05 Aug Feeding the Senior Horse
Is your horse showing signs of slowing down?
Senior horses are more likely to experience problems such as poor body weight and muscling, sway back, anaemia, weakened hooves, worn down or reduced teeth, lower immunity and reduced digestion.
As horses age, their dietary requirements change. Raw grains, in particular, are not well digested by the small intestine of older horses – over half the amount fed passes into the caecum where it ferments, yielding acid, heat, gas and ammonia.
Low digestibility in the small intestine predisposes senior horses to a loss of appetite, colic, diarrhoea and laminitis. It also impacts fibre, energy, protein and mineral absorption.
This means that horses from their late teens onwards require a highly digestible, balanced diet which may be very different from what they thrived on as a younger horse.
Keeping this in mind, Thompson & Redwood have worked closely with our equine nutritionist team led by Jill Davies to develop a senior horse pellet based on the latest research in this area. Our T&R Horse Cubes, which are already a very good feed option for the older horse, have been reformulated to provide an economical complete feed specifically suited to senior horses.
The result is a palatable, soluble fibre pellet for improved digestion, which can easily be dampened for horses with poor teeth.
The new formula T&R Horse Cubes is a conditioning feed which will assist older horses to maintain topline and body condition. The addition of pre and probiotics will help seniors to maintain healthy hind gut function as well as aiding nutrient absorption.
Added biotin and bioavailable vitamins/minerals have been added for hoof health and bone density. Antioxidants are also included – Vitamin E to help “mop the free radicals” and Vitamin C to improve immune function. These are particularly helpful to horses and ponies who are not always able to have access to fresh pasture.
The new formula T&R Horse Cubes are now available at your favourite stockist. Just a heads-up that we are continuing to use the old (non easy-open) bag until the bag stock runs out. It will have a “New Senior Formula’ sticker on the front and made to order so will definitely contain the new pellet.
Careful nourishment with T&R’s “new formula” Horse Cubes will keep your horse thriving in their senior years.
- Please introduce any new feed over a period of 14-21 days to allow your horse’s hindgut bacteria to adapt and reduce any chance of digestive upsets.
- Feed by weight and not by volume. If feeding more than .05kg per 100kg bodyweight per feed, you will need to divide into 2 or more smaller feeds.
- Feed little and often as the size of the horse’s stomach is small in comparison to the rest of the digestive system
- Make sure your horse or pony has access to fresh, clean drinking water and salt at all times
- Feed with the relevant amount of forage/fibre (eg hay, hayage, pasture or chaff). The minimum amount of fibre to feed is 1% of your horse’s bodyweight. For example, a 500kg horse would require 5kg of forage.
- Seasonal adjustments may have to be made
- If you feed less than the stated feeding rates, vitamin and mineral deficiencies might occur
- If your horse is on oxalate pastures, please use a corresponding supplement