How to keep your older horse active and healthy


    • If you are training your senior horse for something specific, build up your workouts slowly and methodically.
    • Be aware that high intensity exercise will fatigue an older horse more quickly; therefore, avoid prolonged periods of such exercise to prevent excessive stress.
    • Establish a baseline heart rate for your senior horse and frequently take his heart rate after a workout to see how long it takes for him to cool down. Adjust workouts accordingly if it is suddenly taking longer than normal for his heart rate to return to his pre-determined resting heart rate.
    • Strenuous riding should be avoided with older horses when it is excessively hot and/or humid outside. All horses should have immediate access to clean water after a work out.
    • Closely monitor your senior horse for signs of dehydration when weather conditions are hot/humid. Signs of a dehydrated horse include skin tenting, dry gums, and dry manure.
    • If your horse is arthritic, remember to take extra time during warm ups, especially in colder weather or if you horse has been stalled for long periods.
    • If possible, maintain your senior horse on pasture as much as possible instead of in a stall. The walking done during grazing is excellent low impact exercise that helps prevent stiffness.
    • As with warming up, take extra time to make sure your senior horse is cooled down properly.

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