Feeding Senior Horses - Quick tips

Feeding an older pony or horse?
We owe them the best in their senior years,
whether they remain active into their 20's or show signs of ageing well before.
Read on for some golden rules and key benefits of senior balancers below.
Judging when your horse becomes "senior" is unique to each an every individual, and we look to treat your horses as such. There is often no single approach which suits all, so we always look to consider the below.
Golden Rules
🌱 Fibre first - grazing, hay/haylage and chaff.
Fibre is the single most important part of your horse's diet. From grazing provision, to hay/haylage/hay replacer options and whether you decide to feed a low calorie or conditioning chaff. Horses are used to grazing for most of the day, and their digestive system supports trickle feeding, which we need to replicate as far as possible.
🐴 Feed according to condition - good doer, normal or poor doer?
All senior horses' should have a high fibre, low starch and low sugar diet.
For good doers who seem to live on fresh air (but still need a balanced diet), a super concentrated feed balancer can ensure your horse receives all they need and more without the need for additional starch and sugar provision. Equine obesity is a growing problem for all horses, and should be especially avoided in the older generation as it will cause additional strain on joints and respiration. 
For poorer doers who need additional calories and protein to maintain weight and top line, look to make sure the fibre portion of the diet is offering all it can. Check vitamin and mineral balance, look for further inclusion of highly digestible fibre, good levels of protein and natural oils. The inclusion of pre and probiotics will also help further aid nutrient absorption. If you choose a balancer that contains anti-oxidants this also means you can feed additional oil in the diet as an extra calorie source.
💙 Target their needs - joint care, digestive support, hormone balance, poor dentition?
Does your horse suffer with stiffness, loose stools, difficulty shedding coat or do they struggle to eat due to failing teeth? These are just a few of the reasons that you may face when looking to switch to a senior feed balancer. Both Senior and Senior Plus feed balancers from Blue Chip target key areas for the older horse:
  • Maintains mobility and helps to ease stiffness
  • Supports PPID (Cushing's disease) and normal hormonal function
  • Low in starch and sugar - all Blue Chip balancers are molasses FREE!
  • Small pellets to ensure easy feeding, can be fed dry, damp or soaked
💦 Provide clean and fresh water at all times
Palatable feeds allow your horse to absorb the correct daily provision of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Clean, fresh water should always be available, and you can also aid further improved hydration by feeding their bucket feed damp or wet. Feeding a wet "slop" can also help avoid choke and colic, from poor digestion.
Our precious older horses can take a little more of our time and attention, all of which is always happily given.  Their additional needs can be supported by both our Senior (for good doers retired or in work), and Senior Plus (for poorer doers and those still in good levels of work) Feed Balancers.
Many owners choose to feed Senior in the grazing season when grass accessibility is improved, moving onto Senior Plus during the winter months to offer a little more support.
Wondering which might be the best option for your horse? Do call or email, and we can have a friendly chat about your horses individual needs, giving you the confidence in your choices.
0114 266 6200
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