In this article, we will be reviewing some of the best joint supplements for horses. One of the most common and upsetting things to happen to your beloved horse is for him to become lame. It’s not only upsetting because he’s in pain and can’t be ridden, but also because veterinary fees can quickly mount up.
The causes for lameness are numerous, but it is usual to start by looking from the hoof up. Once the hoof is eliminated as the problem, the focus turns to joints, tendons, and ligaments.
Horses’ joints are worked hard over their lifetime, particularly if you take part in any kind of competitive activity. As horse ages it is natural, just like with humans, for his joints to wear, causing them to become stiff. For this reason, it is a good idea to include a joint supplement in your horse’s diet before this wear starts to take hold, as prevention is always better (and easier) than cure. A high-quality joint supplement given regularly could help protect and support your horse’s joints and aid in damage prevention, keeping him comfortable, flexible, sound and active well into old age.
We’ve rounded up the top ten best joint supplement for horses, so take a look at our quick comparison table to see which one looks like it would be a good fit for your horse.
Best Joint Supplement for Horses
|For Horses |
|Made in |
|Cosequin ASU |
|The Missing Link |
|AniMed Aniflex |
| Hyaluronic Acid +|
MSM Joints Supplement
| Duralactin Equine|
Advanced Joint Formula
| Cetyl-M Joint |
|Legacy Complete |
1. Cosequin ASU Equine Powder – Best Joint Supplement for Older Horses
Cosequin uses both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate as its main active ingredients, but it also includes avocado and soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) and MSM. Cosequin ASU contains by far the highest levels of Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM when compared to any of the other supplements we are reviewing. It still falls a little short in some areas and if Hyaluronic acid was added to the mix, it really could become a true leading force.
The product comes in easy to use screw top tubs or new resealable foil “easypacks.” A dosing scoop is included.
2. Equithrive Joint – Best Calming Supplement for Horses
Equithrive Original Joint comes in powder and pellet form. It uses a combination of Resveratrol, an antioxidant like polyphenol compound that has been seen to reduce inflammation, combined with Hyaluronic Acid, which is the primary component found naturally in joints synovial fluid and cartilage.
Equithrive comes in easy to use plastic tubs with resealable lids and includes a measuring scoop.
3. The Missing Link 5-Pound Equine Plus Formula – Best Arthritis Supplement for Horses
This formula contains glucosamine, omega fatty acids, dietary fiber and plant nutrients. The formula is aimed as support of the horse’s natural wellbeing, it is not designed as a cure from established ailments.
Glucosamine is the main ingredient used to help support of the joints and maintain flexibility. Omega fatty acids aid vitamin absorption to support the immune system, cellular level health and improve the function of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In combination with the glucosamine it helps grow strong healthy hooves. The dietary fiber improves digestive health and the plant nutrients support overall health.
This product comes in a resealable heavy-duty foil bag complete with measuring scoop.
4. AniMed Aniflex Complete – Best Ulcer Supplement for Horses
AniFlex contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Hyaluronic Acid, Hesperidin, MSM and Creatine. Hesperidin, a bioflavonoid from citrus fruit, is used to help aid blood vessel function and for its possible anti-inflammatory properties. Creatine has many functions, but notably as an ingredient in a joint supplement it can help to promote bone density and maintain connective tissues.
5. Hyaluronic Acid + MSM Joints Supplement – Best Senior Horse Supplements
LubriSynHa+ MSN contains hyaluronic acid and MSM to provide a powerful joint lubricant that helps to not only protect the joints synovial fluid, cartilage and connective tissue, but also aid in the reduction of pain from inflammation.
This is a fast-acting liquid formula with a pleasantly sweet taste. It comes in an easy to use plastic bottle that is BPA free.
6. Duralactin Equine Joint Plus – Best Magnesium Supplement for Horses
As well as containing the well-recognized joint aid ingredients Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfate, Duralactin also contains MicroLactin. MicroLactin is a protein derived from hyperimmunized cows’ milk. It is believed that the protein aids the immune system and reduces inflammatory response.
Comes in easy to use foil packs or tubs, in a range of quantities.
7. ArthriSoothe-GOLD Advanced Joint Formula – Best Digestive Supplement for Horses
This dual action formula contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Hyaluronic Acid and MSM. It also contains Boswellia serrata (Indian Frankincense) and Yucca Schidigera for their possible anti-inflammatory effects. Advised for use to support and protect healthy joints and to help with existing joint discomfort.
This supplement contains the big four Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM and Hyaluronic Acid. The hyaluronic acid quantity is quite small when compared to other brands using similar ingredients.
8. Cetyl-M Joint Action Formula – Best Joint Supplement for Horses with Arthritis
This joint supplement contains Glucosamine and MSM, but it also has another ingredient, Cetyl Myristoleate a type of fatty acid that is said to help in the reduction of inflammation. The formula is meant to regulate the immune system and reduce the stress response that can have a negative effect on the joints.
Supplied in a convenient easy to use resealable plastic tub with measuring scoop.
