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The Older Horse Advice Sheet
Horses and ponies are living much longer lives today due to improvements in nutrition, management and health care. There are many horses living well into their 20’s and even 30’s.
The aging process does have an effect on the horse and the management and care of the horse will need to change as he gets older. His digestive system doesn’t work quite as well, his joints are less resilient and his immune system is reduced making the horse prone to disease and worm infestation.
A horse dentist should check the older horses teeth twice a year.
The best way to protect the older horse against worm damage is to remove them from his internal system and the pasture he grazes completely. He is at particular danger from parasite infestation and damage due to his reduced immune system. If you cannot remove worms then you must provide adequate chemical coverage. If the horse is kept in a high-risk environment then the shortest time between chemicals must be used.
Wormers Direct work with a retirement home for horses where all but one resident are now clear from worms. The one exception to this is over 30 and her immune system cannot clear out the worms that she had on arrival. She had been wormed regularly with chemicals prior to arriving at the home but her initial worm egg count result was over 2,000 epg. Her readings are now much lower.
The Intelligent Worming Program works exceptionally well for the older horse in preserving their health.
Traditional livery yards are not always the best place for older horses. The small boxes encourage stiffness, fluid retention in legs and respiratory diseases. There are some reputable retirement homes that can provide sheltered grazing and indoor turn out areas in bad weather. These are worth considering when you stop riding your horse or pony.
Remember his happiness, health and well-being are in your hands. Please ensure that you change your management of him to allow for his advancing years.
Our consultants can offer advice and assistance on worming your older horse or pony. Please email or call them on 01267 241136 with your specific requirements.