9 Best MSM Supplements For Horses

Last Updated on February 9, 2022 by Cinthia

MSM is used as a popular joint health supplement for both humans and animals. Methylsulfonylmethane, more commonly known as MSM, is a chemical used to decrease inflammation and joint pain. MSM is popular for joint health and arthritis, commonly utilized in a glucosamine chondroitin formula. We have found the best MSM supplements for horses on the market to make joint health shopping a little easier!

What is MSM for Horses?

MSM is organosulfur, which is naturally occurring in both plants and animals. Although animals utilize and benefit from sulfur, mammals cannot actually use pure sulfur. But this organic compound has a high bioavailability rating for consumption when found in alfalfa and grain. Bioavailability is the proportion at which this compound enters the circulation after being introduced to the body (or becomes activated).

As a standard, MSM is normally consumed in this bioavailable form as a macromineral in a horse’s diet. The official NRC recommendation for equine sulfur intake is .15% of total dry matter consumption. This is usually met through quality forage. Sulfur plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis, and oxidative stress protection. Healthy and cartilage and collagen levels are also affected by sulfur intake. Sulfur deficiencies can lead to degenerative issues, poor exercise recovery, inflammation, or joint pain. Currently, there have been no MSM toxicity reports in horses as it is derived from DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide). Like other nutrients, excess quantities are simply excreted via urine or fecal matter.

What is MSM for horses

Read about Sweet Feed For Horses

Inside MSM Functions

Horses typically obtain sulfur from methionine or cysteine, both amino acids. Although cysteine can be produced internally from methionine, methionine must come from a horse’s food consumption. Like other mammals, these amino acids are essential “building blocks” for protein. Collagen and glucosamine are the most common proteins in the connective tissues horse owners are trying to maintain and take good care of. These two proteins contain high amounts of the sulfur-filled amino acid, cysteine. If a horse is sulfur deficient, owners will likely notice weak joints, hooves, pain, and inflammation.

Which Horses Will Benefit from MSM Supplements?

Although all horses need some sulfur intake as stated above, certain horses may benefit from MSM supplements. Horses suffering from arthritis or poor hoof condition will likely benefit from MSM. Studies have shown MSM can slow the progression of arthritis in horses through cartilage degradation prevention. Other horses with active lifestyles can minimize oxidative damage through quicker muscle recovery. Performance horses and others prone to inflammation greatly benefit from MSM supplementation. With increased circulation and faster workout recovery, MSM is a staple for many competition horses. However, some formulas may contain additives that are not competition-compliant. Check ingredient lists prior to feeding.

Owners can also use MSM for analgesic pain relief, gait improvement, and general skin/coat improvement. This is because MSM supports keratin formation in the horse’s body, impacting hair, hoof, and skin structure. In dusty barns, some horses are given MSM for respiratory tract support and prevention of heaves episodes. You may consider adding MSM if:

  • Your horse regularly has hock pain or swelling.
  • You have noticed a shortened stride or decreased reach.
  • The horse resists some movements from discomfort.
  • Your horse is requiring longer warmup periods to loosen up.
  • You notice your horse has heat or joint pain.
  • Horses are kept in a dusty barn or have respiratory allergies.
  • Your horse has COPD.
  • The horse is being treated for EPM.
  • You know your horse is under stress or heavy riding/physical exertion.
  • You are not/cannot utilize steroids for inflammation.

What is the Proper MSM Dosage?

Most MSM supplements will provide a generic dosage and come with a pre-measured scoop or serving spoon. We recommend consulting your veterinarian before giving any supplements to your horse. Most generic dosages will recommend 2 grams of MSM per 100 kg of body weight (220 lbs). However, many are giving MSM in therapeutic doses for inflammatory issues. Some studies suggest 20 grams total per day for this effect, while others may use this as a high loading dose and drop to half after the improvement has been noted. For work or exercise recovery, the recommended dose is 8 mg per kg of body weight during intense working periods. Although toxicity is rare and nearly impossible with these over-the-counter supplements, follow suggested guidelines, and always consult your vet prior to adding or changing your horse’s feed/supplements.

