BONEPROOF™ & JURASSIC DIRT™:
Although continued efforts are in place to improve track conditions and racing surfaces, the fact remains that most catastrophic or severe breakdowns are a result of poor bone structure.
*Horses traveling at race speeds are subjected to forces equivalent to three times their body weight.
Bone constantly remodels itself in response to the force of impact. Cortical bone gives bone density, shape, and strength. It makes up to 80% of the adult equine skeleton. Trabecular bone is the “honeycomb” bone that forms in the end of the long bones surrounding the bone marrow. Collagen comprises 30% of mature bone and is a major component of connective tissue and cartilage.
Osteoblasts are the bone forming cells that are interspersed throughout the collagen matrix. They secrete a mineralized compound called osteoid which contains high levels of both phosphorus and calcium. Osteoclasts are bone reabsorbing cells. Osteoclasts work with osteoblasts to remodel cortical bone (ultimate strength). These cells are activated when cortical bone tissue is subjected to impact and loading forces. Remodeling increases bone density by removing existing bone and adding new bone to areas where the forces are greatest.
Remodeled bone has a greater strength than the bone produced during normal growth stages. The major contributing factor to preventing injuries is increasing cortical bone density through correct nutrition. Confirmation, poor balance, and track design play important roles in preventing injuries. If the track surface is too hard, the horse’s hoof rebounds too quickly during the loading phase which adds to the forces on the limb. If the surface is too soft it will rebound too late to be of any benefit in reducing impact.
Five months of training a racehorse equals about 50,000 strides. 50,000 strides is the average fatigue life of the cannon bone. Once this point is reached shin soreness increases dramatically. Total bone mineral content is not reached until a horse is 6 years old. Bone scans show that shape and composition of bone is affected by lack of exercise. With horses that have been turned out, bone density decreases during the first 60 days of resumed training. Mineral supplements, along with a careful training regiment will result in improved bone density and durability.
Calcium, phosphorus, and silica are crucial to bone growth rate.
Diets should provide ratios of between 3:1 and 1:1 of calcium to phosphorus. Equine studies prove that 6:1 will result in a reduction of bone density. Feeding extra calcium has no effect on bone density. High grain and low lucerne (hay) diets are detrimental. Low magnesium is associated with a reduction of activity by osteoblasts and osteoclasts, the bone remodeling cells.
Magnesium is needed for calcium absorption, formation of the collagen matrix, and bone mineralization. Trace minerals such a boron, copper, and zinc are necessary for correct calcium absorption. Silicon is involved in the formation of the collagen matrix. Zinc, copper, iron, and silica are found in the greatest concentrations of the lactating mare. The skeleton of the newborn foal contains only 17% of the adult bone mineral content.
BoneProof™ – Highlights:
Jurassic Dirt™– Highlights:
Most mineral supplements contain non-organic, hard to absorb minerals that are sometimes produced in a laboratory. The equine system does not recognize these minerals and quickly eliminates them.