FEATURED HORSE ARTICLES
Lessons from the Farm
What we’ve learned can help you care for your horses and return the happiness they bring you.
Information from Our Horse Experts
Animal experts at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center share their knowledge about horses.
What mechanics contribute to the development of equine OA?
Horses’ joints act as shock absorbers, providing a lubrication system to reduce the friction between the joint surfaces during movement. The articular surfaces (on the ends of bones within a joint where they meet) are protected by a layer of slippery, spongy cartilage. When properly lubricated, the cartilage allows for near-frictionless movement of the joint along with the ability to absorb the shock being transmitted up the limb from the impact of the foot on the ground. The joint itself is contained within a joint capsule, which attaches to both bones and is stabilized by ligaments. An essential component of normal joint function and health is continued lubrication of the joint, which reduces the damaging effects of friction. If the fluid is absent, the joint will begin to grind itself away, in the same way a car engine without oil will quickly seize up.