Horse R & R

Rescue and Retirement

 The Senior Horse

The Care

Each senior needs a management plan that includes routine dental (usually yearly) and regular foot care plus necessary immunizations, worming, weight monitoring, a high quality diet, and plenty of fresh, clean water.  

Grooming and blanketing can be added to the plan as needed.

Ideally, routine veterinary care will identify any early conditions requiring medical intervention including tumors, hormone problems, renal disease, respiratory illnesses, arthritis, and laminitis.

The Setting

Your older horse is unique. Will the old-timer enjoy equine companions in pasture or would this senior citizen be happy just "hanging out."

Our seniors are more sensitive to weather and temperature changes that require a good coat and hoof care to allow thriving in a pasture setting. Some will also require separation at feeding time to allow adequate feeding time and nutritional support.

Each senior requires a safe and secure environment that is managed to prevent hazards and infestations.

The Feeding

Many older horses benefit from complete feed rations with included roughage designed for the older digestive system.

For the troubled chewer, mashes can provide additional help in digesting roughage, often with added digestive enzymes to compensate for inadequate chewing. Their primary rations may be made into a "slurry" that the senior can drink.

Special nutritional needs of our older horses are similar to feeding the long yearling with increased protein (12-16%) especially with the amino acids, lysine and threonine. They need calcium and phosphorus (emphasis on the phosphorus) in appropriate ratio, essential vitamins of C, B-complex and E, digestible fiber, adequate energy and fat sources.Supplements may need to be customized to add prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, multivitamins, trace minerals, and joint supplements.