If you’ve been to an equine supply store recently, you’ve seen that there are dozens and dozens of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for horses on the market.
And for good reason. These supplements can make a huge difference in your horse’s overall health, from combating arthritis to speeding recovery.
But how do you choose the right one?
Especially when you don’t want to accidentally pick a dud.
You want to see real results, whether that’s reducing your domestic horse’s stiff movements, or taking your sport horse’s performance to the next level.
Well, grab your bridle, because we’re about to provide you with a comprehensive framework to help you choose exactly the right supplement, including a list of our top 10 recommended supplements.
Each of these supplements contains the key active ingredients of glucosamine chondroitin for horses, so you can rein in your worries and find your horse a supplement without a hitch.
What are Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Horses?
Before we start talking about supplements, you may be wondering what the heck glucosamine and chondroitin are in the first place.
These naturally occurring substances are found in your horse’s body and help keep the cartilage in your horse’s joints healthy.
And this is really important because cartilage protects your horse’s bones from friction, wear and tear, pain, and inflammation.
The table below shows how glucosamine and chondroitin support cartilage health and reduce cartilage deterioration.
|Chondroitin||Reduce cartilage deterioration.|
You really don’t want your horse to be deficient in glucosamine or chondroitin!
How you use glucosamine and chondroitin for horses is largely going to depend on your specific horse’s needs and whether you have a domestic or performance horse.
For domestic horses, these active ingredients can be used to:
- Maintain overall health
- Manage symptoms of arthritis
- Support joints of older horses
And for performance horses, glucosamine and chondroitin can help combat the increased wear and tear sport horses face due to their high activity levels.
Glucosamine and chondroitin for horses are primarily found in the following supplement forms:
Finally, we know money is always an important consideration when purchasing something for your horse. No one wants to break the bank on horse supplements.
Fortunately, supplements come at a variety of price points. The most important thing to keep in mind when comparing supplements is identifying the price per serving. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements generally range from $1.50/serving to $3.00/serving.
How to Evaluate Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements
When choosing the right glucosamine and chondroitin supplement, there are certain criteria you should keep in mind.
Here is a list of the evaluation criteria we used to create our list of top 10 glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.
Manufacturing and Sustainability
When you’re choosing the right supplement for your horse, you also want to be sure you’re choosing a product that is environmentally friendly.
The places from which glucosamine and chondroitin for horses are sourced can make a huge difference in the manufacturing and sustainability of your supplement.
For example, chondroitin is sometimes sourced from shark fins. Because of its negative impact on marine ecosystems, sourcing chondroitin from shark fins is not a sustainable choice.
We always recommend doing a bit of research to ensure the manufacturing and sustainability of a supplement is sound before you make your purchase.
The last thing you want is for your chondroitin and glucosamine supplements to cost an arm and a leg. After all, you need those to ride your horse.
You should be especially sensitive to the price of horse supplements given the costs associated with feeding, housing, and maintaining horses.
At the same time, you also want to make sure you’re getting the highest quality supplement possible.
When comparing supplement prices, you should consider the price per serving, not just the overall price. In addition to comparing price per serving, price per active ingredient might also be considered.
Some supplements may appear cheaper when you’re looking at the overall price. As soon as you do a per serving comparison though, you find you get a better deal by coughing over a few extra bucks at check-out so long as you receive a lower cost per dose.
The three most important questions to ask when considering supplement prices are:
- What is the price per serving of this supplement?
- Is the dosage of glucosamine and chondroitin in this supplement comparable to other products I’m looking at?
- How long will this package of supplements last?
If you’re constantly having to reorder your glucosamine and chondroitin supplements because the product only comes in a small package, you may end up spending more money in the long run.
For many people, the easiest way to purchase a product is online.
But for others, you may prefer to take a quick visit to your equine supply store and pick up a supplement there.
Since the availability of supplements changes drastically depending on the region where you live, we’ll focus this conversation on purchasing supplements online.
Some questions to ask yourself before doing so include:
- Is shipping free or at least inexpensive?
