There’s something so special about senior horses. They’re wise, kind, and can often teach the younger horses in the barn a thing or two. But senior horses also require some special care. These six tips can help you to better care for your senior horse.
Stay Current With Your Farrier
Just like any other horse, your senior horse requires regular farrier visits to help maintain his hooves. Maintaining proper hoof angles in the senior horse is even more important because of the likelihood that your senior horse has some arthritis; a proper hoof angle can make a senior horse more comfortable.
Carefully Monitor Your Horse’s Weight
It’s important to keep a close eye on your senior horse’s weight. As horses age, it may become difficult to keep weight on or off of them. Your horse’s dietary needs may change, so it’s a good idea to talk over your horse’s feeding plan with your vet.
Maintain Your Horse’s Teeth
Your senior horse will require regular dental work in order to keep his teeth in the best condition possible. As horses age, they may encounter issues with their teeth. A senior horse may have a harder time chewing than a younger horse does. Your horse may need to have his teeth floated every year, or even more frequently.
One of the worst things that you can do for a senior horse is to completely alter his activity level. Many older horses benefit from a reduced exercise load, but riding your horse lightly a few days a week can actually help to reduce the effect of conditions like arthritis. Discuss your horse’s activity level with your vet.
Schedule Regular Vet Exams
Your senior horse will still need regular vet exams. Having your vet out at least once a year to examine your horse gives you a chance to discuss any questions or concerns with your vet. Your vet can also advise you how to better care for your horse as he ages.
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Provide Plenty of Turnout
Don’t forget to provide your horse with plenty of turnout as he ages. Turning your older horse out helps to keep him entertained and can prevent boredom from setting in as your horse’s activity levels declines. The ability to move about on his own can also help to manage arthritis and prevent issues like stocking up which set in when a horse is confined to a stall.