<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=332465044330223&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Choosing the Best Joint Supplements for Horses [Leisure & Sport]

Table of Contents

The well-being of our horses is our number one priority as loving owners. Everything else is secondary, no matter how much we want to win that upcoming high-stakes event. But it isn’t easy. Taking care of horses is a huge responsibility that requires knowledge and experience.

Unfortunately, sometimes our steed’s horse health can take a nosedive, leading to reduced horse vitality. This could come down to muscle issues, such as myopathy, injuries and inflammation, such as laminitis horse, or joint issues. The good news is that all of these issues can be prevented and aided with joint supplements.

Let’s go over what you need to know about joint supplements for horses, how to choose them, and what the differences are for various types of horses. Plus, we’ll throw in a couple of the best joint supplements for horses to help make choosing one easier!

Joint Health Considerations for Leisure and Sport Horses

horse health


Sport horses live for performance. Domestic horses live to be our best buddies. That’s the difference in a nutshell. But it’s a bit more complex than that when it comes to joint health.

There are three key points that you need to know:

  1. Sport horses are more prone to injuries and overexertion.
  2. Sport horses are at greater risk of developing arthritis.
  3. Domestic horses are more likely to be overweight and out of shape.

We’ll cover each point in detail, but first, we’ll list the major symptoms of joint pain as these are the same regardless of occupation. After all, they’re all still horses.

Common Signs of Joint Issues in Horses include:

  • Abnormal gaits (particularly at high speeds), transitions, or postures
  • Swelling and heat in the afflicted joint
  • Morning stiffness
  • Obvious displays of pain
  • Grinding teeth or refusing a bit
  • Sudden changes in behavior and temperament
  • Shifting weight off the affected leg

1. Sport Horses Are More Prone to Injuries and Overexertion

All horses can get injured. It’s just part of life.

But no horse faces a more significant threat of injury than a performance horse, regardless of their discipline.

Showjumpers, thoroughbreds, and western performance horses are among those affected by the constant stress and toil of their roles. The rapid accelerations, the hard turns, the abrupt stops, the jumps, the pressure to perform, the competition. Day in and day out.

It’s no surprise that they live far closer to the edge than your domestic horse. In other words, their horse muscles are more likely to take a hit than a leisure horse’s are.

Prevention and Care

Nothing matters more than preventive care if you have sports horses. Here are a handful of good suggestions (which also work nicely for pre-existing or current injuries):

  • Regular trips to a qualified equine veterinarian
  • Hoof care from a skilled farrier
  • Massages to relax muscles and tension
  • A warm, comfortable environment with enough space to roam
  • A proper diet complemented by quality horse joint supplements
  • Physical therapy

2. Sport Horses Are At Greater Risk of Developing Arthritis


Unfortunately for performance horses who engage in regular horse training, overexertion and injuries are two principal causes of arthritis. And that means they’re also more likely to develop this painful, incurable disease than regular horses.Not fun. But luckily, there’s a bit of good news too.

We can take steps to manage this disease, lower pain levels, and keep our horses active well into their senior years.

Prevention and Care

Here’s what we recommend for your arthritic or at-risk horse (you’ll notice a lot of similarities to the routine for preventing injuries!):

  • Visit the vet regularly.
  • Feed them a nutritious diet that keeps them at the right weight.
  • Always balance exercise and rest.
  • Drop by an expert farrier frequently.
  • Embrace lengthy warm-ups.
  • Ice your horse’s painful joints after a workout.
  • Add joint supplements to their meal plan.

3. Domestic Horses Are More Likely To Be Overweight and Out of Shape

Sorry to burst your bubble, domestic horse owners, but it isn’t all smooth hacking for you!

Despite being less susceptible to injuries, overexertion, and arthritis, your loving equine pets also face a duo of severe health problems: muscle loss and weight gain (up to the point of obesity).

And there’s more bad news.

An unhealthy horse has an increased chance of developing arthritis, stiffness, locking joints, and a host of other bone and joint issues. Both are primarily caused by overfeeding and long layoffs, periods when horses don't exercise enough and spend too much time in their stalls.

Definitely not a hazard sport horses face.

Prevention and Care

It’s easy to prevent both obesity and low fitness levels.

Don’t overfeed them, stick to a regular exercise schedule year-round (especially during winter), and give them joint supplements preventively such as TRI-ACTA.

However, if your horse is already out of shape or overweight, you’ll need to work hard to get them back into tip-top condition.

