It’s a fact of life… everyone gets old! Your senior horse will likely require special care. Old age affects horses in all different ways. Arthritis sets in early for some, while others lose weight or struggle to keep warm in the winter. And yet for many horses, they continue to live a normal life well into their late twenties and early thirties.
You can take measure to make life a little easier for your older guy or gal. Follow these helpful tips!
5 Tips for Senior Horse Care
1. Regular dental appointments: Your equine dentist should be checking your older horse’s teeth more frequently. If their teeth begin to cause them trouble, then they may start dropping food from their mouth or refusing to eat altogether. The dentist will be able to diagnosis any problems.
2. Switch their grain: In many cases, an older horse will have trouble with regular grain. If they begin to drop weight or lose condition, then it might be time to switch them to a senior feed. Most contain easily digestible fiber sources, higher protein, and trace minerals.
3. Adequate protection: Your senior horse will benefit from a run-in shelter and possibly blankets. They require extra protection from the rain, snow, wind, and sun.
4. Regular vaccines: Vaccinations will help to protect your horse from infectious disease. With age, they tend to be more susceptible.
5. Exercise if possible: As long as your horse is able, it’s ideal to provide them with some sort of exercise. It can help to minimize joint stiffness and prevent muscle loss. Saddle work isn’t the only way to exercise them. You can also drive, hand walk, or even lunge them.
The best thing you can do- pay attention! Look for changes in their behavior and body. If something is going on, you want to identify it right away.
You may also find ‘How To Feed The Senior Horse In Your Barn‘ helpful!