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Horses are amazing animals, and become even more special as they age. They can be a great source of joy and companionship, but there is an important responsibility that comes with owning an older horse—special care. As horses get into their 20s, they can start to lose their teeth, making it difficult for them to chew hay. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure your beloved steed stays healthy and happy in its golden years. Let’s take a look at how you can best care for your senior horse.
Food Options for Senior Horses
The most important thing you can do for your senior horse is make sure they’re getting the proper nutrition. This means you may have to switch up their diet from what they were used to when they were younger. For example, if your senior horse is no longer able to properly chew long stem hay, try switching them over to dehydrated alfalfa cubes or bales that are easier for them to digest. There are also specially formulated feeds designed specifically for senior horses who cannot chew anymore; these feeds usually come in the form of pellets and provide all the nutrients they need while being easy on their teeth.
Although aged horses may not be able to pull all the nutrients from hay like they used to, it’s still important that they have access to some hay so that they can keep their teeth clean and exercised—plus many aging horses still enjoy the taste! You could also consider adding supplements such as vitamins or minerals into your senior horse’s diet in order to make sure all their nutritional needs are met.
Exercise & Care Tips
In addition to providing your aging horse with proper nutrition, you should also keep up with regular exercise and grooming routines in order maintain their overall health and well-being. Exercise helps keep joints flexible and muscles toned; make sure not to push your senior horse too hard as their muscles don’t repair themselves as quickly as those of a younger horse would. Grooming helps with circulation, keeps skin healthy, and gives you an opportunity bond with your equine companion—it’s a win-win!
Overall, caring for a senior horse requires patience and understanding; after all these years of companionship, it's important to ensure that your trusty steed remains comfortable in its golden years. With the right food options tailored towards seniors along with regular exercise and grooming routines, you will be able to provide your beloved companion with everything it needs so that it can continue living life happily on the homestead!
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