Caring for an Older Horse
It is estimated that 20% of all horses are over the age of 15 years old. It is not uncommon for horses to live to the age of 28-30 years old with proper diet and living conditions. This article discusses what to feed an older horse to ensure they are getting the nourishment they need.
Floating Your Geriatric Horse’s Teeth
To keep your older horse healthy and eating well you should have your horse’s teeth floated every year. This will ensure that your horse will be able to eat and chew more effective. Floating is the simple filing of the teeth to make them all flat. This allows an older horse to chew and cut grass more effective with what teeth they have left. Floating should only be done by a veterinarian or someone who knows what they are doing.
Geriatric Horse Feed and Supplementation
An older horse will get sufficient nourishment from their pasture as long it is a good pasture mix. If your horse does not have good access to good pasture grass, you will need to supplement them with a horse food that is higher in protein and fiber than your regular run of the mill horse feed.
Zamzows has a geriatric horse feed that is higher in protein and fiber than regular horse feed. It is comprised of 13% protein and 17% fiber. The Zamzows geriatric horse feed is also ground up so that older horses with little or no teeth will not have to chew. In addition to a supplement, you should give your horse a high-quality bale of hay. Hay that has not been exposed to the weather and mold-free is preferable. Feed your geriatric horse hay with little or no dust. Dusty hay may cause you older horse to get colic.
When it comes to feeding portions for a geriatric horse, little and often is the best rule to follow. Feed your horse 2 to 2.5 pounds of feed for every 100 pounds of horse body weight. This means 20-25 pounds of feed for a 1,000-pound horse.
Fresh water is also a must with geriatric horses. If your water gets stale or mossy, your horse won’t drink as much and this could potentially cause health issues.
Salt is also important for your older horse. Zamzows has natural salt that looks just like a rock and horses love it! It’s not processed and is as natural as you can get. Zamzows also sells a vitamin supplement called Enzam that also gives them some added vitamins.
Worming Geriatric HorsesAnother suggestion would be to worm your geriatric horse on a regular basis. Every 60-90 days is preferred with older horses. There are many different wormers. Most only take care of round and hook worms, but Zamzows does have a wormer that kills tapes, hooks, and round worms.
Following these steps will help ensure a healthy geriatric horse. In return, your horse will live longer and give you many more years of enjoyment.