The right diet is vital to the health and wellbeing of horses. You must make sure you are meeting their nutritional needs at all times. In some cases it may be necessary to change to a different type of horse feed. What we want to do here is provide a little bit of info specifically about feeding for older horses. It will help you to continue looking after animals as they age.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the nutritional needs of horses don’t change much as they get older. Typically you only need to make big changes if there is a serious drop in activity level or if there is a health issue. Otherwise you will mostly need to stick with ensuring you provide enough feed and forage, salt, and fresh water.
However, a dietary adjustment can be necessary if you notice weight loss or gain. The first can be a sign that the horse is not getting enough food or is having trouble with digestion. The latter can happen if a drop in activity means the horse is not burning as many calories.
If there is a change in the condition of a horse you may also need to look at adapting the diet. Again digestion problems could mean the diet is now lacking essential nutrients. You may need to switch to a different type of horse feed.
Things to consider
Forage will always be a central part of a horse’s diet. Even if you give a horse a high calorie feed or senior rations, there is an emotional need to graze. So, you have to make sure that you continue to provide hay or a suitable alternative.
If the forage is part of an older horse’s diet, you have to think about how easy it is to chew. The horse may start to have difficulty with hay or grass that is too coarse or fibrous. It can be harder to chew and digest. What you may need to do is change to softer, more digestible forage. Chopped ones can be good, but you need to think about choke and digestion. It may be a good idea to soak the forage to soften it.
In some cases older horses may be unable to eat hay and other types of forage. If that happens your only option is to choose a complete senior feed. There are products in pellet form that incorporate forage to meet nutritional needs.
Problems with digestion may also mean you need to adapt the diet or use supplements. There are products that can help with the process, ensuring the horse gets the right vitamins and minerals.
The most important thing to remember is to consult a vet. They can check a horse’s condition and health, then take a look at your feed regimen. They may suggest changes to improve health and wellbeing.
Speak to us about horse feed
JS Hubbuck Ltd has a great selection of feeds for different animals, including horses, cattle, sheep, and more. We choose high quality products from reputable manufacturers. As a result, you can buy from us with confidence. We can even share our knowledge and experience if you are unsure what to give your animals.
So, why not talk to us next time you need horse feed? We can assist you and offer excellent prices on a range of products.