Keeping “Senior” horses (26 years and older) isn’t difficult unless diseases and unsoundness issues prevent a normal life.
I like to ask horse owners to walk with me for a long time, looking for “old folks’ homes” for squirrels, raccoons, birds, or other wild animals. They quickly realize that older care is a human and domestic animal condition. Why? The answer is entropy – the constant state of all things in our universe trying to bring us back to an unstructured life (called chaos). I write about this and have a podcast on entropy. Living is about preventing entropy, but entropy eventually wins with all things. If the entropy rate slows, the result is a long and healthy life. The opposite is to increase the entropy rate, bringing about diseases and the breakdown of structures.
Wait, what? OK, let’s look at this from a simple perspective. If you start at an early age with your horses, when they become old, their health will reflect what you provided throughout their life. Unfortunately, horse owners, farriers and veterinarians are called upon to “fix” the broken or sick older horses. Wouldn’t it be easier to prevent any of these from occurring? But this usually isn’t the case.
Older horses often see a dentist for the first time at 30 years of age. These older horses commonly have insulin resistance, obesity, chronic laminitis, Cushing’s disease, and other ailments. They require a lot of care from an assortment of professionals. They also require a lot of extra work from the owners.
I cover many of these issues on this website. If your senior horse needs extra care, learn about some solutions here. But if your horse isn’t a senior horse yet, start today to slow down the rate of entropy and support life by removing inflammatory things (food, stress) and increasing feeding high-quality protein.
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