The American Association of Equine Practitioners Touch program has been kind enough to share an article with their 10 Tips for Caring for the Older Horse. We hope you enjoy!
- Observe your horse on a regular basis. Watch for changes in body condition, behavior, and attitude. Address problems, even seemingly minor ones, right away.
- Feed a high quality diet and avoid dusty and moldy feeds.
- Place feed for your older horse away from your more aggressive ones so they will not have to compete for food.
- Feed at more frequent intervals so as not to upset the digestive system. Two to three times daily is best.
- Provide plenty of fresh, clean, tepid water. Excessively cold water reduces consumption which can lead to colic and other problems.
- Adjust and balance rations to maintain proper body conditions. A good rule of thumb is to be able to feel the ribs, but not see them.
- Provide adequate, appropriate exercise to maintain muscle tone, flexibility and mobility.
- Groom your horse frequently to promote circulation and skin health.
- Be aware that older horses are prone to tumor. Look for any unusual lumps or growths from head to tail as well as beneath the tail (especially on gray horses).
- Schedule routine checkups with your equine veterinarian. Call immediately if you suspect a problem. A quick response to ailments, injuries or a decline in fitness can keep your older horse fro having a serious or prolonged setback. That means less worry for you and a better quality of life for your old friend.
If you have any questions about this article or would like us to create a wellness program tailored to the needs of your older horse, please give us a call!