As horses age, they go through several changes that affect their energy level. That doesn’t mean you have to retire your riding buddy just yet! There are things you can do to keep your senior horse fit and happy, and though you may need to take it easier, you can still enjoy riding with your horse.
First, have your senior horse checked by your veterinarian, letting the vet know that you intend to start a new routine with your horse. Find out if your horse has any major health concerns before proceeding.
If your horse has no major health problems, the next step is to visit a farrier. A good farrier can let you know what kind of horse shoes will best help your horse to walk without pain or damaging the horse’s joints.
Another important factor is the horse’s digestive needs. As horses age, their digestive system weakens, and may cause drastic weight gain or loss. Adjust your horse’s diet to help them keep their weight down, or to feed that is easier to digest so they can be getting the nutrients they need.
Once those things have been taken care of, you can begin to exercise your horse. Begin slowly, paying close attention to your horse’s pain and fatigue levels. You can slowly increase the amount of exercise as your horse begins to loosen up. It is also a good idea to begin massaging your horse’s muscles, to help loosen painful knots and increase blood flow.
With these considerations, your senior horse can continue to ride with you for a long time to come.