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Horse Nutrition

June 2020 SmartPak SmartTip of the Month: Important Ingredients for Joint Support for Horses

Photo Courtesy SmartPak

The landscape for equine supplements is constantly evolving, and SmartPak is committed to staying on top of the latest trends and ingredients. One category of supplements that has seen increased use of novel ingredients — such as turmeric, resveratrol, and collagen — is joint support for horses.



Your horse’s body is designed to manage the normal “wear and tear” to joints that comes with being a horse in its natural state. However, the increased demands of riding, training, and competing can put additional stress on your horse’s joint tissues.



Joint supplements help ensure your horse’s body has a consistent, ready supply of the ingredients it needs to cope with the stress of exercise and maintain healthy joints. And because joint supplements are designed to support normal, healthy joint tissues, the best time to start supplementing is BEFORE your horse starts displaying signs of joint problems.

◆ Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family whose root has been prized for its health benefits for thousands of years. It’s been wildly popular in human supplements in recent years, and that popularity has started to transition over into the equine supplement space. The compound of interest in turmeric is called curcumin, and the ingredient is most typically used to help manage a normal response to inflammation and to support comfortable movement.

◆ Resveratrol is an antioxidant that naturally occurs in red grapes, Japanese knotweed, and a few other plants. Similar to turmeric, resveratrol is well known for its ability to manage a normal inflammatory response in the body, and therefore can support a variety of body systems, from joints to skin and more. Resveratrol is starting to be used more in more in horse supplements for joint health and comfortable movement.

◆ Collagen is the main structural protein in the body’s connective tissue. It can be found in cartilage, tendons, ligaments, hooves, skin, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and other tissues. In recent years, collagen has become popular as an ingredient in equine supplements, particularly for supporting the integrity of joints, tendons and ligaments, as well as gastric tissue.

SmartPak’s revolutionary supplement SmartStride Ultra Pellets combines these three novel ingredients with others to provide the next generation of joint support. SmartStride Ultra is a smart choice for hard-working horses in need of joint, tendon and ligament support. It is also a great option for horses experiencing stiffness and discomfort, or those who have not responded to other joint supplements.

This supplement provides those revolutionary and new ingredients, including turmeric and resveratrol for supporting a normal response to inflammation, and boron for maintaining bone health. It also includes collagen and silica for resilient tendons and ligaments. Finally, it combines “tried and true” ingredients, such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid for joint support in horses.

In a recent university study, SmartStride Ultra was shown to support joint health in horses by demonstrating a significantly increased range of motion of the hock at the walk and a tendency toward increased range of motion in the hock at the trot.

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