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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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chronic muscle stiffness in older horse

Hi again Dr Getty,
Thank-you so much for the quick reply to my query. Your website is extremely helpful!
Regarding my 18yr old horse- i would like to know if you could give some advice on a supplement that will help with stiffness in my dear horse. I have tried various supplements (devil's claw,cosequin, msm, glucosomine, homeopathic remedies etc) giving each one at least three months trial with no luck in aleviating his symptoms. He is particularly stiff in the neck/ shoulder region and hindquater area. I have tried sessions of physiotherapy, chiropratic treatment and have had the vet check his back etc. My saddle gets checked every three-four months by a qualified saddle fitter and all is ok. His teeth get done every 6 months. I have been told by my vet that there is no major problem. To me it feels that it is mainly muscle stiffness which he has ALL the time. This makes it very difficult to do lateral work and he never wants to release in the back and neck. He becomes very strong in the contact as he tries to lean on the forehand. You mentioned "lactonase" in your reply to my bran query. Do you think that he may be storing lactic acid in his muscles?? Will this supplement help with chronic muscle stiffness? I am very careful to warm him up slowly and cool him down by stretching him long and low. He is ridden 5-6 times a week (ps if i hack him, i have to avoid hills and uneven ground as this makes his stiffness over the following few days much worse!)
Any ideas?

Where are you from? south africa

How did you locate this forum? internet search

Re: chronic muscle stiffness in older horse

Hi Julie,

Actually, there are two products that I suggest in improving performance and reducing lactic acid buildup – Lactanase and DMG. Take a look at their description on my website store (though I am not able to ship these products, internationally – sorry). However, you should be able to find something similar either in your area or available on line.

Since the joint supplements (MSM, glucosamine, etc.) had no effect, it indicates that he is not likely suffering from joint inflammation. His muscle soreness may be due to excessive lactic acid buildup. It may also be due to electrolyte loss during exercise. Or, it could be due to a condition known as Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM) which has to do with a horse’s ability to store glucose in the muscle. If this is the case, it is important to feed a low starch diet of no grain, and no sweet feeds.

So, there is something going on, so try changing his diet to low starch, see if you can access these supplements, and keep me posted on any changes.

All the best,

Dr. Getty