Feeding retired horses

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HOW TO FEED YOUR OLD HORSE

Retirement is a delicate stage in a horse’s life. It implies a sometimes radical change of life for your horse, in terms of its environment, its physical activity and its diet. It must therefore be prepared with the utmost care.

 

HOW DOES OLD AGE IMPACT THE RETIRED HORSE?

With age, your horse becomes more fragile. First of all physically, the senior horse may develop arthrosis, which will make it difficult for it to move around (especially if it has to move around to access its food). Its dental tables will also begin to become increasingly shallow, its gums more sensitive and its teeth may start to move, making chewing difficult. On the digestive side, the large intestine will have more difficulty assuming its role of assimilating nutrients and digestive enzymes will be secreted in smaller quantities. Also, if your horse’s environment changes (for example, from a life in the stable to a life in the meadow), it will have more difficulty warming up in winter when temperatures drop. This will cause his body to burn more energy and therefore lead to weight loss. On the other hand, a retired horse will necessarily change because it will lose muscle mass as its physical activity will have decreased. For all these reasons, the horse’s diet needs to be adapted in order to guarantee all the protein, vitamins and minerals necessary for the good health of your horse.

 

HOW TO PROPERLY MANAGE THE DIET OF YOUR SENIOR HORSE?

The basis of horse nutrition – even for senior horses, remains the fodder. If your senior horse lives in a meadow, it can already be fed grass, possibly to be supplemented with hay depending on the season and the quality of the grass. However, as the horse’s aging dentition can make chewing difficult, it may be necessary to feed it plant fibres in rations distributed several times a day. Horse pellets will no longer be suitable for senior horses for the same reason as mentioned above. Flaked feed will therefore be a better option. S350 Retired Horse Feed  has been specifically developed to take into account the new energy requirements of your horse and provides this additional energy in the form of flakes and vegetable fat. It also contains prebiotics and bio-regulators of the intestinal flora which will secure the digestive transit of your horse.

 

HOW TO HELP YOUR SENIOR HORSE TO LIVE ITS RETIREMENT IN ALL SERENITY?

In order to guarantee the best possible dietary transition for your horse, put all the chances on your side. Here are a few tips that may prove useful:

 

  • Regular follow-up by an equine dentist and veterinarian will be necessary to ensure that it does not develop any pathology. A farrier may also consider going barefoot if conditions permit, or changing his shoes to relieve him in case of specific foot pathology.
  • Don’t hesitate to cover your senior horse in winter so that it doesn’t spend too many calories warming up. If necessary, take him to the box at night or on the coldest days if he lives in the meadow and has difficulty maintaining his condition.
  • Also, keep him/her regularly active to avoid losing too much muscle mass too quickly, to facilitate digestion, and to allow him/her to continue to be around his/her club or meadow “friends” if they continue to work.

 

 

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