.

FOS Prebiotic

The unique FOS is a short chain of sugar molecules, providing a feed-source for the beneficial gut micro-organisms. Scientific support has proven that this specific FOS may:

  • Positively modify the gut microflora
  • Enhance digestive health
  • Reduce the risk of digestive upsets
  • Reduce putrefactive compound production
  • Strengthen the immune system (GALT)
  • Improve insulin sensitivity in the obese horse.

MOS Prebiotic

With the digestive system already compromised through the stress of competing and travelling, there could be a large population of ‘bad’ bacteria. The ‘good’ bacteria may thrive, but harmful bacteria will still cause an unhealthy gut, negatively affecting the horse’s general health. Platinum Pro’s MOS prebiotic mimics the cursor that the harmful bacteria bind to on the gut wall. Once the harmful bacteria have bound to the MOS, they can’t be released. So they’re rendered useless and ‘flushed out’ of the digestive system. This promotes the overall health of the digestive system, so the beneficial bacteria can thrive, which ultimately aids weight gain.

Live Yeast probiotic

The hindgut digestive enhancer gut pack in Platinum Pro contains high levels of an equine approved live probiotic yeast. Studies have proven it can double fibre digestibility. This enables fibre to be utilised more efficiently which is ideal when feeding the elite endurance horse.  Furthermore, it helps to improve and maintain weight and condition.

Nucleotides

The digestive enhancer pack also include Nucleotides. They’re considered essential nutrients as they’re the building blocks of DNA and RNA. Present in the horse’s natural diet but at low levels, they can’t be stored by the horse. Nucleotides often become ‘limited’ during periods of strenuous activity or stress. Therefore there are real benefits to adding purified nucleotides to the diet. The specific blend of purified nucleotides in Fibregenix is designed to balance the lower levels found naturally.

They provide three main advantages:

  • Aid cell replication – particularly important for the endurance horse and for recovery after exercise or from an injury.
  • Increase the length and surface area of the intestinal villi which aids nutrient absorption.
  •  Act as immune facilitators aiding the immune cells’ response when infection or disease is detected. Regular travelling and competing can compromise the endurance horse’s immune system, making them more susceptible to infections.
Horse joint supplements

Horse joint supplements

Horse Joint Supplements

Modern-day advances in scientific research in the equine sector have proven the need for horse joint supplements. Osteoarthritis and other arthritic changes are responsible for around 60% of lameness in both pleasure and performance horses. Even horses at rest and youngsters can also be affected. The best philosophy to follow is prevention is better than cure, as it’s often more difficult to reverse an existing problem.

Horse skeletal system

During the first two years of a horse’s life, developing a healthy skeletal system is paramount.  Always ensure your young horse has the correct nutrition to facilitate this and long term insurance for joint/bone health. Especially once a horse starts his working career under saddle.

Horse owners more commonly prefer oral horse joint supplements over injectables. Liquid Joint & Bone RLF is a unique nutraceutical product in a palatable, fast-absorbing liquid form. Its active ingredients are well-documented with studies and trials. These actives help in the formation of strong, dense bones. Additionally, they slow down the degenerative process and assist in providing relief from inflammation helping to improve mobility.

 

Rosehip (rosa canina) in Horse Joint Supplements

Rosehip contains glycosides that are anti-inflammatory to injury.  It may be a degenerative injury eg. arthritis or an acute injury such as a soft tissue tear. Glycosides can limit the number of white blood cells that can enter the site of injury-causing swelling. Therefore rosehip can minimise swelling in and around the joint aiding joint comfort in both the short term and long term.  Rosehip also contains high levels of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which neutralises free radicals preventing damage to cells.

Hyaluronic Acid (HLA)

Synovial fluid is the fluid enclosed within a joint capsule and is rich in Hyaluronic Acid. It helps to ensure the joint moves freely. When a horse ages or injury occurs within a joint this fluid can become more viscous, physically preventing free movement. Including Hyaluronic acid in a horse joint supplement may help ensure that synovial fluid remains at the correct viscosity.  This will enable joints to move freely again.

healthy horse's joint versus damaged jointGlucosamine HCL

Cartilage covers the ends of bones ensuring they don’t grind against each other. When arthritic changes or cartilage damage occurs,  cartilage breakdown can cause discomfort. Glucosamine is an amino sugar and a precursor of glucosaminoglycans (GAGS). These GAGS are major components of joint cartilage and essential for cartilage regeneration. Although available in many forms, Glucosamine Hydrochloride is regarded as the most bio-available variety which safeguards maximum absorption. Glucosamine HCL is, therefore, the most effective way to aid in the process of cartilage regeneration.

 

MSM (Methyl sulphonyl-methane)

Soft tissue tendons and ligaments connect muscle to bone and bone to bone.  For a joint to move these soft tissues need to be healthy and strong.  When an injury occurs to one of these soft tissues, joint movement may be restricted. MSM provides protein building blocks to aid tendon and ligament repair and for general tendon and ligament health.

The Importance of Bone Health in Horse Joint Supplements

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)

Vitamin D3 plays a key role in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, especially in bone. Stimulating the intestinal absorption of calcium, Vitamin D3  builds up the bone matrix promoting the mineralization of osteoblastic bone formation.  In studies, Vitamin D3 has been shown to work synergistically with Calcium, benefiting bone health and remodeling after exercise.

Calcium Chelate

99% of the calcium in the horse’s body is deposited in bone. It’s key in supporting the mechanical property of bone and the remodeling process. Providing calcium in a chelate form ensures it’s an efficiently absorbed nutrient which may help to prevent bone weaknesses. To optimise joint & bone health for your growing youngster or competition horse, our outstanding Liquid Joint & Bone RLF can give you that peace of mind.

Note that whilst there are many joint supplements on the market, there are no other joint supplements in liquid form.

 

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