Summer Grooming For Horses Are Carrots Good For Horses? Hay Feeding Selection and Storage How Do You Know If Your Horse Is Unhealthy? Hoof Abscess Symptoms, Treatment, And Prevention Trail Riding With Your Horse A Quick Guide To Feeding Your Horse 8 Ways To Help Support Your Horse’s Joints Why Does My Horse Paw At The Ground? Prepare Your Horse For Shipping And Trailering 10 Tips To Prevent Horse Riding Accidents and Injuries Preventing Heatstroke In Horses Keep Your Horse Safe From Bees And Wasps How To Manage Stress In Horses What You Need To Know About Cracked Hooves In Horses Arthritis in Horses Fly Control Tips For Horse Owners How To Protect Your Horse From Sunburn Parasite Control For Horses How To Keep Your Horse Warm In The Winter Preventing Blanket Sores What Are The First Signs Of Strangles In Horses? What Causes Respiratory Problems In Horses? What Causes Arthritis In Horses? Tips To Keep Your Horse Calm While Trailering Horse Digestive Health Tips For Caring For Your Horse In Hot Weather 5 Common Hoof Problems In Horses How To Get Your Horse Ready For Spring What Are The Signs Of A Mare In Heat? What is EPM in Horses? Hoof Care For Horses: How To Keep Your Horse’s Hooves Healthy Tips for Preventing the Spread of Equine Diseases Winter Skin & Coat Care For Horses Can A Horse Recover From Lameness How To Condition Your Horse To Get Them In Shape 7 Common Plants That Are Poisonous To Horses How Much Should I Exercise My Horse? Colic in Horses Signs of Cushing's Disease in Horses How To Prevent Colic In Horses How To Detect And Treat Hock Or Stifle Soreness How To Get Your Horse Ready For Winter Winter Diet for Horses All About Feed Supplements Common Eye Problems in Horses Should You Keep Your Horse's Shoes On In Winter? How Long Is A Mare's Estrus Cycle? What’s The Most Common Disease In Horses? Healthy Treats For Horses Elder Horse Care Tips For Your Horse’s Golden Years How Can I Exercise My Horse Without Riding? Thrush Protection In The Winter Respiratory Health Tips For Horses
Addison's Disease Allergies Anal Sac Inflammation Anxiety Arthritis Asthma Behavior Coronavirus Bladder Stones Cancer Congestive Heart Failure Corneal Ulcers Coughing Cushing's Disease Dental Diabetes Diarrhea Digestive Distemper Dry Eye Ear Infections Ear Mites Fatty Tumors Feline Leukemia First Aid Fleas and Ticks Fungal Diseases Glaucoma Hair Loss Heartworm Disease Hip Dysplasia Horse Horse Lameness Horse Ulcers Hot Spots Hyperthyroidism Hypothyroidism Inflammatory Bowel Disease Joints Kennel Cough Kidney Disease Kidney Stones Kitten Limping Liver Disease Lyme Disease Lymphoma Mange Medication Miscellaneous Motion Sickness Nutrition Pain Parvovirus Poisoning Puppy Rabies Seasons Holistic Senior Pets Separation Anxiety Skin and Coat Submissive Urination Supplements Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight Urinary Tract Vaccine Reaction Vomiting Worms See All A-Z

Elder Horse Care Tips For Your Horse’s Golden Years

As your horse gets older, you may notice subtle changes in their health and behavior that indicate they’re getting old - or not. While some horses become elderly at just 15 years of age, others will make it to their early 20s and beyond with little to no signs of slowing down.

Caring for your elder horse depends on their individual health status. There is no one-size-fits-all diet, exercise routine, or care schedule that fits all horses of a certain age. However, you can look out for signs that horse is developing age-related health issues, take preventative steps, and work with your vet to keep your horse in riding shape.

Feeding Your Elder Horse
Many diseases that affect older horses can be prevented or managed with a healthy diet. As your horse gets older, they may begin to have digestive issues. However, old age does not guarantee problems with digestion. If your horse is doing well on a regular adult maintenance diet, you may not need to change their food, though they may benefit from a supplement like The Missing Link Equine Well Blend & Joint to help protect their joints and immune health.

Digestive issues in older horses are often attributed to poor dental health. This is why it’s more important than ever to have your horse’s teeth checked and floated every 6-12 months.

A senior horse feed is ideal for horses with dental and/or digestive issues. Complete senior feeds are extruded or made up of soft, easy to chew pellets. They also contain sufficient fiber for horses that grazing or eating hay can become optional.

Senior horses can be prone to choking when they are unable to adequately chew their food. You may need to soak their food to form a mash using about ½ gallon of water per pound of feed. Soaking food also increases water intake, and in turn, aids digestion.

Also, keep an eye on your horse’s body condition. An underweight horse may not be absorbing nutrients properly due to worms or dental problems, while an overweight horse may be experiencing excessive strain on their joints. Unexplained body condition changes should be evaluated by a veterinarian, as they can indicate an underlying health issue that may not be resolved through diet.

Keeping Your Elder Horse Active
If your horse suffers an injury or starts to show signs of arthritis, you may decide to limit their physical activity. But too much inactivity can make mobility issues worse and lead to complications like swayback.

More than ever, your senior horse needs time to warm up before periods of exercise. When they are no longer able to work, short, frequent rides will keep their joints strong. Plenty of turn-out time can also keep your horse fit and strong when they can no longer handle strenuous exercise.

Begin treating symptoms of arthritis as soon as you notice them. Joint supplements can help reduce mild pain and inflammation. Talk to your vet about treating your horse’s pain with homeopathic and prescription treatments to help extend your horse’s active years.

Keep in mind that horses are prey animals. They will do their best to hide signs of pain and injury, so by the time you notice symptoms of an age-related condition, it may be too late to treat it effectively. Regular wellness visits with your vet are the best way to keep an eye on your elder horse’s health, from teeth to hooves and everything in between.