9. LaminaSaver – Best Respiratory Supplement for Horses
LaminaSaver is not per say a joint supplement, as its primary function is to protect and maintain the correct function of the hoof and all its parts. So is useful for horses with ailments such as laminitis, Cushing’s disease, ringbone, pedalostitis, navicular and so on. However, the company do not list its ingredients and just lump them all together calling it Restaurex. They say that the product could promote collagen and keratin formation, increases oxygen supply at the cellular level, protect cells from free radicals, ossification, calcification and mineralization, and possibly inhibit inflammation and swelling, it all of this is true, then it is conceivable that it is also highly beneficial for the care of the horses joints.
Administration of LaminaSaver is designed to be long term with the loading dose period lasting for 12 weeks with a further administration for a minimum of 24 weeks.
Packaged in a convenient plastic tub of either 1 pound or 3 pounds with measuring scoop.
10. Legacy Complete Joint Support – Best Horse Joint Supplement
The ingredients of Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, MSM, Yucca, Ester-C and Vitamin E work in harmony to promote joint support while slowing oxidization.
The supplement is highly palatable and will encourage even the fussiest eater. It comes in an easy to use plastic tub with measuring scoop.
Best Joint Supplement for Horses – Buyer’s Guide
There are many joint supplements on the market all boasting different ingredients. It is important to note that some ingredients may not be allowed in certain sports as they are considered to artificially enhance performance. Please check carefully with the official body for your sport if any of the substances in the supplements you are using are banned by their rules.
To help you understand the key active ingredients a little better, let’s take a look at them in more detail.
The most common and best researched active ingredients in joint supplements are the big four, these are what you should to look out for:
Glucosamine, as the name suggests, is a sugar molecule. This molecule occurs naturally in the cartilage of joints and all other connective tissue. Glucosamine slows down the natural breakdown of cartilage and encourages healing. It can also reduce pain and typically results can be seen within a 10 to 14-day period.
Glucosamine is not only useful for joint conditions such as arthritis, but also for horses suffering from ailments such as laminitis.
For best results, the dose of Glucosamine needs to be between 6,000 mg and 10,000 mg per day. Very few combined supplements provide this level.
Chondroitin is usually combined with Glucosamine as the two works best together. Cartilage, connective tissues and bone use chondroitin as part of their structure and due to this, Chondroitin is very beneficial in preventing joint deterioration. It has also been shown to have pain-relieving qualities. Studies conducted on chondroitin have proven rather inconclusive with the only constant being that it appears to aid in the prevention of cartilage breakdown.
Chondroitin appears to be most effective when fed at a dose of between 1,250 and 5,000 mg per day
MSM is a sulfur compound and is sometimes also called methyl sulfone or dimethyl sulfone. It has been seen to have good anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat many conditions in both humans and horses. To date, little research has been conducted on MSM so it is unclear how it works or the level of its effectiveness.
MSM seems to work most effectively when fed at a dose of around 20,000 mg per day. Most supplements on the market fall far below this level. However, as MSM is a relatively unstudied component, it could be useful to try a pure MSM supplement, starting on a low dose and increasing until a difference is seen, so you know what level is effective on your horse.
Found naturally occurring in cartilage and joint fluid, Hyaluronic Acid was originally used as an injectable drug. Today it is found in oral supplements and its primary function is to reduce pain, heat and swelling.
When combined with Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulphate, for some horses only a small addition of 20 to 50 mg a day of Hyaluronic Acid can make a difference, but the amount to aim for should be closer to 100 mg per day.
Other Active Ingredients that are Also Found in Joint Supplements
Derived from Avocado and Soy, these plant fats have been shown to have a protective effect, helping to prevent cartilage breakdown. They don’t appear to have any pain reducing qualities.
The protein that forms the framework in connective tissues is called collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen has been treated so it is easy to digest and absorb. Very little scientific data is currently available on its effectiveness in horses, but from human studies, it is believed a very high daily dose would be required to have any possible benefit to a horse. This dose could be as much as 40,000 mg a day.
Cetylated Fatty Acids (Cetyl Myristoleate or CMO)
This fatty acid may help with pain relief and inflammation, although no equine studies have yet been conducted.
The joint winners are Legacy Complete Joint Support and Cosequin ASU, this is due to their overall high scores, both being well priced and having good reviews.
In second place came Arthrisoothe Gold, which although quite pricy has by far the highest levels of three of the most desirable ingredients by far. For this reason alone it is the one I would probably chose to use, but I would also perhaps purchase a separate Hyaluronic Acid product to use in conjunction such as HylaLUBE.
Although its list of desirable active ingredients is low, it has other benefits that include the potential for overall wellbeing of your horse, low price point and excellent palatability.
This went to LubriSyn which again was good value and high palatability. The biggest problem with LubriSyn was its lack of reviews from horse owners.
AniMed AniFlex has a good level of quality active ingredients and the cost is also reasonable. What lets it down is poor palatability.
Equithrive Joint with few of the most desirable active ingredients and a high average cost, it didn’t fare to well overall.
The main active ingredient in Duralactin, made it a difficult one to score highly. When combined with its high price, the highest of all the ten products we reviewed and its low palatability dipped down in the rankings. However, its redeeming feature would seem to be its good overall score in Amazon reviews.
Admittedly it isn’t specifically a joint supplement anyway, but its biggest issue is the lack of information about what exactly it contains. This puts a lot of people off, and rightly so. I certainly wouldn’t give my horse something if I had no idea of its ingredients.