Sand and indoor areas have extended the competition season for show jumping, which is great for competitors, however, it does take its toll on the horses joints.
We are now in the autumn/winter season for show jumping, and the autumn leagues have already begun already. Despite the unseasonably dry weather, many horses will be exercising and competing indoors for most of the winter. Sand and indoor areas have extended the competition season for show jumping, which is great for competitors; however, it does take its toll on the horses.
It is well known that show jumping is associated with joint problems in horses. It is intuitive to assume the repeated stress to the joints, particularly of the forelimbs, entailed in show jumping predispose to wear and tear injury to the joints. In conjunction, it is accepted that as the weather cools down, stiffness and jarring can become more of issue for some horses, particularly older ones. However, while show jumpers should be aware and concerned with these issues, they do not need to hang up their spurs and wrap their horses in cotton wool. A few simple changes can help alleviate many potential problems.
Firstly; awareness – jumping takes its toll on your horse’s joints. More jumping takes more of a toll. Over jumping should be avoided in terms of both height and frequency.
Secondly: warming up – particularly as the days get colder, warming up in advance of competition helps ensure joints, ligaments and tendons have limbered up to sustain the shock of jumping.
Thirdly; response to injury – any lameness in a show jumper should be rested and properly assessed before continuing to compete on a potentially damaged joint.
Fourthly; supplementation – feeding supplemental joint nutrients, such as hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulphate and MSM, can help in the management of problem joints or potentially in younger horses delay the onset of joint deterioration.
Forans Ost-O-Flex is an effective liquid joint supplement, suitable for daily use and safe to use in competing horses, to help maintain joint health and flexibility.