This winter feels like it is going on forever! A combination of lockdown, mud, snow, more mud, rain, more mud and the occasional hard frost is resulting in a lack of riding and more time confined to barracks for our horses, as well as us. This lack of movement due to being stabled for longer, less exercise and colder temperatures can result in our equines (and us) feeling stiffer and less flexible, even when there are no underlying mobility problems.
Research has proven that cold weather increases stiffness in both muscle and connective tissues, and even alters the properties of tendons and ligaments. Flexibility of these tissues decreases and up to 25% more force is required to passively move these ‘chilled’ joints as a result of exposure to the cold. Muscles become stiffer and shorter reflexively and forceful stretching may cause damage in these situations. A recent human study also confirmed what many people with arthritis already know, that increased joint pain is linked with dampness (relative humidity) and this effect is worse when the weather is also cold.
There are management techniques that you can use to help, ensuring that the horses are warm and sheltered is important, so rug up as necessary and try to offer appropriate shelter when in the field. When stabled ensure there are no draughts and horses are again appropriately rugged but also consider leg wraps or neoprene knee and hock boots to help keep the joints warm. Keeping the equine mobile is important to keep those muscles moving, so turnout is important, but sometimes winter conditions can restrict that immensely. In this case looking for a yard with an indoor school or even a walker can really help with regular steady exercise as shortened daylight hours can restrict our ability to do as much as we would like. When you do manage to get out, allowing extra time for a long, slow warm up and cool down are important. Using daily stretching exercises can really help keep muscles moving. You can watch one of our videos with Harriet Beecroft, registered veterinary physio and Mini Horslyx Physio Ambassador here.
Using a product which contains ingredients such as Glucosamine HCL, MSM and Omega Oils can help support healthy joints in all horses, of all ages and breeds, whether for a performance horse that requires support for hard working joints, or as an aid for older horses that may have suffered from wear and tear over the years.
Glucosamine HCl is a glycoprotein present in joints and is an essential, natural component of ligaments, tendons, cartilage and synovial fluid, the liquid shock absorber which lubricates and cushions the joints during movements.
Methyl sulphonyl methane (MSM) is a readily available source of organic sulphur, a key component of connective tissue, which is important for cartilage and joint support. MSM works in synchrony with glucosamine to help contribute to the overall health of connective tissue and maintain overall joint health, including mobility, flexibility and range of motion for comfortable movement. MSM also possesses antioxidant properties.
Omega-3 Oils are essential fatty acids, which cannot be manufactured by the body and therefore must be obtained from the diet and they play a useful role in supporting the immune system. A horse’s natural diet can be low in Omega-3, so horses often need an additional source to provide these essential fatty acids for optimum health. The Omega-3 oils in Horslyx Balancers are from Linseed Oil and can help in producing a healthy glossy coat, healthy skin and boost the immune system and supporting healthy joint function.
Horslyx Mobility Balancer contains all the above ingredients for optimum joint support alongside a high specification Balancer package containing vitamins, minerals and trace elements to support all round health and vitality all in one tub. A balancer supplies a balance of nutrients to counter the deficiencies in forage and grazing when fed at the recommended rates. All Horslyx Balancers also contain a nutrient package for hoof support as well as a combination of powerful antioxidants to support and maintain a healthy immune system.
Independent research was conducted at the University of Central Lancashire using 6 Thoroughbred horses based at the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre. This independent university research clearly demonstrated that Mobility Balancer can help reduce joint stiffness in otherwise clinically sound horses and when used regularly will help maintain healthy supple joints and allow mobility and flexibility for comfortable movement. Details on the research can be found here.
Why not try Horslyx Mobility Balancer and have your horse or pony jumping into Spring in comfort!
Horslyx Mobility Balancer is available in 650g, 5kg and 15kg tubs from your Horslyx stockist, it’s the one in the orange tub!