We all love our horses, that’s no secret. They are our best friends and personal therapists, and we would do anything for them. The assortment of treats overflowing from our tack trunks proves that!
And because we’re so in tuned to our horses, we notice all of the little things about them. We notice their happy expressions when we come to see them, we notice their delight in jumping a fence, and we especially notice how excited they are when they hear the crinkle of a peppermint wrapper. Nothing compares to seeing their eyes light up and their ears prick forward.
On the same hand, we notice if their demeanor suddenly changes. We notice when they don’t get excited about things that used to bring them joy. We definitely notice when they’re not performing as well as they used to.
Suddenly your experienced jumper starts knocking jumps with their front hooves. Or your dressage horse’s extended trot isn’t as expressive as it used to be.
Even though your horse is technically sound, you start to wonder if there’s something brewing under the surface. Is there something wrong with this horse? If so, how can you help them?
You speak with your vet and they mention adding a joint supplement. Seems simple enough right? Well, these days there are so many joint supplements on the market they can make your head spin. Walk through any feed store and you’ll see walls lined with products boasting large claims. Sure those claims sound great, but how do you know which one works?
Today at Equine Outfitters LLC we want to help by teaching you about the benefits of hyaluronic acid (also called HA.) By learning about hyaluronic acid, you can learn how to help your horse stay sounder longer, heal from injuries faster, and help them feel their best. Keep reading to learn more about one of the most effective joint supplements available today.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
While hyaluronic acid is a simple substance, it’s incredibly effective. Also called hyaluron, it is a substance that is designed to help lubricate joints, heal, and strengthen skin, retain collagen, reduce inflammation, along with relieving pain. Studies have shown that hyaluronic acid will help decrease inflammation and treat the symptoms of arthritis. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that the body produces on its own. And since it’s all-natural, there are virtually no side effects and only benefits to adding it to your horse’s diet.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for Horses?
The purpose of hyaluronic acid is to act as a cushion for joints and provide additional moisture to certain areas of the horse’s body. When horse owners start supplementing their horses with hyaluronic acid, they’re often surprised by additional positive changes in their horses.
For example, let’s say your horse has sore hocks. After speaking with your vet and doing personal research, you decide to supplement with hyaluronic acid. After a couple of weeks, you notice your horse’s hocks start to move with better flexibility. You start jump training again and you also notice they’re tucking their front legs over the fence better than before. The beauty of hyaluronic acid is that it works over the horse’s entire body bringing great benefits. So while your horse had sore hocks originally, you now realize that your horse also had soreness in their front legs as well. Because the hyaluronic acid works over the entire body, all your horse’s joints are better lubricated and feel less pain.
At Equine Outfitters LLC, our favorite hyaluronic acid supplement is the Performance HA Equine joint supplement. It’s clinically proven to help enhance horse joint health, improve performance, and with 250mg of HA per ounce, it is one of the highest concentrations of hyaluronic acid available today.
What Are The Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Horses?
We have mentioned several benefits of hyaluronic acid, but how does it specifically help each distinct problem? Hyaluronic acid is designed to help joints, cartilage, the skin, and the eyes. It does this through its lubricating and anti-inflammatory properties.
When a horse’s joints are without the proper amount of hyaluronic acid, the cartilage breaks down and creates friction between the joints. That friction causes degeneration of the joint. Even though arthritis can never be cured, the symptoms can be treated by adding hyaluronic acid. The joints become more lubricated and the shock on the joints is decreased. Hyaluronic acid also reduces inflammation which is great for reducing pain.
Does Oral Hyaluronic Acid Work?
Now that we know what hyaluronic acid is, we need to know what options there are for supplementation. While there are intravenous options, the most popular are oral supplements. While some oral supplements traditionally aren’t effective, there have been several studies done that show oral hyaluronic acid is actually more effective than intravenous. The research paper by Scott Pierce DVM has excellent research on this topic. “Serum Hyaluronic Acid Levels in the Horse after Oral and Intravenous Administration.” The study tests 10 horses against different types of hyaluronic acid treatments. The study shows that horses had an elevated amount of hyaluronic acid in their 7-day blood test after oral administration as opposed to intravenous. So, if you’re wanting the most effective hyaluronic acid supplement, the research points towards an oral supplement.
A key item to look for in hyaluronic acid supplements is the molecular weight and concentration of hyaluronic acid available. The higher molecular weight, the better your HA supplement will absorb orally. Additionally, for the supplement to work, you’ll need to make sure it’s not heavily diluted with other substances.
We highly recommend the Performance HA Equine joint supplement at Equine Outfitters LLC. This hyaluronic acid supplement has 250 mg of HA per ounce making it one of the highest concentrations on the market. It’s odorless, tasteless, and perfect as a top dress over grain.
Horse Osteoarthritis Benefits from Hyaluronic Acid
Osteoarthritis (which is also known as degenerative joint disease) is one of the most common conditions seen by veterinarians. As horses age and progress through their athletic careers, bone and cartilage changes are extremely common. Horses with osteoarthritis tend to have lameness problems, pain during joint flexions, and/or general stiffness in their bodies. The most commonly affected joints are hocks, pasterns, fetlocks, stifles, and carpal joints.
While there are several ways to treat osteoarthritis, the most common treatments are joint injections and supplementing with hyaluronic acid. These can either be used separately or together. Injecting the joint directly can reduce soft tissue inflammation and pain. While this is helpful on its own, paired with hyaluronic acid which supports the entire body, horses tend to respond best to this combination treatment.
We want to do right by our horses, and one great way to do that is by protecting their joints. Hyaluronic acid is scientifically proven to reduce inflammation, help osteoarthritis, and help horses heal faster. Our favorite joint supplement is Performance HA Equine.
If you have any other questions regarding your horse’s joint health, feel free to reach out to us at Equine Outfitters LLC.