Running Cool Blog

Caring for the Senior Horse

Cameron Jensen - Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Proactive management of your senior horse can keep them thriving well into their golden years. In this article, we discuss how you can implement a complete management plan to support your senior horse’s health and wellbeing.

Today, horses are living well into their 20’s and 30’s due to advancements in nutrition and veterinary care. While ageing is a natural process, a proactive approach to your horse’s management is vital to ensure serious problems are simply mistaken for ‘getting older’.

Nutrition

As the digestive system becomes less efficient, your senior horse feed requires a palatable dust-free feed that’s high in fibre, easy to chew and full of readily available nutrients, particularly protein, calcium and phosphorous.

For some, you may need to wet the feed to create a mash or slurry. Horses that are considered ‘nutritionally senior’ can’t maintain body condition on forage sources alone, however these should still be integrated into their overall diet.

Veterinary care

Routine dental and hoof care are of prime importance to the senior horse. A yearly dental check-up - or twice yearly if your horse is over 20 - will correct and prevent any problems. Likewise, regular trimming will protect your horse from lameness or injury.

An effective de-worming and vaccination schedule should also be kept for your senior horse. In addition, biting insects and parasites should be controlled with protective rugging and pasture management, including regularly removing manure.

Daily management

You should check your horse daily to ensure they have access to fresh, clean water and watch their behaviour for any unusual changes. Your senior horse should be kept in a paddock free of hazards, with suitable shelter to protect them from the elements.

Frequent grooming will promote skin health and give you an opportunity to look for any lumps or bumps that should be examined by your veterinarian. Contact with other horses and light exercise will also keep your senior horse active and mobile.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.