As much joy as looking after an aging horse can bring, you always need to go that extra mile to give them the care they deserve. As horses reach their twilight years, they are often hit with a slew of health problems and require specialist help or intervention to continue doing things that they once found easy. The summer can be an especially challenging time for equine seniors so here are three top tips for keeping your horse happy.
- Try A Summer Haircut
Older horses can suffer excessively in the heat of high summer. Old horses require more consideration than younger animals and often have heat-related issues. For instance, horses with thick coats may suffer from stress brought about by the heat. This poses the owner with something of a dilemma as if you clip off almost all of a horse’s coat, they will become magnets for insects and flies. Furthermore, excessive clipping of the coat can increase the risk of sunburn. If you are stuck for ideas, try a summer haircut for your equine senior. Trying clipping your horse’s hair during hot summers and increase your fly control measures. Most vets will provide topical solutions that help keep flies at bay.
- Break Out The Summer Nibbles
Just as you wouldn’t dream of enjoying wintertime food during the summer months, your horse craves variety and will be much happier with some summer nibbles. However, traditional fair such as crunchy carrots and apples can pose problems for senior horses, especially if they have few or no teeth remaining. Try soft fruits such as bananas and grapes if your horse has dental issues such as old, broken or missing teeth. This is a great way to help your horse stay happy over the summer without experiencing pain or having to suffer a visit from the local vet.
- Help Your Horse Relax
Older horses, as you know, will often relish the chance to take the weight off their feet and benefit greatly from standing wraps. While they may have been happy standing up to sleep during their younger days, equine seniors often have joint issues that cause them pain. Worse still, lying down on a bed of hay doesn’t allow older horses to become comfortable on the average concrete stable floor. One solution is to buy rubber matting for horses and turn your horses stable into a soft, comfortable area fit for a racing champion. Rubber matting enables older horses to distribute their weight comfortably when they lie down. Rubber is easier on the joints than concrete and doesn’t rob older horses of their natural body heat. The right matting will help your horse sleep soundly during the summer months and will be far more comfortably for them to lie on during winter as well.
These three summer tips should help make your horse comfortable over the summer. In which ways will you be spoiling your horse? Let us know and leave us a comment below!