Older horses Part 10: Feeding old horses
There are different types of old horses, horses that find it difficult to keep their weight and horses that, on the other hand, gain weight too quickly. These two categories each have their own related diseases and characteristics. Old skinny horses often have hollow grooves above the eyes and dental problems. Overweight old horses often suffer from Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), insulin resistance (IR) and hoof attachment. A number of signs of aging occur in old horses that are too thin or too thick, such as loss of muscle mass, gray fur, reduced intestinal function, a sagging back, osteoarthritis, horses can become more sombre, PPID (Cushing), kidney and liver dysfunction, colic and a changed hormone balance.
Optimal support for old horses with food
Keep a diet as simple as possible! There are many supplements available for old horses, which means that preparing food for old horses can often be complicated and expensive. At Hartog we believe that you optimally support a horse by burdening the horse's digestive system as little as possible. An older horse benefits from easily absorbed roughage, as opposed to concentrates or supplements with fillers that old horses often receive. Roughage helps the old horse to keep its digestive system healthy by feeding the intestinal bacteria and stimulates saliva production which is essential to keep the stomach healthy. Roughage also helps keep blood sugar levels constant because the fibers provide energy to the horse slowly and consistently. Roughage also ensures that a horse can keep itself warm, because the fiber-digesting bacteria in the large and blind gut release a lot of heat during the digestion that the horse can use. Especially in winter, the horse needs less energy to keep itself warm.
Horse does not eat hay
Old horses often have dental problems that prevent them from eating hay and pre-dried silage. The Hartog 5 * Complete Care Senior has been developed to provide old horses with a complete feed based on roughage. This feed provides the old horse with all the essential vitamins and minerals that it needs. In addition to this feed, no concentrate or supplement needs to be added. The Hartog 5* Complete Care Senior is a complete ration without unduly burdening the horse. The Hartog 5 * Complete Care Senior is grain and molasses free and enriched with herbs. This herbal mix has been specially formulated for old horses. It supports the horse with digestion, to keep the hormone balance constant and has a positive effect on the mood of the horse.
Want to read the other articles from the older horse series?
Older Horses Part 1: Feeding older horses optimally
Older horses Part 2: The horse teeth: how do they work?
Older horses Part 3: The teeth of old horses
Older horses Part 4: Helping old horses gain and keep weight
Older horses Part 5: Hormone management of the horse
Older horses Part 6: Diseases due to changing hormone balances
Older horses Part 7: Bad mood due to standing still
Older horses Part 8: Pain in horses due to 'wear and tear'
Older horses Part 9: Reduced intestinal function in older horses