Because of advances in nutrition, management and health care, horses are living longer, more useful lives. It’s not uncommon to find horses and ponies living well into their 20s and 30s.
While genetics play a role in determining life span, you too, can have an impact.
You may think that turning your old-timer out to pasture is the kindest form of retirement. But horses are individuals. Some enjoy being idle; others prefer to be a part of the action.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the horse. Proper nutrition, care and exercise will help the animal thrive. Follow these guidelines to develop a total management plan for your older horse:
A quick response to ailments, injuries or a decline in fitness can keep your older horse from having a serious or prolonged setback. That means less worry for you and a better quality of life for your old friend.
For more information about caring for the older horse, ask your equine veterinarian for the “Older Horse” brochure, provided by the American Association of Equine Practitioners in partnership with Educational Partners Bayer Animal Health and Purina Mills, Inc. Visit the AAEP’s horse health web site, www.myHorseMatters.com, for additional information about caring for the older horse.
Reprinted with permission from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.