Did you know? The most common reason that horses age 15+ are put to sleep is lameness.
Lameness can occur for all sorts of reasons but in older age it can often be joint related. Whether it be degenerative (osteoarthritis) or from an old injury (traumatic arthritis) - we need to do all we can to support and care for our horses joints throughout their lifetime for good health and longevity.
As with most things, prevention is better than a cure. The horse's conformation, feeding and management all play a part in minimising potential joint issues.
When we consider the diet, using feeds that are high in omega 3 and low in omega 6 is an excellent place to start - omega 3 being anti-inflammatory and omega 6 being pro-inflammatory. Omega 3 is very important to horses and very few plant-derived oils have the correct balance, with the notable exception of linseed, which has the same omega 3:6 ratio as grass. If you are feeding oil sources such as soya or sunflower oil these are higher in omega 6 and are best avoided. All Simple System balancers contain linseed, so if you feed a Simple System balancer, or our Instant Linseed, you've already taken a good step toward protecting the joints for older age.
Can you tell which of these horses is 20 years old and which is the 5 year old? Zorro and Nick are both fed a Simple System diet of Lucie Nuts, Build & Shine and FlexiBalance. Hard to tell isn't it!
A shortened stride or uneven gait may be the first tell-tale signs that your horse's joints are needing extra support. If your horse is showing such signs use feeds that care for the joints.
At Simple System we have three horse feeds with additional joint support- all of which are vegan and contain only natural functional ingredients.
Joint Eclipse is designed to offer standalone joint support and can be added to the existing diet. Use 20g per 100 kg of ideal bodyweight per day.
FlexiBalance combines the benefits of the above with a good all round forage balancer to support skin, coat, guts, digestion, hooves and general health. Feeding rate is 40g per 100 kg ideal bodyweight per day.
Veteran Balance + has all the benefits of FlexiBalance but is pelleted with a sainfoin base and has salt (electrolytes) and mint (to aid digestion) added. For good doers, this makes a comprehensive short feed, with water added to make a tasty mash. Use 100g per 100kg ideal bodyweight per day.
As previously noted it is also important to consider other factors when caring for your horse's joints.
If your horse is lame or you are concerned about your horse's joints, please contact your vet in the first instance.
If you'd like nutritional advice and sensible management suggestions please contact our Feed Line on 01728 604 008 or complete our online advice form.