Care for old friends
Expert advice for owners of older horses
LIKE HUMANS, a horse’s age can impact on his lifestyle but think about what you mean by old and whether your horse feels the effects of it,” says equine vet Claire Hodgson. “The equine concept of age has shifted as management has changed. For example, years ago, people didn’t bother addressing arthritis and teeth complications until a problem cropped up, so there was no maintenance, which meant no prevention.” These days, a horse isn’t classed as old until he’s in his 20s and, if you care for him well and watch for changes in his well-being, he won’t need drastic changes in his lifestyle. Read on for Claire’s advice on looking after your golden oldie, starting with his diet.
Body scoring your horse regularly will help you keep an eye on his weight Older horses can develop dental problems, which can make eating more difficult