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Knowledge is more valuable when you share it. Willi regularly publishes valuable tips and helpful information on current topics on his social media channels - and answers frequently asked questions.

Joint Supplements


So, when you run out of your premium joint supplement, it seems like your horse may be stiffer, maybe even lame. Because without those joint supplements, it takes a while for the horse's body to wrap back up to producing the joint fluid that it was producing in the first place. When you give your horse joint supplements, your horse will get a negative feedback effect: Basically the horse‘s body is saying „Oh, I have enough from that joint stuff, I don’t need to make as much.“ Not good. Studies show that it takes at least 30 days for the body to catch-up and start making the right amounts of joint fluid again. For that reason, I don’t really like to suggest joint supplements. If your horse needs them, they need it, no question. Generally older horses or if you do excessive work with your horse can make a test a good idea. But unless your horse needs joint supplements, I really suggest not putting them on it. There is that negative feedback effect, so you‘re actually not helping anything, just wasting your money and imbalance your horse’s body. There is a general problem with all oral supplements: With an oral joint supplement, you don’t know if the horse is absorbing it. Studies have shown that horses over twelve years of age may not absorb oral joint products as well as younger horses do.

Long story short: When we add joint supplements to horses that don't need them at that time, they may make LESS joint fluid. Then, guess what? We need to keep giving them their joint supplements. If they are taken off the joint supplements, they may seem stiff or may not perform as well. 

My suggestion on joint supplements: Try to avoid them until you absolutely need them. If you think your horse needs them, your vet can give your horse one shot of intravenous Legend and see if there is any improvement. If you see no noticeable improvement with one shot of Legend (or similar), then you should seek a different answer to the problem you are trying to solve. You can also try any of the many oral products, but remember that you'll need to try the product for 30 to 60 days before it is taking maximum effect. If you see no noticeable improvement after 60 days… seek a different answer to the problem you are trying to solve.One personal thing: The excellent pharmaceutical marketing industry wants to make you believe that joint supplements prevent problems. This drives me insane. They know that there is a negative feedback circle, so I feel like this is false advertising. I'm not against joint supplements. If your horse needs them for whatever reason, use them. Just be sure your horse needs them first.



The blood test tells your horse is good in selenium? — Not relevant! Even if your blood test is perfect, you still need selenium. Why? The body will literally suck every living drop of selenium out of the muscles to stick it in the blood stream to stay alive. So, if your horse is over stiff in many muscles (and is not misaligned in joints - call me to check), it is more than likely that it has a deficiency in selenium. But cave! There are two types of selenium: organic (muscles) and inorganic (not absorbable to muscles, gets to hair, mane, hooves,…). It is very important that you have 50/50 organic to inorganic type of selenium, otherwise it won’t work. It usually takes 3-4 weeks and you will see a whole different horse. Your horse should receive at least 2mg of selenium per day (but please respect the 50/50 rule!). Extra tip: This works on humans, too. You feel stiff sometimes or want to know what a real stretch is? Five brazilian nuts a day can make the difference.

Fake Problems


Was your horse diagnosed with something – and treated – and the same problem came back? Here’s what might be happening. A competition horse that was short striding in the rear end was examined by a veterinarian. The hocks were flexed and the left hock was found to be very painful. Both hocks were injected. The rider felt that the horse had been a little bit better for a few days, but with no real improvement. While the horse was checked by another vet, he found that the horse had some minor chiropractic issues in his back, and his right stifle was what stood out to him. It turned out that the horses’s right stifle had OCD (osteochondritis dessicans). Because he wasn’t using his right stifle correctly, he was overloading the left hock... Did the left hock need to be injected? Yes, it was definitely painful. However, the underlying cause was the right stifle. This was an example of how the painful part (the hock) was NOT the problem. This happens quite frequently in the horse’s body. The owner may know about a chronically sore shoulder, but not realize the shoulder was getting sore because the withers were subluxated.

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