- How quickly will I get my supplements?
- Can I choose to auto-ship my supplements?
Everyone is going to have different purchasing convenience priorities. These questions should give you a good start in choosing the best supplement for your circumstances.
Oftentimes, equine supplement companies will make a variety of supplements: joint supplements, skin and mane supplements, calming supplements, digestive supplements.
In some ways, this can be great. You find a company you like and you can try their other products as needed.
But in other ways, it can be beneficial for a company to specialize. That way, you know they’re putting all their effort into making the best supplement possible.
Do ALL of their products receive equally good reviews? Or are some doing better than others?
Packaging and Usability
When you’re choosing a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement, it doesn’t hurt to consider how the supplement is packaged.
For example, a huge container that requires refrigeration may be a pain to store. Packaging that just needs to be stored in a cool, dry place may be easier to find space for.
And when it comes to usability, you want to take into consideration your horse’s specific preferences. You may have to do some experimenting to get your horse to accept a new supplement.
When it comes to your horse, you want the highest quality and most ethically sourced ingredients possible.
So it can be helpful to know how to read a supplement label so you know exactly what you’re feeding your horse.
When choosing glucosamine and chondroitin for horses, try to find a supplement that has as many active ingredients and as little filler as possible.
This means you should avoid ingredients like alfalfa meal and rice bran. Similarly, try to find a supplement that has few or no artificial flavours or colours.
Doing so gives you the best bang for your buck. You’re paying for your horse supplements to actually do something to improve your horse’s health, after all.!
We’ve already established you want your supplement to benefit your horse.
But not all supplements are created equal.
The best way to determine whether the product you’re thinking about buying is right for you and your horse is to read up on reviews.
You’ll also want to consider how a supplement may benefit domestic horses more than performance horses (and vice versa).
For example, TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine is going to be better suited to maintain sport horse health due to its maximum strength formula, while TRI-ACTA for Equine is best for domestic horses.
Glucosamine and chondroitin occur naturally in your horse’s body.
So when taking a high-quality supplement, your horse shouldn’t experience any side effects.
But if a company is using lots of fillers or other ingredients, there is the possibility that your horse may have some negative reactions here or there.
This is why it’s always good to look for a product that has primarily active ingredients.
The best way to check for any possible side effects is to read up on the ingredient list, do your research, and check reviews to see what other people are saying about the product.
Customer Service/Post-Sale Support
We all want to find the perfect glucosamine and chondroitin supplement right from the get-go.
But sometimes things just don’t work out. Maybe your order was late, you received a damaged product, or your horse simply doesn’t like the supplement you chose.
So you may need to speak to someone to make things right.
You want to receive customer service from a company that will:
- Answer your calls, chat, or e-mail quickly.
- Listen to your concerns.
- Make things right.
The best supplement companies provide post-care support so that you can be sure you’re getting the best product possible for your horse.
Last but not least on our list of evaluative criteria is quality assurance.
The best supplement companies know their products work, so they have no problem providing quality assurance.
This may include third-party testing to make sure everything is safe and to standard. This also ensures that each supplement contains the amounts of active ingredients being advertised!
Top 10 Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM Supplements for Horses
Providing your horse with a joint supplement is a great way to maintain horse health, so we’ve put together a list of our Top 10 Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Supplements.
Keep in mind that the supplements we list below aren’t ranked in order of greatness. In fact, we’ve sandwiched our two favourite products at the beginning and the end. Because why not?
1. Integricare TRI-ACTA for Equine
Alright, you got us.
It is a little self-serving that we place our own product as our first supplement, isn’t it?
But we really love our supplements. Integricare TRI-ACTA for Equine is the perfect glucosamine and chondroitin supplement for maintaining joint health in domestic and older horses.
Active Ingredients: Glucosamine Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin, MSM
And when it comes to our evaluative criteria, it checks all the boxes.
Each scoop contains 10,000 mg glucosamine and 2,500 mg of chondroitin to keep cartilage healthy. On top of that, we include MSM, an antioxidant that helps reduce pain and inflammation in your horse’s joints.
