Entering the senior age is difficult for everyone, and animals like horses are no different. Just like humans, horses also encounter a wide range of health issues that come with aging like respiratory problems, joint pains, dental issues, skin problems, etc.
As these gentle giants grow old with age, they also deserve proper care and attention as we humans do. So, if you’re a horse enthusiast or have a horse as a pet, then this article is for you!
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most effective strategies to take care of your senior horse to ensure he/she stays healthy and happy in their golden years. So, let’s begin:
- Provide Tailored Nutrition
As your horse grows old, their teeth gradually wear down due to which they may find it challenging to chew or digest food properly. For that reason, it is wise to provide your horse with food that he/she can easily chew and digest. Beet pulp, soaked hay or hay cubes, chopped forage, or alfalfa cubes are some of the best feeding options.
However, if you’re confused about what to give to your senior horse, then consulting with an experienced veterinarian or equine nutritionist can be a wise option. They will suggest the best food options that you can give to your horse if they have any dental problems.
In addition to providing the right food, keep an eye on your horse’s weight and adjust their diet accordingly. This means giving them easy-to-digest, high-quality forage and special senior horse food if necessary. Adjusting the diet is crucial to prevent weight loss or obesity, both of which can lead to severe health problems in the future.
- Schedule Regular Veterinary Check-ups
Scheduling regular veterinary check-ups is of utmost importance, especially if you own a senior horse. These regular visits are vital for keeping an eye on your horse’s health and catching any problems early.
During the check-ups, the vet will check their temperature, pulse, and overall health. This helps them find any signs of illness so they can treat it before it gets worse. They’ll also make sure your horse’s teeth are okay and update their vaccinations and deworming if needed, which helps keep your horse healthy.
When you take your horse to the vet, you can also discuss with the doctor in brief about worries or changes in your horse’s behavior or health. By scheduling regular check-ups, you’re ensuring that your horse’s health remains in optimal condition and receives the care and attention it deserves.
- Don’t Overlook the Skincare Routine
While taking care of your horse’s physical health is crucial, it is important not to overlook the importance of their skincare. Just like humans, when horses grow old, their skin also becomes more prone to certain skin problems.
First of all, you need to protect your horse from the harmful UV rays from the sun. Know that excessive sun exposure can result in sunburns and insect bites. Consider providing them shade and use equine-specific fly sprays or blankets to protect them from UV rays and pesky insects.
Secondly, it is important to take care of some skin issues like skin abrasions, lacerations, and minor irritations. To combat these skin problems, you can shop for the right skincare and grooming products from a horseman store online. While looking for skincare products online, make sure they’re free of alcohol, steroids, and antibiotics.
Also, to take care of your horse’s skin, make sure your horse stays hydrated throughout the day. Ensure your senior horse has access to clean, fresh water at all times to keep their skin hydrated and healthy.
- Keep Your Horse Active
As your horse grows old, they’re more likely to become inactive as they’re not being ridden as much as before. Some might have joint pain or arthritis problems that hinder their physical activity.
While it is understandable that your horse has become old, it doesn’t mean giving up on their physical activities. We’re not saying to ride them all day long, but going for short or relaxed rides is crucial.
Exercising for old horses is crucial because it helps maintain muscle tone, supports joint health, and prevents stiffness.
Caring for senior horses requires dedication, knowledge, and a commitment to their well-being. Regular veterinary check-ups, mental stimulation, and a keen eye on their quality of life are all essential components of providing the best care possible for your aging equine companion.
Embracing the golden years of your senior horse can be a rewarding experience for both
you and your beloved equine friend.