BarnManager Horse Health Series: Caring for the Senior Sport Horse

Advances in equine medicine are enabling horses to perform longer in their athletic careers than ever before. Together with proper veterinary care, educated owners can offer senior horses a happy and pain-free life as they age into their senior years. Palm Beach Equine Clinic in Wellington, FL, is experienced in helping senior sport horses stay comfortable and competitive.

Horses from the ages of 12 and older are considered “seniors,” but they often compete successfully into their teenage years. Many horses in the prime of their careers may require extra maintenance to continue performing at their best, and advances in veterinary care have helped extend careers. Although maintaining these athletes requires more work by the owner and the veterinarian, preemptive attention to an aging equine’s needs may help keep your partner performing longer.

Maintain Top Health Over the Years

There are several areas of care that owners should consider to maintain their horse’s top health and ensure continued success. It is important to remember that just as the human body changes with age, the horse’s body does the same.

  • Owners should contact their veterinarians on a routine basis to have their horse’s overall health and fitness evaluated, no matter what the horse’s job is. 
  • An appropriate fitness program is imperative to the senior horse’s performance. As horses age, it can become increasingly difficult to maintain their fitness. Any exercise that builds your horse’s stamina and muscle mass is essential, and the more your horse gets out of its stall and moves around the better. Anything from riding lessons to trail riding, or even hand walking, can be beneficial. 
  • Like any athlete, horses can experience physical setbacks, so it is important to have their gaits evaluated routinely. Veterinarians can suggest appropriate treatments to avoid creating larger issues, whether the horse needs a little assistance with the flexion in their neck or joint injections to ease discomfort.
  • It is important to maintain the senior horse’s stall with clean, deep bedding for both comfort and sanitation purposes. The stall should be away from direct sunlight, have fans for effective air movement, and plenty of fresh water to maintain hydration and prevent overheating.

For a more in-depth explanation, click HERE to read the full article from Palm Beach Equine Clinic. 

NOTE: These guidelines are only suggestions, and you should always follow the specific instructions from your veterinarian.

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

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