Grand Meadows Cares Series: Is Your Equine Joint Supplement In Synergy With Your Horse’s Needs?

by Nikki Alvin-Smith

Aggressive management of joint and soft tissue problems in the horse is sometimes necessary. Whether the need arises due to injury, rehabilitation, normal wear and tear, intense training, increase in the animal’s age or development related issues, the benefits of providing the horse with the support of the right equine joint supplement can be considerable.

It is important to select a joint supplement that offers the correct synergy in its formulation of the matrix of ingredients that will likely include the familiar basics of Hyaluronic Acid, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine HCL, Collagen Type II, MSM. These powerhouse support engines need fueling with the proper co-factors in order to work effectively.

It is also important to consider the bioavailability and the stability of the ingredients. Otherwise you are likely spending a lot of money for a less than stellar result.

Cut Through The Confusion – The Top Five

The challenge of selecting the best joint support does involve investing a bit of time to understand the roles of these top five ingredients. And who better to explain them in a matter-of-fact unbiased way than owner at Grand Meadows Nick Hartog, whose thought leadership in all things equine supplements is always on point. Here are some great resources that illuminate the essentials you will benefit from understanding before you click on the equine feed supplement ‘buy’ button.

  1. Glucosamine: The fundamental building block for articular cartilage that is heavily researched across the pharmaceutical globe. Glucosamine may act in preventing cartilage break down and in supporting new cartilage growth. Watch our Fireside Chat Video about Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
  2. Hyaluronic Acid (HA): The ‘juice’ that both protects from inflammatory reactions and lubricates joints and connective tissue.
  3. Chondroitin Sulfate: Think of this as glucosamine’s life partner offering a symbiotic relationship that can promote the growth of new cartilage and help limit cartilage break down. Chondroitin sulfate is an important ingredient in supporting your horse’s ability to produce HA and proteoglycans, but make sure it is depolymerized for best results. Learn more about this ingredient in our Fireside Chat Video about Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
  4. MSM: This organic sulfur is suggested to support healthy joint function. Watch our HA and MSM Fireside Chat Video to learn more about MSM in horse joint supplements.
  5. Collagen Type II: It’s everywhere – representing 95% of the collagen found in articular cartilage tissue. This valuable primary structural protein constitutes bone cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and skin, but that’s not all. It also helps to stimulate the growth of articular cartilage as well as improving the lubrication, strength, and resiliency of cartilage when it is combined in the right formulation with select ingredients.

 Kinship Ingredients That Factor Into Bioavailability & Shelf Life

Provision of kinship ingredients such as Omega-3-and-6 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids, Lysine, Proline, Manganese, Zinc and Copper all bring the joint supplement formulation to life.

The ratio between the amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids included is important. The most common ingredient that is utilized in feedstuffs to provide this dietary balance is flax seed, as it generally offers a ratio of 4:1 which is close to the desired balance. From a manufacturing standpoint however, flax seed is a consistently problematic ingredient. This is because oxygen is the enemy of Omega-3 fatty acids.

The antidote to this problem is to add antioxidants to feedstuffs that contain fatty acids to help prevent the horrid taste and odor that emanate from a rancid product developing over time and to mitigate the likelihood of it becoming contaminated for use. If the Omega-3 is broken down, it will not secure the benefits to the horse’s health it has been formulated to provide. But the stark reality is that antioxidants cannot totally prevent lipid oxidation occurring in a product, they can only slow it down.

Without hopping down the rabbit hole into a chemistry class, suffice it to say that any feedstuff manufacturer that seeks to cut corners or is simply ignorant of the importance of adding the right antioxidant in the optimal quantities from a safe source (clean-label) is doomed to having the mighty Omega components suffer degradation. This lack of attention will necessarily negatively affect both the nutritional benefits and safety of the product. A chain reaction of lipid oxidation results in free radicals bombing about that can do all sorts of damage to the horse that ingests them.

The low-protein/vegetarian diet of a horse may not support his manufacture in sufficient quantities of L-Lysine and L-Proline, two amino-acid building blocks required for collagen production. Along with the useful free-radical scavenger Vitamin C that is also a collagen builder, the efficacy quotient of the equine joint support supplement is improved. Partnership with the additional minerals further increases the synergy of the product.

It’s Not About The Price

Your best buy of an equine joint support supplement should not be guided by the price point of the product. Instead look for horse feed supplements that have the essential NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) seal, that indicates the product has undergone stringent and regular auditing of its ingredient quantities and review the labels to look for stabilized ingredients particularly from the Omega standpoint in regard to flax. If an ingredient is stabilized the manufacturer will definitely brag about it on the label.

While a discussion about your horse’s diet with your veterinarian is always a good idea before making changes to your horse’s nutrition, it is important to do your own research when it comes to product brand choice. Also be careful when buying online that the exact details of the label and the quantities of the product’s ingredients are listed so you can review them properly.

PLEASE NOTE: AHP members ~ Please share this content. Kindly include Grand Meadows URL and author’s URL wherever published. Please advise use so we can share your platform too. Feel free to contact Nikki Alvin-Smith for further information and high-res photos.

 About Grand Meadows: Founded in 1989 by visionary Angela Slater, Grand Meadows is a leading horse health product and equine supplement manufacturer driven by the guiding principle of providing affordable, extremely high-quality science-backed horse products to help ensure horses look and feel their best.

For the past 35 years the company’s mission has been honored and developed further, by President Nick Hartog, who among other accomplishments is one of the founding members and current board member of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), an organization that has a profound impact on the safety, transparency, and legitimacy of the animal supplement industry.

Grand Meadow products are widely used and trusted across the entire horse community from Olympic medal winning competitors and successful horse racing trainers to backyard horse owners. Their equine supplements are highly regarded for their excellent quality resourced ingredients and completely accurate labelling and effective formulations. Learn more at

Grand Meadows, Orange, CA
Media Contact:
Tel: 607 434 4470

Photos are available on request.

About Nikki Alvin-Smith:
Content Creator | PR Partner | Seasoned Writer | Brand Builder |
Major Marketer| Journalist|
Blogger| Ghostwriter|
PR Marketing Specialist/Strategist|
British American|
Grand Prix Dressage
Competitor/Coach/ Clinician|

Please visit  and to learn more about her affordable services.