Face The Facts: Understanding joint health and supplements


Challenge #3

Difficulty: Medium

Your horse can benefit from joint support

Often times, horse owners don’t think about their horse’s joints until there’s a problem. But when it comes to joint health, waiting until there’s a problem may be too little too late.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
—Mark Twain

Fact #1

Joint deterioration is progressive and permanent

Osteoarthritis (also referred to as arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or DJD) is progressive, permanent degeneration of articular cartilage, meaning once it starts it will only continue to get worse. It’s a cascading cycle of inflammation within the joint. Over time, joint structures develop scarring, the synovial fluid (the “lubricant”) dries out, the articular cartilage is worn down, and finally, the bones themselves become thick and scarred.

Fact #2

All horses are at risk

A 1999 study in the Equine Veterinary Journal identifi ed arthritic changes in a herd of wild mustangs. The researchers concluded that the osteoarthritic process was naturally present in horses.


Fact #3

More work, more stress

The same researchers also suggested that the stresses associated with training may accelerate the arthritic process. That means if your horse is in regular work, his joints are more at risk for early arthritic changes that could affect his comfort, soundness, and future performance.

Fact #4

The best time to start supporting joints is NOW

No matter your horse’s age, discipline, or workload, the best time to start supporting
healthy joints is now, with a joint supplement targeted to his unique situation. Joint supplements provide your horse’s body with the key ingredients he needs to maintain healthy
cartilage. Ideally, this means the best time to start a joint supplement is before your horse
starts showing signs of stiffness and discomfort.
However, horses already displaying signs of soreness may also benefit from joint supplements,
as they can help support healthy articular cartilage, synovial fluid, and normal response to
inflammation. So no matter your horse’s situation, if he’s not already on a joint supplement there’s no time like the present to start.


Fact #5

Injectable joint medications don’t replace the need for supplements

Injectable joint medications and oral joint supplements serve different purposes. Intravenous and intramuscular injections are designed to help reverse the effects of arthritis, while oral joint supplements provide key ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and HA to offer ongoing, daily support for healthy cartilage and joint fluid. Providing a combination of both injectable joint medications and oral joint supplements offers the most comprehensive support. Talk with your veterinarian to see if joint medications are right for your horse, and visit SmartPak.com/InjectionsAndSupplements to learn more.


Fact #6

Not all seniors are the same

Your senior horse has always given you his best. Return the favor and choose a joint supplement that’s tailored to his unique needs to help keep him comfortable in his golden years.
More and more horses are competing well into their senior years, but traditional senior supplements contain herbs that may be banned by some show organizations. If your senior still actively competes, SmartFlex Senior Herb-Free is the perfect pick because it contains high levels of the best joint ingredients without any herbs.
If your senior isn’t a current competitor, SmartFlex Senior is a great choice to help keep him comfortable. This best-selling formula provides the same comprehensive joint support with the addition of herbs like devil’s claw and boswellia, as well as the amino acid phenylalanine, to help manage discomfort.

SmartFlex® Senior Herb-Free Pellets

As Low As: $41.95
(262 reviews)

SmartFlex® Senior Pellets

As Low As: $36.95
(1123 reviews)


Fact #7

Healthy recovery starts on the inside

It’s the worst feeling in the world to see your horse laid up and feel like there’s nothing you can do. But you don’t have to feel helpless!
Healthy recovery starts on the inside, and SmartFlex Rehab is designed to help ensure your horse has everything he needs to come back strong. This unique formula provides ingredients for joint health along with silica, collagen, and essential amino acids to help support normal healing of connective tissues. SmartFlex Rehab also contains MSM, omega  fatty acids, antioxidants, and herbs to help support a healthy inflammatory response.

SmartFlex® Rehab Pellets

As Low As: $61.95
(213 reviews)

Posted in Horse Health Challenge

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Jen and Tally
Apparently I've been obsessed with horses since I was born, and I used to beg for pony rides on a regular basis. I started showing in 4-H, progressed to equitation and jumpers in high school and rode on the IHSA team in college where I also discovered the joys...

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