Your Cart is Empty

Ringbone in Horses: What You Need to Know

February 01, 2023 2 min read

At one point, Ringbone meant retirement or a fatal prognosis. Luckily, today we have more options to help horses with ringbone. When diagnosed and treated early, many horses with ringbone will remain sound. Ringbone refers to a bony overgrowth from an injury or inflammation on the pastern or coffin bone. The overgrowth can affect the joint or develop on the side of the leg. In some cases, the overgrowth will encircle the leg, hence the name.

Causes of Ringbone in Horses

Ringbone has various causes, including injury, infection, and normal wear and tear. Other factors can include bone cysts and osteochondrosis, which cause abnormalities in joint cartilage, leading to ringbone. Ringbone is an arthritic, degenerative disease and, in most cases, appears when horses are older.

Confirmation and use can play an important role in the predisposition of ringbone in horses. Horses with upright pasterns or horses under repetitive stress are likelier to experience ringbone. Acute trauma to the pastern also predisposes horses to develop ringbone.

Telltale Signs of Ringbone

Initial symptoms of ringbone include signs of lameness such as abnormal gait, heat, swelling, or pain in the pastern joint. If the disease progresses without treatment, distinctive raised bumps appear on the pastern area. Once the bony growths are visible, the case is considered advanced. Early diagnosis and treatment drastically improve your horse’s prognosis.

The Two Types of Ringbone

A high ringbone develops in the joint between the short pastern and long pastern. High ringbone is the most common type diagnosed. The second type of ringbone is called low ringbone. This form develops in the coffin area and tends to be very painful. The swelling within the hoof wall is contained, causing more pressure on the internal structures, including the joint.

How to Treat & Manage Ringbone in Horses

Veterinary Care

Ringbone is a degenerative disease, so there is no cure. However, your veterinarian can help slow its progress and keep your horse sound and comfortable for as long as possible. A combination of pain management and inflammation reduction is the first course of action for ringbone horses. Your veterinarian may suggest joint supplements, anti-inflammatories, joint injections, or fusion. Each case of ringbone is unique, and your veterinarian will put together the treatment plan most appropriate for your horse.


Adjusting their trimming when your horse is diagnosed with ringbone and pastern pain makes them more comfortable. While the right trimming strategy depends on the horse, conformation, and hoof health, the general goal is to move the break-over point back to reduce stress on the joint and provide heel support. 

Medications & Supplements

Joint supplements, including MSM, glucosamine, omega-3s, and hyaluronic acid, can be beneficial for ringbone cases diagnosed early. Unfortunately, once arthritis gets to a particular stage, additional medications such as Bute or Equioxx will be necessary to keep your horse comfortable.

Benefab Pastern Wraps

Infused with far-infrared emitting minerals, Benefab’s Pastern Wraps keep joints, tendons, and ligaments supple and relaxed. This non-invasive therapy helps harmonize bodily functions safely and naturally to help promote blood circulation, increase oxygen flow, and reduce pain and stiffness.

Also in Blog

Dog Cancer Symptoms: Key Indicators and Early Detection Strategies
Dog Cancer Symptoms: Key Indicators and Early Detection Strategies

September 21, 2023 5 min read

Cancer in dogs is an unfortunate reality that many pet owners face. Early detection of signs plays a crucial role in providing better treatment options and increasing the chances of overcoming the disease. Familiarizing oneself with the common symptoms of cancer in dogs can significantly help pet owners take timely action, ensuring their canine companions receive appropriate care and support.
Horse Topline Exercises: Effective Techniques for a Stronger Back
Horse Topline Exercises: Effective Techniques for a Stronger Back

September 14, 2023 4 min read

A strong and healthy topline is crucial for a horse's overall health and performance. The top line, which encompasses the muscles that run along the horse's spine from the withers to the croup, plays a vital role in supporting the rider's weight and maintaining proper balance.

What Is PEMF Therapy For Horses?
What Is PEMF Therapy For Horses?

September 07, 2023 4 min read

PEMF therapy is a rising star in the equine world, offering remarkable benefits for horse well-being. By utilizing electromagnetic waves to trigger natural healing, this non-invasive technique is transforming horse treatment. Unveiling the potential of PEMF therapy sheds light on its role in improving equine health, recovery, and performance. Its unique qualities, including pain relief, inflammation reduction, and tissue repair, make it an invaluable addition to horse care.