The #skrittamer concept
Healthy Leads started the hashtag and concept #skrittamer for SWB Equestrian Weeks 2019, in order to spread the message and importance of striding more. This is because as many as 10 horses a day are put down due to lameness. We at Healthy Leads obviously want to be part of changing this sad statistic. Giving the horse a daily supplement of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid products is a good way to prevent lameness and joint disease. But there are also important and very simple ways to further promote good joint health. And all for free. Walking more, both before and after exercise, is essential for good joint health. When the horse walks, blood flow to the muscles increases. At the same time, the cartilage is subjected to dynamic and low pressure.
Walking is a very important way of walking for the cartilage in the horse's joints to be nourished in a natural and efficient way, says our partner Eva Skiöldebrand, veterinarian and professor at SLU.
Why is it so important to #skrittamer?
Joint inflammation and osteoarthritis (osteoarthritis) are by far the most common cause of lameness in horses. This in turn can lead to them being unable to continue in the sport. When the horse is trained and competed, the joints are strained. Sometimes even when it is just walking in the paddock and taking a wrong step. Overexertion causes small micro-injuries to the cartilage. The synovial fluid, which is normally tough and viscous, becomes thin and watery. We call the joint cartilage and the joint fluid the plaster of the joint. This is because they act as shock absorbers and lubricants so that the joint can move smoothly and without friction. They are two extremely important building blocks for the normal functioning of the joint.
By walking more, you can prevent these joint diseases. A horse should walk for at least 20 minutes a day. Ideally at least 10 minutes before a work session. If you don't have the time, try to find a friend, parent or someone else around you who can act as a horse policeman.
The surface on which the horse is ridden is also of significant importance for the health of the horse's joints. Therefore, make sure to ride more on varied surfaces and not always on level riding surfaces. Riding in the woods and countryside is good for the joints as well as mentally. This allows the joints to work in different ways and thus build up their strength.
Keep an eye on the pace clock! Walk more and maintain FRESH JOINTS and good joint health in your horse. Why not make it fun to stride more and take part in our #stride challenge on social media? Read more here!