Interested in adding MSM to your horse’s diet?

Best MSM Supplements for Horses

#1 Vita Flex Pro MSM Joint Supplement

This is available in a small 1 pound supply or a 10 pound bucket for an extended supply! Vita Flex MSM uses odorless crystalline granules easy to feed horses, dogs, or cats! Each scoop contains 10.1 grams of MSM, and the product also provided small animal/pet dosing. Vita Flex’s formula is 99.099% pure.

Pros:

  • Small supply available
  • Easy to feed
  • Multi-species

Cons:

  • N/A

Best MSM Supplements for horses - Vitaflex

#2 AniMed Pure MSM Supplement For Horses

Animed always has your supplement bases covered with no-fuss quality products at unbeatable prices. This pure MSM supplement is available in a 2.25- or 20-pound tub. This formula guarantees not to harden over time and contains no fillers- a perfect supplement solution for the feed room. It has a 99.9% purity rating and is all-natural.

Pros:

  • Two sizes
  • Easy to store and won’t harden
  • No fillers

Cons:

  • N/A

#3 Ultra-Pure MSM For Horses

99.9% pure MSM with no sugar, flavoring, or fillers. It is human grade and flavorless! This makes it a high-quality supplement easily added to any feeding routine. An 11-pound tub yields 500 servings. Each scoop contains 10,000mg of MSM, and it has instructions for ponies, horses, and oversized breeds.

Pros:

  • Flavorless
  • Easy to feed
  • Adjusted servings for horse size

Cons:

  • N/A

Best MSM Supplements for horses - MSM

#4 UltraCruz Equine Horse MSM Joint Supplement

UltraCruz makes another Best Horse Rider debut with their MSM powder. Their feeding instructions advise utilizing a loading dose for optimal effectivity. UltraCruz consistently manufactures high-quality supplements for performance horses.

Pros:

  • Quality brand
  • Easy to feed
  • Loading dose instructions

Cons:

  • N/A

#5 Nutramax Cosequin Equine Optimized with MSM

Although this isn’t a pure MSM formula, we love the Nutramax Cosequin joint health formula. This supplement utilizes glucosamine HCI and sodium chondroitin sulfate in combination with high levels of MSM. This is similar to the original Cosequin formula but has the added MSM (10,000 mg per scoop) for optimal joint care and health. This is our recommendation for horses with progressed inflammation and arthritis.

Pros:

  • Easy to feed
  • Multiple active ingredients
  • High MSM levels

Cons:

  • N/A

Best MSM Supplements for horses - Cosequin

#6 Majesty’s Flex Wafers Equine Joint Support Supplement

Majesty’s Flex Wafers are a unique take on MSM supplementation through their wafer formula. Powder and liquid supplements can be messy or ignored by horses. But these molasses-based wafers contain oats and applesauce to entice your horse and ensure they have the correct intake. This results in a 98% feed-ability rating! Owners are able to watch and ensure an entire wafer is consumed with no waste. Aside from MSM, this formula contains glucosamine KCL (shellfish sourced), yucca extract, and chondroitin sulfate. With consumption-confirmation, this also makes wafers an economical choice.

Pros:

  • Large supply
  • Easy to feed
  • Tastes great
  • Cookie form means no waste
  • Added ingredients

Cons:

  • N/A

#7 Horse Health Joint Combo Hoof and Coat

Joint Combo is another popular joint and hoof formula with multiple active ingredients. This formula uses MSM, glucosamine HCl, Chondroitin Sulfate, Manganese, and Vitamin C. Each serving also contains 16mg of biotin. Horse coats also benefit from Omega fatty acids. This supplement comes in a pellet form featuring cinnamon-apple flavored pellets sure to please even the pickiest eaters. This is an all-in-one joint/hoof/coat health formula for an outstanding price!

