Sliding stop, roll-back, and spin are terms used by reining enthusiasts to describe certain movements in their reining patterns. Every riding discipline has terms that describe the specific maneuvers and movements completed during practice and competitions. For a horse’s joints, these terms translate to impact and stress – often at speed, up and down grades, and over long distances. Whatever type of ride we enjoy, it is essential to recognize the immense stress that our horse’s joints endure and to implement practices to minimize joint damage.
Effective joint mobility is one of the things that allows horses to perform so many amazing feats of athleticism. Even a simple video of you riding your horse will give you an up-close understanding of joint impact. Videos at regular speed are a great way to analyze pattern and maneuver accuracy, but slow-motion recordings allow you to get a truer sense of your body position on the horse and how that translates to joint stress for your animal.
These videos give a vivid reality to the weight and impact our riding has on our horse’s joints. With slow-motion, it is easier to see the accurate details of how you are riding and the associated response from your horse. These videos are invaluable in teaching tools, and make visible the flaws that we may have as riders.
When you review your slow-motion video, pay special attention to the pastern area. Watch how the fetlock descends toward the ground while the pastern angles back. Keep your eye on the hock area. Wow! The joints are really impressive. Over a thousand pounds are landing on a joint that is the size of a baseball or golf ball. The horse’s body structure is a miracle of design. While a single incident of strain can cause some damage, it is over time that degeneration of joints can lead to osteoarthritis and other related lameness. Intense continuous training can set a horse up for joint disease and degradation over time.
So, how can we support and maintain these fragile joints while still competing, performing and getting the most out of our horses? Gradual warm-ups during riding sessions are a good start in caring for joints. Daily pasture turnout also allows for joints to stay active and lubricated the way nature intended. We all know that we shouldn’t run our horses on pavement or other hard surfaces because this can cause an extreme impact on joints. As caregivers, we can also support healthy joints by feeding a joint supplement as part of our horse’s daily ration.
There are at least three good reasons to feed a joint supplement.
- Sound and young horses are often put into heavy training and competition. Feeding a joint supplement helps prepare the joints for heavy use and gives extra support with ingredients that are proven to support healthy connective tissue and aid in the reduction of inflammation.
- Horses that are being rehabilitated after injury or severe impact can benefit from feeding a joint supplement. The ingredients in a joint supplement are formulated to allow for the facilitation of healing or re-building of the tissue components in joints.
- Ongoing support/comfort is another reason to feed a joint supplement. As horses work and age, feeding a joint supplement can make them more comfortable and aid in maintaining joint health. Easing stiffness due to age and exercise can make the work more pleasant for your horse.
Formula 707® Joint 6in1 helps sustain healthy joints in performance horses and keep senior horses sound longer. It is COMPLETE support for your horse’s cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and joints. This joint formula includes collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, bromelain and green-lipped mussel to aid in the reduction of inflammation, support soft tissues, and enhance lubrication in your horse’s joints. For multi-function support, consider Formula 707 Joint 6in1 + Daily Essentials. This combination supplement includes complete joint support as well as all of the vitamins and minerals that a horse needs on a daily basis.
For ease in feeding a joint supplement, choose a dosing method that is convenient and affordable. Formula 707 Joint 6in1 and Formula 707 Joint 6in1 + Daily Essentials are available in convenient, easy-to-open Daily Fresh Packs®. Daily Fresh Packs® are sealed to keep out oxygen, moisture, and sunlight, and are perfect for traveling, events and everyday use in your feeding regimen.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions you can contact us! Happy trails from southwest Colorado.
About the Author
I currently reside in Durango Colorado. Durango is in the Four Corners area of southwest Colorado. Living in this corner of Colorado allows me access to riding in three states within an hour drive. Horses have been a passion in my life for 35 years. I currently have seven equines in my care, including a five-year-old mustang in for training, a feisty grade mare I bought eight months ago, a talented Arab/Mustang mare and a blue dun Icelandic pony. —Phoebe Bechtolt