This 3-part series will introduce to you what joints are, a common cause of joint disorders and the most common components of nutritional or supplemental joint care.

We can all agree that our horses are amazing. But prepared to learn even more about your equine friend that will surprise you! The equine skeleton is made up of more than 200 bones that are all connected with tissues such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Where two bones meet is a called a joint.

The most common type of joint in the horse’s body is the synovial joint. A synovial joint has a capsule that surrounds it and has a lubricating synovial fluid inside.  They are freely moveable. Examples of synovial joints are ball and socket joints (like the hip), hinge joints (like the elbow), and gliding joints (like the knee and hock).
The highly specialized tissues, including cartilage, of these joints perform two main functions: enable movement and transfer load from one bone to another.

Did you know that joint problems are the leading cause of lameness and loss of function in athletic horses? Joints may become damaged by abnormal forces acting on the cartilage (or normal forces acting on abnormal cartilage). Horses can also get infections in various parts of the joint. We can help keep our horse's sound and comfortable by providing good nutrition, exercise, and proper care when 'things happen.'

Next post we’ll cover some of the contributors to joint disorders like injury, natural aging, inflammation & more…

4-Fun Facts 4-Hers:
• Horses have more than 200 bones
• Where two bones meet is called a joint
• Synovial joints are the most common joint in the horse's body
• Joint problems occur with damage and infection


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    Lindsey Blaine is the leader of the Phantom Riders 4-H Club and has a master's degree in education and a bachelor's degree in biological science with emphasis in equine science. She trains horses and instructs riders in all-around disciplines and volunteers with multiple organizations. Her goal is to share years of knowledge and experience with others. Have a question about your project, from a meeting or in general? Ask!


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