Older horse nutrition
Just purchased a 24 yo QH...I noticed there a supplements for older horses on the market. Wondering if they are worth the price, and if so, which way should I turn?
I bought her knowing she has been injured, and can be gimpy, especially on cold days....assuming arthritis. I can't judge how her coat is yet, as she is still pretty thick with winter hair...and gosh, is she furry!!!!
I personally believe in supplements, as my dog is on dynovite and it really helps her energy level and her coat....so wondering what I should do for my aging horse?
Thanks in advance!! Oh, she gets ridden little amounts as of now, hoping more once spring arrives.
I would get her teeth looked at and go from there. There are several senior feeds available, who are complete feeds, means they can be fed alone, if the horse has trouble with hay. They are also easily digestible, have probiotics, omegas and whatever else a senior needs, and can also be fed with hay.
She should be able to move, not stalled. Movement is critical for arthritis.
I would also watch closely if she sheds out normally, if not, have her tested for Cushings.
She might benefit from some flaxseed, help her shed, help with her joints, and a bunch of other stuff.
There are dozens of joint supplements available, it's only a matter of finding one that works for a specific horse.
When my old guy (now passed, god bless) got older, I started him on msm w glucosamine and chrondroitin (cosequin, but there are lots of brands) and senior feed. Purina makes a good one, but there are many. Senior feeds are important b/c their ability to absorb nutrients and calories declines - the sf helps w that. Anyway, at that age they more likely than not have some level of dj, and the joint supplements really help keep them traveling nicely. My guy did very well on those "supplements" and was otherwise fed alfalfa. Even w their teeth floated, sometimes really tough stems are a bit hard for them when they get a lot older...when he was around 27 I started separating out the leaves and feeding the stems to my then filly. You just work with them..help them out a bit, find what works. And as ^ said, keep them moving, it keeps them young.
My guy was a wooly mammoth in the winter all his life, but many seniors don't shed as readily, it isn't necessarily a sign of anything gone wrong...but you need to be diligent and help them get the hair off when the weather changes so they are comfy.
There are a lot of supplements, like you said. To save yourself money - just make sure you have a thought out reason for whatever supplement you buy. The msm, for example, is generally not cheap, but it really works. But, then there are a lot of "general" supplements targeting seniors that are high priced, but what exactly do they achieve above and beyond a good diet plan?
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