Yes, its the one thing which all horse owners/keepers seem to look in to at some point along their way. I am sure you have all looked on Facebook and searched the internet for the best joint supplements to support our horses individual needs, ‘individual’ that’s exactly it!… each of our horses is an individual in their own right and with that it means they all have different needs. So, why feed a joint supplement?
General support for our horses/ponies even if they are not in work
Support for maintaining/improving performance
Support for an older horse/pony with arthritis/joint changes
Support for a young horse/pony with arthritis/joint changes
Support for a horse/pony which has undergone an operation or has had an injury/trauma to a joint (Jorgies story)
General stiffness in a young horse/pony
A supplement isn’t going to fix your horse if your farrier is poor and your horse isn’t getting the support he/she needs from shoes or your barefoot trimmer is not balancing the foot correctly (more on this subject in another blog..). If your saddle/bridle/bit isn’t fitted correctly or if your horse needs more help than a supplement, always go to the professionals first as a supplement is only ever there to support. Your trainer should be also advising if they think your horse may need some additional support or if he/she sees changes in your horse. None of our horses have 100% perfect confirmation, work with what you have and don’t be scared of asking questions. If you think something isn’t right then ask for a second opinion. We should all be supporting each other and be kind if someone asks you a question about your horse, they may just want a little advice…
Wow where do we start… glucosamine HCI/Sulphate? MSM ? Tumeric? Green lipped mussell? Plant based/mushrooms? Hyaluronic Acid? Chondroitin ? Devils Claw? Rosehips? Cod liver oil? Boswellia? Linseed? competition legal or not? the list is endless and everyone will tell you different
I have spent a lot of time researching and looking in to joint supplements for Jorgie, I mean lets face it the majority of the above mentioned ingredients are in joint capsules for humans too!. Its so confusing and everyone will tell you their own opinion of what’s good and what’s not, what they think you ‘should’ feed your horse/pony as maybe they are sponsored by a Brand?. A famous show-jumper or dressage rider uses a particular product..but do they? do we think they would give us an honest review if the product that their sponsor is supplying didn’t work?.. I will reserve judgement on that. In no way am I accusing anyone of lying but it is questionable as we are trusting people to give us honest reviews. Lets face it if there was one proven joint supplement that did it all, fixed it all and built new cartilage and synovial fluid then we would all be buying it but our horses are individuals just like us!. Yes we are built up of similar mechanics but some horses have had far more wear and tear than others and injuries etc too
I am not supported by a Brand, I chose to feed what I do because it has worked for us. This is not to say that I wouldn’t try something else if I found that our product was no longer working for Jorgie.
However, don’t fix what isn’t broken… hmm easy to say sometimes but initially I didn’t know Jorgie was broken.. which is what caused some of our issues to start with. That’s a different blog ! but feel free to check our ‘About us‘ to find out more.
Jorgies X-rays from 2016 where you can see the ‘fluff’ as I like to call it, especially on the outside of his left fetlock joint..
Over the past 3 years (approx, as we did trial some alternatives after his operation 4 years ago) I have been feeding Jorgie 4Cyte gel.It basically looks and smells like apple sauce for horses, even if you have a fussy horse it comes with a syringe to easily pop in to their mouth (easier for some than others, I know). Its supplied in a handy pouch so we can ensure we use every last drop and Jorgie loves it, I think the majority of us can relate, imagine making a feed and a gust of wind blows in the feed room just as you are putting your powdered joint supplement in to the bucket .. a waste, a few stern words with yourself and you try again making sure its all mixed in.. for your horse to then decide you haven’t mixed it in well enough .. 😒🤦♀️
Jorgie has tried various supplements as the vets who operated on him advised he would need to have this additional support to help his joints for the rest of his life, these are just some of the ones we have used over the years and I respect that ingredients/marketing etc will have changed over this time too
Vets own products (used when he had his operation)
Feedmark Products – Boswellia and their own joint supplement
Animalife Products – Vetrofen Intense and Original
There are so many marketing campaigns, reviews on Facebook and pages to look on to read about joint supplements and I found these great. I wrote down the information and taking the ingredients from the vets own brand. I figured it must be good if the vets are selling it? and I was getting it paid for on insurance, I didn’t think of the long term use at the time. When I found out how much it was to buy I wanted the best for Jorgie but this also had to agree with my bank balance!
Initially once the vets own brand had ran out and for ease of getting a supplement (rather than ordering through the vets) we started to use Animalife products shortly after his operation and running out of the vets own product but how do I know the supplement was working? he wasn’t being ridden, he was in rehab and I had no true way of even knowing the supplement was helping him to heal. We continued to feed it and he went in to ridden work and initially he felt stiff, not willing to work and we had to start training the basics.. not a bad thing looking back. It came to a point when I was questioning paying over £100 a month for a supplement especially when my barefoot horse was now going to be shod too which would again financially be an extra cost (another blog on that one coming soon)..
I wanted to feed the best I could but we all have budgets.. subscribing to 4Cyte means I get the gel sent to me every 56 days (quicker or later if I need, I can alter as I like) and its £85.50 (plus a small fee for postage). I came across 4Cyte and liked the sound of it, I followed the Facebook page, vets were stocking it and promoting it and more people were saying that it was working for their horses and they were seeing changes for the better. I look on social media and groups for reviews as I can ask questions. I decided to give it a try and whilst reading the ever growing feedback from others we started to see our own changes …Jorgie was feeling more supple, flexible and happy. One of the main things we noticed was his legs were not swelling when he was stabled after being exercised.. I don’t know the science behind this but the gel has certainly helped
Do I really know it works, can I prove this? do I have research?. No, sorry I cant prove to you that 4Cyte is going to be great for your horse, I truly believe no supplement can categorically say that it WILL help your horse.. although some do money back guarantees which is a good idea but I am not entirely sure how this works!. I am not going to tell you all to go and buy 4Cyte as its amazing and will fix all your horses joints because I feel its worked well for Jorgie.
I will say, if your horse needs some extra support and you feel you need to feed a joint supplement to see if it helps then definitely look up 4Cyte. I would love to hear your feedback if you decide to try! but please ensure you have checked the basics first if you feel something isn’t right with your horse
With the combined list of professionals we use including a fantastic trainer, farrier, physio, saddler and vet along with feeding a good diet with 4Cyte, these combined have been the key to keeping Jorgie happy and healthy.
So in a nutshell, don’t get carried away with fancy marketing, do your own research and ask the manufacturers questions and ask yourself what you really need from feeding a supplement. I have seen other products I would like to try but ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’!!