You’ll need to change their diet and slowly and steadily increase their exercise regime, paying particular attention not to overwork their already overburdened bodies.

How to Choose The Best Joint Supplements for Horses

horse joint supplement

There’s one thing all horses benefit from, regardless of their occupation, age, or current health. You might have already noticed it pop up in every “Prevention and Care” subheading.

It’s premium joint supplements. They’re fundamental because they provide equine bodies with the appropriate nutrients for keeping joints well-oiled and fully functioning.

However, the exact supplement you pick depends on whether your sweetheart is a sport horse or a domestic one. And by now, you already know precisely why — the differences in training intensity and lifestyles. Guess what that means?

You’re ready to consider products and make the right choice for your horse.

But before you block all of next Tuesday for researching supplements, take a look at what’s mentioned below.

We’ve done the hard work for you; you just need to read, put your new knowledge to good use, and select the perfect one!

Reviews and Company Reputation

The first thing to think about when hunting down the perfect horse supplements is the company’s reputation. A company’s commitment to happy horses and happy customers shows that they actually care about the products they make. People deserve the best possible experience and horses the best possible supplement.

To figure out what the company is like, read online reviews from real customers. This will give you a feel for the company’s reputation and the quality of the products. Be sure to check out their social media and website as well to get an idea of their reputation with horse owners. If their website has transparent information about the product’s ingredients, daily dose amount, and lists any designations, then that’s a good sign that the product is reputable.

Product Designations

Besides the reputation, you’ve also got to look for product designations. For instance, look for what industry authorities (i.e., Health Canada, FEI, EC, AGCO, NASC, and IFHA) have put their stamp of approval on these products. When these authorities endorse a certain product, it’s a signal of a superior supplement that will lead to a peak performance equine.

At the same time, you’ll want to make sure that ingredients are ethically sourced and all-natural. Usually, if the supplement has a designation from one of the above organizations, it means that the ingredients are randomly batch-tested for their effectiveness. For example, for a supplement to be approved as a Veterinary Health Product by Health Canada, the manufacturer must be willing to have the product independently batch-tested by a third-party to ensure the quality of the ingredients used. To get the NASC seal of quality for products made in the United States, a similar set of requirements must be adhered to by the manufacturer.

Not only are having one or more of these designations on a product a sign that the company has integrity, but your horse and environment deserve the best and these types of products guarantee that!

Finally, make sure you’re looking for science-backed products. This helps prove that you’ve chosen supplements that will actually get the job done and put a stop to problems like fetlock joint troubles and serve as good horse injury prevention methods.

Active and Inactive Ingredients

When choosing joint supplements, you also want to look at what’s listed on the package. These ingredients are ultimately what are going to provide health benefits to your horse. Many products will list active and inactive ingredients separately.

In general, horse supplements should contain effective active ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid (H.A.). Inactive ingredients are going to be things like fillers, additives, preservatives, and flavourings. These don’t provide any value to your horse, and generally just add unwanted calories to your horse’s diet.

So what do active ingredients do for your horse? The table below outlines the benefits of these ingredients:

Joint Supplements for Horses Ingredient


Glucosamine (HCl and Sulfate)

  • Glucosamine HCl is a concentrated version of glucosamine that is highly bioavailable (more absorbable by the body, which makes it more efficient in providing joint lubrication and pain relief)
  • Glucosamine Sulfate contributes to the production of collagen, which is one of the three pillars (collagen fibres, proteoglycan, and elastin fibres) that form the cartilage in your horse’s joints
  • There is research that has found positive effects with glucosamine, in that it has been shown to reduce articular cartilage degradation (the cartilage that lines the surface of joints) in horses

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

  • Is a natural anti-inflammatory
  • Provides effective joint pain relief

Chondroitin Sulfate

  • Along with glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate aids in repairing damaged cartilage and helps to strengthen your horse’s muscles and ligaments surrounding their joints

Hyaluronic Acid

  • Your horse’s joints have a fluid in them called synovial fluid, and hyaluronic acid increases the viscosity of this fluid to allow for easier movement

It’s not just the ingredients that matter; quantity also matters. Not enough nutrients make for weaker products and worse value for money. Make sure to check out how much of each nutrient is listed in your horse supplements so that you know you’re getting proper therapeutic dosages.

If the supplement doesn’t state how much of each therapeutic ingredient your horse is getting with each dose, then that’s a red flag. If they are not being transparent about the amount of value that you’re giving your horse, it could mean that they simply do not know how much therapeutic value exists in the product.

