Horses are living longer and can remain happy, healthy and active well into their twilight years.

As part of September’s Golden Oldies Awareness Month, Uplands Way Vet Clinic in Norfolk has shared 10 tips to help you keep your veteran horse or pony healthy for longer.

  1. Have an older equine’s teeth checked every six months.
  2. Keep vaccinations for equine flu and tetanus up to date, even if they’re not being ridden anymore or leaving the yard to go to competitions.
  3. If the horse or pony is still in ridden work, allow them more time to warm up and cool down.
  4. Regular, low-intensity exercise is healthier and better for an older horse rather than occasional strenuous sessions.
  5. Book an annual health check with your vet practice. It’s better to identify potential issues earlier.
  6. Look out for signs of conditions affecting older horses, such as arthritis or PPID (Cushing’s disease).
  7. Review your horse’s diet to make sure it’s still meeting his needs. Speak to your vet, a nutritionist or call the feed company’s Helpline for advice if needed.
  8. If your older horse is finding it difficult to chew, consider replacing their hay with soaked fibre feeds.
  9. Monitor their condition, as sudden weight loss can be the first sign of a health issue.
  10. If you have any worries about your older horse, call your vet for advice.

Related to this…

Horse owners can email Uplands Way Veterinary Clinic for a copy of the practice’s Golden Oldies pack, which contains more useful tips for caring for older horses.

Main photo: Bamboo, the Shetland pony still going strong at an incredible 50 years old. Credit: VetPartners

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