Pasture Board for Retired Horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-24-2008, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Pasture Board for Retired Horses?

If you pasture board and old retired horse that's not going to be ridden, does it still need grain, farrier visits, and teeth floating? If so, do they still need them as frequently or in smaller amounts?


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post #2 of 10 Old 12-24-2008, 12:28 PM
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They still need teth floting and farier vists it is vitle to their health to have their routine trimeing and vet vists.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-24-2008, 12:56 PM
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senior horses need more protein than "regular" horses because of their decreased capabilities to absorb it. This means a higher protein grain, or a hay higher in protein than regular grass hay. They will absolutely need their teeth floated, usually 1-2 times per year (or more depending on the horse) - and at somepoint, all of their teeth will fall out = mashed grain.

They will still need their feet trimmed, innoculations, etc.

They don't quit being horses just 'cause they're old That'd be like throwing your granny out and not giving her any attention

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post #4 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 10:48 AM
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As stated above, senior horses still need care whether they are being used or not. Dental exams are very important for these guys as they tend to have more dental issues than younger horses---fractured teeth, poor wear patterns, loosing teeth, etc. Having their feet trimmed is still also necessary--hooves don't stop growing just because a horse isn't being worked. Vaccinations and deworming are also still necessary.

As for feeding, grains may or may not be necessary currently depending on the age of the horse, what kind of shape it's teeth are in and how well he maintains weight on just forage. But at some point it's highly likely that you will need to supplement his forage with anything from a ration balancer (just to add vitamins/minerals that are not at high enough levels in hay) to a complete senior feed to provide the majority of his nutritional needs due to changes in his teeth and digestive tract from age. You have to sorta "play it by ear" and adjust the diet to fit the situation as you see changes in your horse's condition or changes in the forage that he has to eat--like going from good grass to hay of varying quality.

Again, just because a horse isn't in use doesn't mean that he doesn't still need the basics of care and good nutrition.

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 10:53 AM
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also, sometimes older horses also need blanketing as sometimes they lose the ability to maintain their body heat as easily as younger horses....

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 11:33 AM
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Regardless of where you keep your horse, the frequency of farrier visits should not change. As for the teeth, unless it's a horse with teeth problems, you shouldn't need more than an annual visit which isn't much.

As for feed? it all depends on what else they are getting. What is going to be available to them in pasture? what season are we talking about? how old are the horses? are they blanketed, how fit are they? etc etc. A LOT of things kick into play when deciding what it is they get. Very horse dependent.

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post #7 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 12:59 PM
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I had a show horse that retired out to pasture (his choice not mine as he was a hard enough keeper in a stall!). I found that he needed once yearly rather than 2x yearly dentist visits as he got older because his teeth wore down more and there was less to float - but this can vary by individual horse.

He needed more feed but also had medical / vet issues ranging from residual lymes, cushings and thyroid issues including insulin resistance, chronic low-grade laminitis, and so on. Vet saw him regularly - and as long as he was in good spirits, we let him choose how long to live.

His feet got done less because he was moving around more and they wore off better, which was good. Overall it was more cost of care than when he did live in a stall, but it was worth it to me to make him comforatable and happy the last years of his life.

It really varies by horse, and often geriatricas will need more feed in a different form/type than a younger horse due to changed protein and fat and carb needs. They may need more supps to support their systems from digestive to immune to musculo-skeletal, and so on. But again to me it's always worth it to reward a horse that gave me their live's work with a happy retirement :)

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post #8 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 10:12 PM
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I have one old guy that gets his teeth done about every 2 years - he does well keeping them flat (he's 30). My other one is 25 and he can no longer get his teeth done... but he was getting them 2 to 3 times a year because he had a terrible wave mouth and one was rotten, when they went to do the root canal, it fell out! anyway, he doesnt have any teeth left to float really....

My boys get their feet done just as often as the rest of mine do and they still get all the same shots including coggins, although they never leave the farm anymore... Older horses boarded in a field really don't need a coggins unless you plan to haul them somewhere. I just like having them all current.

I deworm them just as often. In the winter I pay closer attention to their water intake then the rest of the horses and I will heat their water to luke-warm if I think they need to drink more...I blanket them more in the winter and pay attention to their movements, sometimes they get stiffer in the cold and once in a while I'll have one lay down and not be able to get up on his own, then we'll have to massage his legs and get the blood flowing so he can get up...

I geuss really they need pretty much the same care if not more... some people do actually just turn their older boys/girls out and they are fine with little to no care... geuss it depends on the horse.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-26-2008, 10:25 PM
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Every horse is different virtually all need feet trim regardless of age. As for teeth floating thats going to depend on the horse. I have a 27 year old stallion whose never had his teeth floated also have a 16 year old stallion who needs his floated twice a year since he was 10. At one time I had 9 horses over the age of 20 I didn't blanket any but some were fed more grain then the others some were easy to keep weight on others needed more calories.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-28-2008, 08:34 PM
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old horses

We have all ages of horses. Our old boys are 21 16h and late 20s 14.3h. They both get Nutrena Life Design Senior with water added to it (so they don't choke) twice a day. They get the same amount about 1 1/2 scoops a feeding. They have free choice hay. I have there teeth check regularly and floated as needed. The older one has teeth missing so I make sure he has a lot of water in his food. He has choked before. It scary to watch. They are not over weight if any thing under weight. I'll bump up there amounts again. They are definitely higher maintenance then the other horses.
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