Old horse in winter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-27-2009, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Old horse in winter

We don't have any shelter for the horses this winter (we usually have a trailer with the door off they can take shelter in, but dad broke through the floorboards of one and the other is holding the winter's hay), but a good 50% of the pasture is woodlands. They get plenty of hay -- probably a bit more than absolutely needed.
My question is this: How can I make my 15 y/o, Tanner, a bit more comfortable? Her joints seem to be bothering her a lot lately, and with temperatures from -12F to 0F, I'm trying my hardest to keep her comfortable. I've been using liniment oils and giving her bute, and even making sure she gets and extra bit of hay when I can. We have a winter blanket, but I'd be afraid of letting her wear it out in the pasture. Is there anything else I can be doing?
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-27-2009, 10:07 PM
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My old boy gets cortaflex daily in his feed. There is another thread on here somewhere, I forget what I named it where I was asking about joint supplements. People named off some really good ones. You could feed Glucosomine also.

I'm not sure you would have an issue with a blanket, if it's waterproof. Do you check on the horses daily? If you do, I'd let her have the blanket unless you think it's going to hinder her mobility....

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post #3 of 9 Old 01-27-2009, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well, my problem with the blanket is that our pasture is big enough that, from time to time, we won't be able to find any of the horses for a day or two. Particularly in winter, there are some sections that are simply inaccessible by vehicle and too big to trek on foot.
We have an "emergency" makeshift stall in the cattle barn at my grandfather's farm, but there's a heifer being kept there now, and I'm not sure if the two would get along, or else Tanner would have been boarded there months ago. Have any of you ever tried to keep cattle and horses together? She doesn't seem particularly aggressive toward them or afraid of them, and our cattle are used to having horses around them (I ride in the cattle pasture a lot).
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-27-2009, 10:31 PM
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15 isn't really all that old. If you feel she needs joint therapy I'd start with MSM as it's the least costly and is a great anti inflamatory for joints. I keep my 30 yr old appy on it. As to blanketing, if your pasture is heavily wooded I wouldn't recoommend it. Too easy for a blanket to get caught up on trees etc. Running horses with cattle isn't unheard of, however sometimes horses will run cattle off the feed and some cattle feed is harmful to horses. With woods for shelter your horse should do fine with ample hay and water available.

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post #5 of 9 Old 01-27-2009, 11:15 PM
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I would give her a Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplement. Is her coat nice and thick for warmth? Is there anyway you could make a stall near the house for her and put her there at night with a blanket?

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-28-2009, 01:02 AM
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Building a "bus stop" shelter in neither expensive or very difficult.This especially if it doesn't need to be large..
For any reason,if this won't be possible, what about some heavy plywood and bracing underneath to repair the trailer? this would be the most cost effective method to get it done...I Imagine that even a local search for a reasonable handyman may be an inexpensive option...and a project that should be able to be completed in a day...If that worked before,I Imagine it would put you back to where you were

oh yea, my boy here is twenty...15 is still a kid...

Last edited by Loosewolf; 01-28-2009 at 01:04 AM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-28-2009, 10:06 AM
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I would say keep feeding lots of hay and give her MSM, cosequin or something similiar in place of bute. You have to be careful using bute for long periods of time as it can cause stomach ulcers which can make her drop weight and that would just add to your problems.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-28-2009, 10:39 AM
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Oh and also make sure her teeth are floated to ensure that she digests the food and puts on the weight ;)

John 14:6 - Jesus said unto him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-28-2009, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh, I guess by calling her old at 15, I just meant that she's my oldest horse and isn't aging quite as gracefully as some of my others have. I had a pony before that was 35, so I know she's still fairly young, but her previous owners used her as a barrel racer, and I've always heard that can be hard on their joints.

As far as building a shelter, we actually are attempting to get together resources to build a small stable/shelter, but with the ground frozen, and our property consisting of forest and rock on a jagged slope, building even a small shelter would cost much more than materials.

I am looking into getting a glucosimine supplement as many of you have suggested, however.
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