Taking care of an elderly horse?
Im new, I need some advice on looking after my elderly mare.
I just bought her last weekend for my kids to learn to ride on, she is 22 and is a sweet old thing, very gentle and so good with the children.
She loves riding out across the common but we take it easy with her - she tends to get a bit puffed out bless her after a bit of cantering.
I want to make life as easy as possible for her, she loves to be groomed so she gets a lot of fuss that way, but she is pastured and turned out, all the horses down here live like that (I am in the falkland islands) The weather can be very harsh in winter and although she is a hardy old girl I think she will benefit from a rug.
People dont feed their horses any kind of pre mixed horse food, the horses graze all year round and in winter they supplement that with pony nuts and oats.
I am not sure that feeding her oats at her age is such a good idea though? I dont have access to any other type of feed - but I could order some supplements off the internet and get them shipped down if you think there is anything she may be lacking in?
Any advice of the best way to take care of her now that shes getting on a bit would be really appreciated.
i'm not sure if oats are the best thing... oats are better for younger horses, since they give energy in short time, but an older horse needs an easier-digestible (is that even a word?) feed. I recommend equine senior, since it is specifically formulated for older horses- or any feed meant for older horses for that matter. do you give her any supplements?
Do you have rolled or crushed oats available in your area? They are easier to digest than whole oats. As for ordering supplements, I'd look for a good senior supplement and possible a joint formula to help those old joints.
I am concerned about possible joint problems with her too so I think its something I need to look at - She has worked hard in the past rounding up sheep so she deserves a bit of spoiling now.
There is no equine food on the islands at all - horses are partured and supplemented through the winter with pony nuts and the younger horses or those that are still working are given oats.
She has never really been given any hay, I know another farm did do hay bales this year so I could always ask for some if you think it would be good for her? Hay is very scarce down here.
Any recommendations on brands of supplements or what I should be looking for?
Also - any advice on what type of rug would be good for her? it needs to be seriously wind proof and quite warm! its COLD down here in the South Atlantic!
I use a supplement called ActiVEX joint powder for my 27 year old mare. I get it through Horse Health USA. You can do a search online and it should come up. There are LOTS of supplements out there though. Choose one that fits your budget and works for oyur horse. I tried a few before I found this one and it works the best for my mare and I can afford it.
How is your mare's body condition? Hay is always good, so it might be a thought for the winter. If she looks good right now though, then she might be just fine on pasture. As for rugs, I don't really know what to recommend for you. The climate where I live is probably very different from yours. It rains 9 months out of the year so I use a heavy, waterproof, Weatherbeeta turnout blanket when it's cold and a turnout sheet when it's warmer but still raining. I bought both on ebay for less than $100 each. Take a look on there and you might get a good idea. Or you can order a horse catalog and get ideas from there.
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