Winter is a tough time for our older horses so if your long time friend is ‘getting on a bit’ here’s a check list that will give those oldies a leg up this winter.
Diet is probably one of the first things to consider as animals burn energy in order to keep warm so we need to increase their feed as the temperatures drop. Coastal grasses will lose much nutritional value during winter which is another reason why we should increase our horses’ normal diet. Protein supplements are essential and there are many available at your produce merchant, products like gum nuts, designed for aged horses and ponies and specifically formulated to address the challenges of old age.
Another supplement from your vet is EpiitalisÂ® Forte, it’s designed to aid in joint health and improves joint function and mobility. Many horses can potentially benefit from EpiitalisÂ® from high performance horses, working horses, pleasure horses, but it’s a great help for the old pensioners in the paddock.
This is an area that sometimes gets forgotten or put off, but costly supplements and extra feeds are wasted if your horse can’t chew! Older horses will need their teeth checked more regularly and Veterinary dental treatment and a health check are invaluable for your horse and will save you money in reducing food wastage.
A full vet check is always performed prior to dental treatment and if we find issues early it can save much heartache and costs later.
Old horses are more susceptible to worm burdens, so it is extremely important to check their faeces every year. See our article on strategic horse worming for more information.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have stables for their horses so adequate shelter is important for the older horse. They must have somewhere where they can keep dry and out of the wind, temperatures drop through the night and it can be miserable for them if they are left out to fend for themselves in the cold or rain. A good winter weight rug will help them tremendously by keeping them dry and warm through those cold nights.
If you have any queries about your old friend and his needs this winter just call the team at Vet Cross.