Feeding the Senior Horse
Just because a horse is classified as a senior, it does not mean they have to be thin. This amazing before and after photo shows what proper nutrition and care for the aging horse can accomplish.
We believe in a forage first diet, however, not all horses can maintain their body condition on grass and hay alone. In this horse's case in addition to being a hard keeper, he was also diagnosed with a progressive dental disease (EORTH -Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis). As a result, his supplemental meals must be soaked. Fortunately he is still able to eat grass and hay. In the winter months, hay for this guy is alfalfa / orchard or orchard with a couple of flakes of alfalfa. It can take him 20 - 30 minutes to eat his soaked meals. He is a perfect example of why we bring the horses in to their stalls to eat meals. We can monitor how well he is eating, drinking, and his bowl movements.
Soaked plain beet pulp and alfalfa pellets, combined with Tribute Kalm EZ feed and CocoSoya Granular (in the winter months) make up his meals. The omegas in the CocoSoya are great a great natural anti-inflammatory as well as make his coat shiny! At some point he will no longer be able to maintain his body condition to the extent he his now. The inevitable osteoarthritis and eventual internal organ failure will ultimately decide his fate. As long as he is here, we will keep him pain free and happy.
As always, discuss your horses diet and options with your vet. There are a number of possible underlying issues that may be the cause of your horses weight loss and or difficulty to maintain weight that your vet will explore with you. This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace veterinary care.
Wonderful reference articles