With all of the advances in veterinary care, feed, and medicine, horses are living longer, more productive lives. It’s a good thing. But with those extra years, horse owners do have some extra work. Here are some quick bits of advice if you find yourself caring for an older horse.
Exercise is Important
Keep your senior horse moving. It can help preserve muscle mass, reduce inflammation, and help with digestion. All it takes is a quick hand walking or a short trail ride.
They Still Need Fiber
Fiber is still a necessity for older horses. But with dental efficacy and digestive system changes due to age, it’s important that you provide good quality fiber. High-quality hay or hay cubes are good options.
Find the Right Feed
Nutritional needs change as horses get older. That’s because it becomes more difficult to absorb the nutrients found in their feed. Look for feeds that are specially formulated for senior horses, such as Nutrena SafeCoice Senior with high-fat and controlled starch, or Nutrena ProForce Senior for active senior horses.
These feeds and others have plenty of what a senior horse needs to thrive, including
- Increased protein for proper amino acids. This helps with muscle maintenance, hoof quality, and metabolic functions.
- Elevated fat content for extra calories.
- Trace minerals.
- Calcium and phosphorus to help minimize bone demineralization.
- Prebiotics and probiotics for digestion.
Keeping them Warm
We recently took a look at Keeping Outdoor Pets Warm in Winter where we added some tips on blanketing horses. As it becomes harder for horses to stay warm, blanketing can be a great way to help them preserve energy and stay healthy. We can help you size and find the right blanket for your senior horse. Just stop by your nearby Coastal.
We’re Equine Experts
You’ll find folks who know and understand what it’s like to care for an aging horse at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. Stop by today and check out the aisles of tack, feed, saddles, medications, stock tank de-icers, and a lot more.