Senior Horse that doesn't look or act Senior! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-24-2014, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Senior Horse that doesn't look or act Senior!

I have a new horse. He is 25, but looks like he's about 15. Prophet, that's his name, is about 1200 lbs, 15.4 hands, black and white paint.Everyone comments on how stunning he looks! He is a fabulous very well behaved and well trained horse! I've had him 2 months and he knows me (and my car), comes to my voice and my hand gestures. I feed him the exact same way as the previous owner fed. I board him nearby with 5 other horses (not mine). He's as energetic as the other younger horses, without the sassiness.

He has developed scratches twice in the past 4 weeks. I realize it has been a wet summer and the pasture does get wet after a rain. It seems to show up overnight. The farrier was there 1 day ago and said he didn't have scratches any longer and looked fine. Today he has them! They've been gone about 3 weeks, but back again. I have a prescription from the vet already, but will buy desitin next time... at recommendation of a local trainer.

I read that sweet feed can contribute to scratches, although it hasn't been proven. He is given 12% sweet feed, don't really care for the brand, but he seems to like it. I will be weaning him off the sweet feed and give him Blue Seal Senior or LifeTime. I'm considering lifetime due to the Glucosamine and Chondroitin. He's not getting any younger and want to keep his joints and hoofs healthy as well as his digestive tract.

Your thoughts, recommendation and suggestions would be great!
Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-24-2014, 11:03 PM
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First off - every horse is different.
Let me just tell you a short story about me and my horse that has to do with age...

I was loping and working my horse around in the arena, and one person was jsut watching (this was during fair). Brisco - my horse - was doing fantastic. Obviously this wasn't one of his lazy days (he was born lazy). The lady says, "That is a gorgeous horse! How old is he?"
I say "He is 24 years old."
And her face is struck with awe like she has seen the most amazing thing anyone would could ever witness ans she says about ten times "24? are you kidding me? 24? are you sure?"
And he isn't getting any older either but he doesn't seem to be showing his age.

For the scratches - they could be many things.
One of my horses just loves to scratch - no reason, he just likes it. So it could be that he likes the 'massage.' or it could be something else. I am no expert in this area, but what help I can give I'll give it.
So, there ya go!

🔫 Don't Tread On Me 🐍
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amberly is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 09-28-2014, 10:04 AM
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^Amberley, 'scratches' is, for some reason what some call 'mud fever'.

OP, does he get it all/mostly on his white skin? 'Photosensitive' mudfever effects white sox more. There's a fair bit of info suggesting a balanced diet, particularly enough magnesium, reduces susceptability, to photosensitivity as well as infection generallly. 'Sweet feed' I'm afraid, with few exceptions, is pretty much 'junk food' for horses. Low sugar/starch/grain is best.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-28-2014, 10:25 AM
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A vitamin A supplement pretty much puts an end to scratches and rainrot. I still rode and did a bit of showing with an older gelding til he was 38. He died just before his 40th birthday.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-28-2014, 01:20 PM
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I don't think sweet feed is at all related to 'scratches' but its not something I'd feed other than maybe a handful in a feed for a horse that's picky
Most Senior feeds have molasses in so check the label
Go for high fibre feeds - horses need fibre for lots of different reasons. Look for low starch/low sugar
Already mentioned but Vit A seems to be a good defence against scratches
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