A horse owner has many options in caring for their older (and more experienced) friends. The expected lifespan of a horse used to be in the 18–23 year range, but today we increasingly hear of horses nearing, or reaching, 40 years of age. Here are some helpful tips to maximize the quality of life of your ageing horse:
PROMOTING HEALTHY JOINTS: One of the earliest noted effects of ageing is joint discomfort…it hurts to get outside and have some fun. Today there are many products available to help promote healthy joint function, and most if not all, contain glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, MSM, chondroitin, and a variety of other support compounds. If you note your older horse is having difficulty in moving around, consult your Vet to be sure the cause isn’t something other than age-related joint discomfort. If it is simple age-related issues, try a joint health supplement! Glucosamine has been proven to be absorbable, there is evidence that hyaluronic acid is absorbed, and MSM has been shown to be highly absorbable. Take a look at the ingredients and amounts in Finish Line®’s Fluid Action® HA. Our research, and over 10 years of market experience with the product, shows that it contains the right amounts of the most important ingredients, plus important supporting ingredients like B-complex vitamins, yucca and ginkgo, all at a reasonable cost. All Finish Line® products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
GOOD NUTRITION: Be vigilant that your horse’s feed contains all of the needed nutrients. Check the guaranteed analysis on the feed bag. Use feeds that are as fresh as possible; nutrients can be lost in hay stored for significant time periods. As horses age, nutrient absorption and synthesis may decline. Another option is to supplement vitamins and minerals. Take a look at the guaranteed analysis of Finish Line®’s Ultra Fire™, a multivitamin/mineral for horses. It contains vitamins A,C,E, B-complex, K, and the minerals Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Cobalt, Zinc, and Manganese, in an affordable powder form that horses of all ages like. No sugars, no artificial colors. Be sure that your horse’s feed has good fatty acid levels, with higher omega 3’s than omega 6’s. Supplement a good quality vegetable oil…wheat germ, flax seed or olive oil… not soybean.
RESPIRATORY HEALTH: Older horses are more prone to picking up a minor cough due to irritation. Check with your Vet to be sure it is just a minor cough. If yes, try Finish Line®’s Air Power™, an all-natural cough remedy made from real honey, natural menthol and eucalyptus, real lemon juice, aloe vera and apple cider vinegar. Air Power™ is an aid to relieve minor coughs due to irritation; it was tested at Brigham Young University.
DIGESTION: Older horses’ digestive systems may not work as well as when they were young; lower stomach acidity and digestive enzymes can reduce efficiency. Finish Line®’s U-7™ Gastric Aid was formulated to promote digestive health in both the stomach and hindgut. Ingredients include several botanicals (herbals) and vitamins.
HEALTHY HOOVES: Finish Line®’s Feet First® has optimal levels of all the most important hoof-building nutrients like biotin, methionine (along with many additional amino acids from gelatin), zinc, vitamins A, E and fat-soluble C, and quality fatty acids from olive, wheat germ and flax seed. Farrier-tested for 2 years before marketing!
Other assorted things to remember: Exercise and turn-out time, Dental care, Reduce risks of parasites and infections. Regarding vaccinations, the FDA, AVMA and the vaccine manufacturers all say: never vaccinate a sick animal (may help avoid a vaccine adverse event).
Note: When in doubt, check with your Veterinarian as each horse is unique and special. Care tips and recommendations are not a substitute to regular checkups by your equine Health Professional.