Wear and tear on the cartilage which covers the articular surfaces of joints is one of the most common causes of reduced mobility in horses and ponies. It is
often seen in older horses but can affect those in lighter work, as well those with a strenuous training and competition programme.
Cartilage doesn’t have its own blood supply and it relies on the bone underneath and the synovial or joint fluid bathing the joint to supply nutrients and key compounds to maintain its health and shock-absorbing properties. As the horse ages, or the daily impact of training and competition increases, the ability of the underlying bone and synovial fluid to provide these nutrients may not be enough to maintain health, resulting in stiffness and reduced mobility.
It then becomes important that the horse receives a dietary supply of these key nutrients to ensure the cartilage and joint fluid retain their elasticity and shock-absorbing properties to support joint health, comfort, and mobility.