Pros:

  • Economical
  • Easy to feed
  • Great flavor
  • Multi-purpose formula
  • Added ingredients

Cons:

  • Hard to administer as pellets if horses don’t like the flavor

Best MSM Supplements for horses - Hoof & Coat

#8 Richdel Legacy Joint Support For Senior Horses

This is another top pick targeted for senior horses. Select the Best Legacy features sulfate, MSM, yucca, Ester C, glucosamine chondroitin, and Vitamin E. The formula is made in the USA from dry yeast culture and stabilized rice to help with digestive health and support while still appealing to a horse’s palate.

Pros:

  • Easy to feed
  • Digestive support
  • Multi-purpose formula
  • Specifically designed for senior horses

Cons:

  • N/A

#9 Uckele Arthroxigen CR Pellets for Horses

Although more expensive, this Uckele Arthroxigen formula provides a comprehensive ingredient list for optimal joint health. It has its signature “Chondro Complex” featuring 2,500 mg of supportive ingredients for joints and connective tissues. It is available in 5 and 20-pound tubs. Ingredients include:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • MSM
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Plant polyphenols and flavonoids such as Yucca, Resveratrol, Quercetin, Astragalus, and Boswellia

This is also formulated without Devil’s Claw, making it competition legal. You can rest assured quality is paramount when these formulas are made by nutritionists and chemists with equine expertise. For those interested in aggressively targeting arthritis or looking for preventive supplements for hard-working performance horses, look no further. This is also a great option for senior horses and general bone and ligament support.

Pros:

  • Extensive ingredient list
  • Competition legal
  • Multi-purpose formula
  • Suitable for high-performance horses

Cons:

  • Expensive when compared to pure MSM

Best MSM Supplements for horses - uckele

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How long can a horse take MSM?

After thirty days, you should stop giving MSM to your horse, re-evaluate it’s effects and benefits, and only continue if it is still providing undeniable benefits.
MSM is regarded as one of the safest equine supplements available today, and there are no documented cases of toxicity from this product. However, like any supplement, it has the potential to be harmful if not used correctly. As such, it is important that the supplement is used properly and in a manner that will maximize its benefits. 

What is the difference between MSM and organic sulfur?

Organic sulfur is a general term that describes a variety of naturally occurring organic sulfur compounds. It includes MSM. MSM is a white or yellow crystalline solid that is insoluble in water. It is a strong organic base and is derived from the amino acid cysteine. MSM is a naturally occurring organic compound that contains sulfur. It is sold as a dietary supplement, often in the form of a liquid. It is also sold as a food additive and is used in cosmetics. 

Is MSM an anti-inflammatory for horses?

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) has been around for a long time. It has been used by humans for centuries, and it has been used for horses for many years. MSM is an organic compound that is a sulfate salt of methionine. Itis used for horses to help with joint pain, muscle pain, and joint inflammation, and other health issues. It helps your horse’s joints to move better and it supports healthy joint function, with amazing anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve your horse from all kinds of inflammations, swelling, and pain. 

Does MSM actually work for horses?

These supplements are a very small part of the overall treatment plan. MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a supplement that is often used to treat joint pain and other symptoms of arthritis. MSM has been shown to have a positive effect on joint pain and stiffness. It may help prevent arthritis, and it may also help with the symptoms of this complex desease however it is not always possible to treat it with one supplement.  The effects of MSM on joint health are still being researched, but it is thought to help maintain healthy connective tissue, cartilage, bones, and hooves. It also supports a healthy skin and coat in horses.

Which form of MSM is best?

Capsules, powders, and tablets can all be effective but crystal sulfur is best for MSM supplements because it allows for maximum absorption and utilization of the active ingredient by the body. Sulfur crystals because they do not need to be overly processed are more effective  Crystal sulfur is really the best MSM supplement to take advantage of and is universally preferred over powdered or capsule forms. Sulfur is one of the most important elements for a healthy body. It is a major component of connective tissue, cartilage, and bones. It is also an essential element in the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that can be used as a protective shield against free radical damage.

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