How to protect a foal’s joints?

Foals breed to become agonistic athlete, are naturally exposed to heavier mental and physical efforts than horses bred for passion or as pet. Many of these efforts leads to a strong stress on the musculoskeletal system and especially on joints, which can suffer of cartilage inflammation and strong pain and limping. Usually the most affected joints are fetlock, back limbs phalange region, stifles and hock regions. So, how to protect a foal joints?

Thanks to the breeders’ strain, foals are more and more suitable to the disciple they will be involved in, so in order to support this aim it is important to care even more to foal’s health and well-being from their first life weeks. This means providing a good nutrition, essential to guarantee a correct joints and skeleton growth (read our article about), to balanced training avoiding too hard and intense efforts. Moreover it is good to train on the right grounds, better alternating firm and elastic ground with more soft soils to get the different advantages from both. It is also indispensable to undergo periodical check with professional expert veterinarians and farriers to be sure the horse have a good balance from the first year of life and then periodically re-check it together with shoeing, to avoid wrong postures. Finally, breeders should take care of animal stress, since it can affects a balanced and healthy growth.

Physiologically, foals joints don’t reach the full development till they are 3 years old, therefore in this first life time joints are still brittle and the ossification is not fully completed. Usually foal start taming, around one year old and then starts the first training sessions, which begins for some disciplines even before the third years, causing joints a high stress levels. Training and the high energy diet sports foals usually undergo, lead to the fast muscle mass and weight increase. This burdens on joints, which are not yet strong enough to stand a heavy weight and an intense exercise.
The solution is balance in training, which should be effective and not debilitating and in nutrition, using a great feed and its recommended dose. This allows the progressive growth of muscle mass and the skeleton and joints consequential adjustment to the natural weight increase and training hardening.

Sometimes people are used to make up too late wrong habits and decisions on foals joints, when only medicines can solve nasty illness. Instead, it would be better to prevent these kind of problems through good habits and the many natural feeds and supplements, which are also effective without having sides effects.

That’s Equibar Mobility case, a daily natural horse bar without side effects being also doping- free, which provides a great support to joints healthy development and growth and limits also intense exercise inflammation. Equibar Mobility can be feed to foals 1/3 bar per day from the weaning beginning, directly as a treat or crumbled into the trough. Starting training, it is better to increase the dose up to 1 bar per day, to supports joints exposed to strong exercise and to ease the post- exercise recovery, helping at final stage to prevent injuries and diseases possibly dangerous for a future champion.