You’ll notice that we only have active ingredients on our ingredients list. Which means no fillers!
And to top it all, all of our ingredients are sourced from Canada and our final product is third-party tested for quality at a local lab in Ontario.
Price $89.99 to $259.99 as of August 2021
2. Grand Meadows Grand H.A. Synergy
Next on our line-up is Grand Meadows Grand H.A. Synergy, a comprehensive joint supplement great for horses who are aging, have arthritis, or are going through intensive training.
Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Type 11 Collagen, MSM, Omega Fatty Acids
This product comes in several different sizes (5 lb, 10 lb, 25 lb), so you can choose the packaging that is best suited for your space.
Additionally, Grand Meadows provides quality assurance and quality manufacturing. In fact, they’ve even earned high marks from the National Animal Supplement Council for doing so.
But this product has lower levels of glucosamine per serving than some of the other supplements on this list.
If you’re looking for a product that delivers a high dosage of glucosamine per serving,, another supplement on this list may better suit your needs.
Price $94.50 to $419.95 as of August 2021
3. Ramard Total Joint Care Performance
Made in the USA, Ramard Total Joint Care Performance contains the key active ingredients of glucosamine and chondroitin. Developed by a team of veterinarians, biochemists, and trainers, this is a great joint supplement option for performance horses.
Active Ingredients: Glucosamine HCL, Chondroitin sulfate (bovine source), MSM, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid, Zinc
For all you forgetful shoppers, this supplement offers auto-ship options, so you never have to worry about running out right before a big competition.
Additionally, Ramard Total Joint Care Performance contains all active ingredients, including MSM, which serves as an anti-inflammatory, and hyaluronic acid, which helps with joint lubrication.
The downside? This product only contains 6,000 mg of glucosamine per serving but is still on the pricier side of joint supplements, at $2.89/day.
Price $80.95 to $101.19 as of August 2021
Absorbine Flex + Max Advanced Joint Health is a great glucosamine and chondroitin product if you’re looking for something that comes in pellet form.
Active Ingredients: Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin, Hyaluronic Acid, Boswellia serrata, flaxseed, rice bran.
This product contains high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain joint health.
And if you’re in a hurry, you can receive same or next-day shipping for this product, as well as free shipping for orders over $45.
While this product is on the cheaper end of the spectrum, it contains fillers like rice bran, alfalfa meal, and preservatives.
Unfortunately, what you gain in affordability, you also gain in fillers.
Price: $49.39 to $85.49 as of August 2021
5. Nutramax Cosequin Optimized with MSM
Made in the USA, Cosequin Optimized with MSM is a great supplement for encouraging flexibility in hard-working horses. It contains high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as MSM which also benefits joints.
Active ingredients: Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin, and MSM.
This product is available for quick shipping and even has the option of auto-shipping. It’s also received some great reviews and is veterinarian-recommended.
Unfortunately, it also contains fillers, preservatives, and artificial flavouring.
Price $109.55 as of August 2021
6. Cox Veterinary Lab Acti-Flex Liquid
Looking for a liquid formula? Cox Veterinary Lab Acti-Flex Liquid might be the one for you. This supplement supports healthy joints with its high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin (8000 mg glucosamine, 4000 mg chondroitin).
Active Ingredients: Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, MSM, Ester C, Green Lipped Mussel, Boswellia Serrata, Yucca, Hyaluronic acid
At just about $1.00/serving, this is an incredibly cost-effective option of glucosamine and chondroitin for horses.
And perhaps the coolest thing about this supplement is its 100% money-back guarantee.
But this supplement comes in liquid form and has a pina colada flavour, which may not be very appealing to all horses. Buyer beware if your horse is picky!
Price: $33.57 to $126.35 as of August 2021
7. Horse Health Products Joint Combo Hoof & Coat 3-in-1 Apple Flavor Pellets Horse Supplement
Horse Health Products Joint Combo Hoof & Coat 3-in-1 Apple Flavor Pellets Horse Supplement is a great option if you’re looking for a little extra “oomph” in your joint supplement.
