Horse Care for the Senior Horse
For those of us who own a senior horse, we can face some challenges and concerns in regards to horse health and care. Depending on the natural horse care in earlier stages of life, the severity and complications can vary. I own two senior horses right now. Pokey my childhood mare who is in her mid to late twenties and my gelding Peppy who is 20 years old. If you have been following my blog and content for a while you know Pokey’s story.
I was told by three different veterinarians that the time had come for Pokey to be euthanized. They all believed it was her best and only option. That was almost 7 years ago! Because of my determination and going outside the traditional realm of care, Pokey is still here and doing quite well.
Tips for Caring for the Senior Horse-
Here are a few guidelines and tips to provide great care for your aging horse. They have given so much to us or their previous owner, it is time to give back!
- Proper dental care– It seems as horses age or hit more of a retirement status, owners bypass or stop getting routine dental care done. Annual or at the very least bi-annual dental exams and floats should be done for your senior horse.
- Digestive system support– As your horse ages the digestive system tends to need additional support. A properly functioning digestive system is a crucial part of horse health. As over 70% and some suggest more of the immune system resides in the GI tract. Combine that with the weight of nutrient absorption and utilization! To support the senior horse digestive system you can offer slow feeders or a third feeding in the day, offer prebiotic, probiotic, and enzyme supplements. Also, allow for grazing live grasses when possible.
- Monitor body condition– Regularly monitor the horse’s body condition and adjust as needed. Just because a horse is older and even retired, obesity or being underweight is still a health concern.
- Exercise and lymph stimulation– It is important to remember that the lymph system needs stimulation and movement to flow and function. Your senior horse should still get regular exercise as their body can handle. Grooming is also a great way to stimulate the lymph and body, and can be a therapy for the human too!
- Hydration – Monitor their hydration and watch for excessive drinking or them drinking an inadequate amount of water.
- Joint and Muscle Care– It is often beneficial for senior horses to have some natural liniments applied, use of some therapy products like Back on Track, red lights, etc. to support their joints and muscles. Again the exercise will help here as well, along with a natural effective joint supplement.
Foundations of Natural Horse Health and Care-
Caring for the senior horse really is the same principle as horses of younger ages. Sometimes with a little additional focus or awareness. If well cared for horses can have their golden years as senior horses and have great potential! Focus on horse health now before it is lost or becomes a concern, no matter the age of your horse. Doing so can reduce the risks of illness and injury.
If your horse isn’t greeting you at the gate, is resistant or dull to your cues, or is experiencing negative health conditions… It isn’t your fault. And contrary to what some vets and equine professionals might lead you to believe, it certainly isn’t normal!
It’s time revolutionize the way you think about and approach your horse’s care and lifestyle; equipping you with the tools and information you need to optimize your horse’s performance, reinvigorating their zest for life, and accessing the “horseplay” and exuberance they are naturally known for.
Discover the forgotten framework of care that will transform your horse’s health! Grab your copy of my book Healthy as a Horse, Click here to reserve your copy now.
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Life is better when you’re horsin’ around!