How to Take Care of an Older Horse

Owning an older horse can be rewarding as they often have more experience than younger horses, however, they need constant daily care and checks to make sure they are in tip top condition!

Steps

  1. Image titled Take Care of an Older Horse Step 1
    1
    Remember that insurance companies classify old horses as over 15. This means they have higher premiums, as they are more at risk of diseases.
  2. Image titled Take Care of an Older Horse Step 2
    2
    Even though a horse may be old, horses age at different rates. Horses which are in their 20s may be able to cope with work, because every horse if different.
  3. Image titled Take Care of an Older Horse Step 3
    3
    Remember that smaller, native breeds often live longer, such as Welsh ponies. A heavy horse may age quicker as they have to cope with strains.
  4. Image titled Take Care of an Older Horse Step 4
    4
    As your horse becomes older, his teeth will become loose and may even fall out. This is a common factor. Make sure you have an equine dentist out at least twice a year, to check up on your horses teeth. If the horse cannot swallow feed properly, it will run the risk of colic. Make sure you feed your horse a specialist veteran horse feed and supplements, so he does not lose condition.
  5. Image titled Take Care of an Older Horse Step 5
    5
    Just like humans, as horses get older, they start to loose hair. This means they will need to rug up, especially in the winter, and maybe kept in a box to keep them warm in the winter.
  6. Image titled Take Care of an Older Horse Step 6
    6
    As horses grow older, they will lose condition and if they are still in work, will need to have a saddle fitter as they will be changing shape. Buying a saddle with an adjustable gullet is a good idea.
  7. Image titled Take Care of an Older Horse Step 7
    7
    Older horses are more at risk of arthritis. Arthritis causes inflammation of the points, which is painful and causes stiffness in horses ligaments. This is because the cartilage between the bones if being worn down. Signs of arthritis include swelling joints, warm joints, lameness, stiffness and difficulty getting up.

Tips

  • If you need to buy rugs, buy well known brands and opt for more expensive ones, as they are less likely to break and will be more waterproof.
  • If your horse seems a little stiff, use some joint supplements.
  • If you think your horse has arthritis, call a vet.
  • Feed supplements in the winter, such as cider vinegar.

Warnings

  • Never feed anything without talking to your vet first!

Article Info

Categories: Horse Care