This is common with products that contain ingredients like turmeric, milk thistle, devil’s claw, and others, because it’s difficult to determine the exact therapeutic value that these ingredients provide. While these ingredients may have therapeutic value, it’s much like going to your local drug store and choosing a product from the natural herb and oils supplements section instead of getting your doctor’s recommendation on a scientifically-proven supplement where the ingredients can be verified by science. You might get some benefit, but likely not as much compared to a supplement recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of Joint Supplements for Horses

Thankfully, you have choice when it comes to what type of joint supplements for horses you feed your equine buddy. You can choose between liquid, pellets, powders, or shots (injections) to suit your horse’s needs. Let’s take a look at the differences between these different types of supplements.

Liquid Joint Supplements for Horses

Joint supplements for horses can sometimes come in a liquid—or more accurately an oil—that you mix with your horse’s regular feed. Typically, oil-based joint supplements for horses also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids aside from the therapeutic joint ingredients, which are excellent for maintaining your horse’s skin and coat.

While liquid joint supplements for horses can absolutely contain enough therapeutic ingredients to support your horse’s joint health, the daily dose quantity is often quite high compared to other supplements. This is because it’s more difficult to concentrate ingredients in liquid, which results in a higher daily dose amount for the same therapeutic value you’d find in powder.

Pellet Joint Supplements for Horses

Another way you can provide support for your horse’s joints is by giving them joint pellets, which are usually flavoured to make them more palatable for your horse. While pellets can contain enough therapeutic ingredients to make a difference in your horse’s joint health, they have the same issue as liquid joint supplements for horses: the daily dosage amount is rather high because the pellets need inactive ingredients to bind them together and provide flavour so that your horse will actually eat them.

Powdered Joint Supplements for Horses

In terms of cost-effectiveness per dose with the highest amount of therapeutic ingredients, powdered joint supplements for horses often come out on top. The reason is that it’s easier to concentrate therapeutic amounts of ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid into powdered form compared to liquid or pellets. Powders also don’t need any binders or additives to be shelf-stable.

TRI-ACTA for equine can be administered easily in a 20 g daily dose (two 20 g doses daily for the first 10 days) by sprinkling the powder over your horse’s regular feed. Because the dose is so small and the supplement itself is flavourless, your horse isn’t likely to notice the supplement at all.

TRI-ACTA for Equine

Providing preventative support for younger horses and helping mitigate the early onset of joint degeneration and other mobility issues.


Horse Joint Supplement Shots (Injectables)

Although less common, injectable joint supplements for horses is another potential option. Horse joint injections are interesting because they typically last for at least a few weeks before the next injection is needed, although this time can differ depending on the specific product. Typically, injectables can only be obtained via a prescription from a veterinarian, because they require some level of expertise to use properly, as they usually need to be injected right into the affected joint. Most injections also require a loading dose (an initial higher dose) to jump-start its effectiveness. Injectables are often the most expensive option out of all the joint supplements for horses that you can get, because the cost per dose is usually at least three to six times more than the cost of a powdered supplement. In addition, the cost of injectables is higher because they also require a veterinarian or other professional to administer them.

The Top Joint Supplements for Leisure Horses

Now that we’ve gone over the common formulations that equine supplements come in, let’s take a look at our recommendations for the top joint supplements for horses.

1. Integricare | Equine TRI-ACTA


Integricare, that’s us. Modestly speaking, we’re a pretty cool supplier of premium health supplements for horses, cats, and dogs.

But don’t even think that we’re just placing our product first for the sole reason it's ours.

No way, José!

It’s because we’ve set out to make the best joint supplements for horses in North America, and we think we’ve succeeded.

What makes TRI ACTA horse joint health care supplements so unique?

  1. High-quality active ingredients (two types of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM)
  2. No fillers
  3. Therapeutic dosages that are easy to feed due to tiny 20 g serving sizes
  4. Ethical sourcing and manufacturing
  5. Health Canada approved

TRI-ACTA for Equine

Providing preventative support for younger horses and helping mitigate the early onset of joint degeneration and other mobility issues.


Price: $89.99 CAD as of August 2023

2. Ramard | Total Joint Care Performance



Ramard, a leading American manufacturer with a strong emphasis on “Made in the USA” products, is another good pick for a domestic horse joint supplement. Their Total Joint Care is an excellent blend that’s entirely made up of active ingredients, including the big four: glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid.

There’s really only one reason it falls behind TRI-ACTA.

