Going into the fall, it is time to start thinking about stocking up on hay and how to meet your horse’s energy needs during the cooler months. In particular, senior horses can take a lot of planning to keep their weight on and meet their special needs. We often get asked, "At what age is a horse considered ‘senior’?" Things to check:
1. Condition of your horses’ teeth - if they have missing or worn teeth, they may have trouble chewing and digesting forage which is the most important part of their diet. Watch for balled up, partially chewed hay.
2. Body Condition - Many senior horses (like humans) have trouble keeping body condition as they get well into their golden years. Their bodies become less efficient and they need an extra boost of nutrients in highly digestible form.
Senior feeds are formulated to meet the needs of older horses, and there are many types available. Your choices include:
Purina® Equine Senior® - great for horses that can no longer chew hay or grass, contains built-in forage for a complete diet
Purina® Senior Active - for horses that still can chew forage
Purina® Amplify® Nugget - 30% fat supplement with stabilized rice bran, flax seed, and soy oil
Elite™ Senior - for horses that can still chew, an excellent all around value with high levels of fat
Nutrena® Pro Senior - for horses that can still chew, contains added amino acids as well as chelated minerals for added nutrition plus prebiotics and probiotics to aid in digestion
It is important to know your senior’s needs so you can keep them healthy to extend their life spans without wasting money. Also, try Micron Bio-Systems Equus Senior Probiotic to keep your senior’s digestive tract healthy!
Augusta Co-Op is happy to help you choose the best senior feed and forage substitutes for each horse as well as to make sure your current plan is the most cost effective. Come in today or check us out online at www.augustacoop.com.