In addition to active ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin, these pellets also contain hoof-healthy ingredients, like omega 3 fatty acids.
Active Ingredients: Omega 6 Fatty Acid (Linoleic Acid), Glucosamine HCL, MSM, Chondroitin Sulfate, Omega 3 Fatty Acid (Alpha-Linolenic), Lysine, Ascorbic Acid, Zinc, Methionine, Biotin
This is a very affordable option that comes in multiple packaging sizes.
It is artificially flavoured with cinnamon-apple flavouring, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on your horse’s specific preferences.
However, it also has the lowest levels of glucosamine and chondroitin on our list, with just 18 mg of glucosamine and 6 mg of chondroitin per serving.
Price $41.59 to $84.95 as of August 2021
8. Finish Line Fluid Action HA
The next glucosamine chondroitin for horses product on our list is Finish Line Fluid Action HA. This is a great option for maintaining the joint health of domestic horses.
Active Ingredients: Glucosamine, MSM, ascorbic acid, olive fatty acids, turmeric powder, yucca powder, chondroitin, sodium hyaluronate
This product is available for auto-shipping and made in the USA. It’s also on the affordable end when it comes to joint supplements, at $1.46/day.
But it contains fillers, like aloe vera powder and silica gel, as well as lower levels of glucosamine and chondroitin than some of the other products listed.
Price $40.95 to $81.95 as of August 2021
9. Cosequin ASU Plus
Cosequin ASU Plus is considered the most advanced of the Cosequin formulas, containing high levels of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Hyaluronic Acid.
Active Ingredients: Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin Sulfate, Avocado/Soybean Powder, Hyaluronic Acid, Green Tea Extract
While the product contains the highest levels of glucosamine (14,400mg) and chondroitin (2,400 mg) on this list, it also contains fillers like gum resin and soy lecithin.
Be sure to take note that, due to the addition of green tea extract, this product contains caffeine.
Because caffeine is a prohibited substance by the US Equestrian and AQHA, you may want to pick a different supplement if you plan on competing with your horse.
Price $149.99 as of August 2021
10. Integricare TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine
And last (but certainly not least) on our list is our maximum-strength product, Integricare TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine.
The primary difference between TRI-ACTA H.A. and TRI-ACTA is the addition of hyaluronic acid, which helps lubricate your horse’s joints. As a result, this is a great option for performance horses that experience lots of wear and tear on their cartilage.
Active Ingredients: Glucosamine Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, MSM, Chondroitin Sulfate, Hyaluronic Acid
You’ll notice that there are two types of glucosamine included in Integricare products:
- Glucosamine hydrochloride: highly bioavailable (your horse’s body can efficiently make use of this ingredient).
- Glucosamine sulfate: contributes to collagen production, which is extremely important for joint health.
In fact, TRI-ACTA H.A. and TRI-ACTA for Equine are the only products on this list that contain more than one type of glucosamine!
And just like its sister product, TRI-ACTA H.A. is made with 100% Canadian-sourced ingredients, is filler-free, and undergoes a rigorous quality control process.
Frequently Asked Questions on Equine Supplements
Is there plant-based glucosamine and chondroitin available for horses?
Not really. Generally, glucosamine is sourced from shellfish, while chondroitin is traditionally manufactured from shellfish or bovine sources. Chondroitin may also be sourced from shark fins, which we don’t recommend due to its negative impacts on marine ecosystems.
Are there chondroitin and glucosamine injections for horses?
Yes. You can give your horse chondroitin and glucosamine supplements either orally or through injection. Keep in mind, however, that in many regions a licensed veterinarian must administer the injection.
Closing Thoughts on Why You Should Supplement Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Horses
Whew! That was a lot of information.
You’ve learned all about the ways glucosamine and chondroitin for horses can help maintain healthy joints.
And you also have the tools to choose the perfect joint supplement to meet your horse’s needs.
Check out our website to find a retailer that supplies our supplements.