It has significantly less glucosamine (4000 mg) and MSM (4500 mg) per serving size, making it a less potent supplement.

Price: $86.05 CAD as of August 2023

3. Majesty's | Flex XT Wafer




The only wafers to break into our list are Majesty’s Flex XT joint supplements for horses.

They are a very affordable option if your horses aren’t picky eaters and love snack time. Otherwise, you might struggle with this product!

Alongside decent (but not perfect) levels of glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin, Majesty’s has also included Yucca Schidigera in these wafers. This plant is suggested to have natural anti-inflammatory effects and could be beneficial for joint pain.

Price: $101.28 CAD as of August 2023

4. Mojo Joint | Horse Supplements



Last in our selection of domestic horse joint supplements is Mojo Joint. And it’s more than just a catchy name!

This is a quality product with a ton of potential, but, unfortunately, it falls short in a couple of important departments (which is why it’s just fifth).

  1. It doesn’t contain chondroitin, glucosamine’s best friend, and partner in healing.
  2. It features too many extra ingredients (like vitamins) and a mystery substance called a “binder.”

Price: $94.58 CAD as of August 2023

The Top Joint Supplements for Sport Horses

1. Integricare | Equine TRI-ACTA H.A.

tri-acta h.a. equine joint supplements

TRI-ACTA’s big brother TRI-ACTA H.A. is the gold standard for maximum strength joint supplements for horses in North America.

Why? Because it takes a fantastic product and makes it even more potent and effective!

It’s perfect for horse athletes (and working horses) for the following reasons:

  1. It includes a special form of hyaluronic acid that’s ideal for replenishing the joint capsules with synovial fluid.
  2. Its strong dosage of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM helps stop joint deterioration, stimulate cartilage regeneration, and relieve pain and inflammation.
  3. It’s approved as a Low-Risk Veterinary Health Product by Health Canada.

But don’t just take our word; see what our happy customers have to say! Many of Canada's top equestrian riders and trainers, (including Olympians) supplement their horses with TRI-ACTA H.A.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine

Our maximum strength formula is perfect for horses that are ageing, experiencing arthritis and stiffness, are in training and competition, or under a heavy workload.


Price: $129.99 CAD as of August 2023

2. Absorbine | Flex+Max Joint Health Supplement

absorbine | flex+max-joint-health-supplement


Absorbine’s Flex+Max takes home the silver medal for joint supplements for horses in the sporting category.

These pellets were a close contender for first place and only missed out by a neck!

We love that they’re made with the four key building blocks for joint health (like glucosamine) as well as Boswellia serrata and flaxseeds.

But despite its impressive components, Absorbine Flex+Max loses points in the final stretch because it contains rice bran (rich in starch) and lower levels of MSM and chondroitin.

Price: $109.44 CAD as of August 2023

3. Cox Veterinary Lab | Acti-Flex Liquid



The bronze medal goes to the best budget supplement for sport horses.

For an attractively low price, Cox Veterinary Lab has formulated an impressive product with terrific ingredients, including:

  • Glucosamine sulfate
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • MSM
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Green-lipped mussels
  • Yucca
  • Boswellia serrata
  • Ascorbic acid

So what stops it from ranking even higher? Two things — it comes in liquid form, and it has a pina colada flavor. Both sound great to humans, but some horses think otherwise!

Price: $52.16 CAD as of August 2023

4. Grand Meadows | Grand H.A. Synergy



The very last product we’ll discuss in this post comes from the Californian company Grand Meadows.

Like all the other performance joint supplements for horses presented in this article, it contains the four key active ingredients: glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid.

Just one problem.

There’s too little glucosamine and chondroitin in the recipe, meaning this supplement doesn’t pack the same punch as the other options.

It’s best used as a less potent alternative for lower-intensity sport horses that only need early preventive support.

Price: $165.53 CAD as of August 2023

Conclusion: How To Start Preventing Horse Joint Problems


Enough reading.

You’ve learned everything you need about joint health, the differences between sport horses and domestic horses, and the supplements that promote healthy joints.

It’s time to take action — either consult your vet or trust yourself and order one of the top equine joint supplements Canada has on the market!

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine

Our maximum strength formula is perfect for horses that are ageing, experiencing arthritis and stiffness, are in training and competition, or under a heavy workload.


Your horse will neigh in thanks.

P.S. Did this article trigger any additional burning questions? Get in touch with our friendly Integricare team; we’d be happy to help further in whatever way possible or to offer information about our natural joint supplements for horses.