How to determine your horses age

Do you know how old your horse is?

Defining a horses age is an interesting task as age can be classified in different ways. At age 10, a previous racehorse is old but as a dressage they are considered young. Generally, once a horse reaches late 20’s it is then classified as geriatric. As with most animals, the older they are the more attention they require.

In horses, a major issue is dental, with teeth constantly erupting, horses are grazing until there is eventually none left. If they cannot chew they will struggle to eat and weight loss will follow. Be sure to have regular vet check-ups, and speak to your vet about the best course of action for your horse. Older horses are susceptible to parasites and infections, luckily they are easy to monitor by looking at the horse excrement for parasite eggs. However this analysis should be performing by your vet. Other signs that your horse has a parasite issue are a poor coat, diarrhoea, poor body condition and colic.

Laminitis is a dangerous condition and must be attended to by a farrier. Maintain hoof care in older age. Look for heat in the hooves and lameness, if the horse is unable to walk or in extreme pain it may be more severe.

Equine Cushing’s Disease affects the pituitary gland, resulting in a change in hormonal function. Fortunately, signs are easy to spot, an increase in sweating, drinking and urination, a pot belly, quiet, coat not shedding.

These tips will help you care for your horse as they get older, and remember if you have any concerns speak to your vet.

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