I agree with Anabel, I would look more towards IM's than oral.
The reason being, is that Oral suppliments fall under the "Equine Nutrition" category in the world of horse care. In this category, the rules and regulations of ingredients and tests and studdies are not that strict. So, the makers can state that there is "this and this" in the ingredients, but in reality, there is no such thing. They can swear that the product works, but have no proof to stand behind their statements.
IM's, fall under the "medical" field in the equine world - so that means, that there are very strict rules and regulations that have to be followed, and that testing occurs on a very regular basis, to ensure that the product does what the makers state that it does.
IM's are proven through studdies, through research and through investigations to do the job that they state that they do, thanks to the field that they fall under.
So, if you want to go oral, that's fine - but in my opinion, you're spending money on a product that may not be what it states and may not give you the results you want because of how loose the regulations are in the category that they fall under.
I pesonally, use an IM. I was going to go with Adequan, but after my Husband found out how expensive it is to use, he said no.
There are quite a few different types of IM's. Glucosamine being the basic, and being the cheapest. Then, there is Polyglycam, then a generic version of Adequan, then Adequan and then Legend.
Glucosamine comes in a very large vile, and you usually give your horse 3cc's a dose. There is a loading dose, 3 shots once every week, then after that you go to one shot a month. The bottle costs about $25.00. Then there's Polyglycam, a step up from Glucosamine..and that comes in a bottle that costs about $75.00, there's a loading dose as well.
Then Adequan. Adequan costs $40.00 for 1 shot, and the loading dose is 7 shots in 1 month. Oich....that's what did it in for my Hubby. And Legend....same loading dose, but costs more per shot.
I personally, wouldn't go to Adequan or Legend as a preventative. My Vet explains that these are not supposed to be used as a preventative or a continuous thing because they are designed to repair damage already done, then when the repair takes its' place, the user is to go to a maintenance suppliment.
I would go with Glucosamine or Polyglycam.
After sitting down and discussing all options for Nelson after his injury in January, we decided to go with Glucosamine. Yes, damage was done, but my Vet said start with the simplest and if that doesn't work, move up to the next, and to the next until results are shown. With the Glucosamine, results have already shown.
Sometimes bound to sulfates, sometimes to hydrochloride (there's considerable debate as to which is better), glucosamine is one of the constituents of GAGs and proteoglycans in the joints, as well as an essential ingredient in most of the body's connective tissues, including tendons, ligaments, skin, hooves, heart valves, blood vessels, cell membranes, and so on. It's also a component of sodium hyaluronate. With-out enough glucosamine, the horse has no hope of healing damaged cartilage.
Providing glucosamine to joint cells, in theory, stimulates them to produce more GAGs, including . It'sodium hyaluronate is important to note that glucosamine is a small molecule that is water soluble, so it can travel across membranes fairly easily.
So, we're going with that to start, and he's improved greatly.
I greatly believe that just because our horses show no signs of joint issues, we shoud still give a joint suppliment to aid in prevention. Our horses take alot of stress in their joints on a daily basis when we ride them - so why not give them help. We take Vitamins everyday, when we arent sick, and as woman we take calcium before we show signs of bone weakness - so why not the same for our horses?
My advice, is to start with Glucosamine IM. If you want to go with an oral, that's fine, your choice, look for something with high doses of the key main ingredients.
Glucosamine, Hyaluronic Acid and Chondroitin Sulfate.