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Senior Horses

What’s important during this life stage?

Common challenges

  • Poor body condition
  • Decreased feed intake
  • Dental issues
  • Hormonal shifts
  • Poor hoof and hair coat quality

Tips for maximizing health and performance

  • Monitor: Monitor your older horse daily to stay ahead of any potential issues that may discourage it from eating and drinking.
  • Turnout: Ensure that your older horse is turned out or is housed in an environment that allows it to have regular access to fresh feed and water. It is common for older horses to be bullied by younger animals, so it may be wise to keep your senior horse in a group with other seniors or to separate the horses at feeding.
  • Dental care: Have dental preventative care performed at least once per year. Poor dental health is the main cause of reduced feed intake.
  • Feed intake: If your horse begins to drop feed (known as “quidding”) or is starting to have a difficult time chewing feed, consider alternative options, such as a senior complete feed or mash.
  • Starch intake: Control starch intake to prevent and help manage symptoms related to metabolic disorders, such as Cushing’s disease, equine metabolic syndrome and laminitis.
  • Calorie intake: If necessary, provide additional calories in the form of fat in order to maintain body condition and hair coat quality.
  • Provide supplements: Optimize your horse’s digestive function by feeding probiotic and prebiotic supplements designed to support its ability to absorb and digest as many nutrients as possible from its feed.