Today, we honor those horses who have reached their golden years. Whether they’re elderly gentlemen or “old gray mares who ain’t what they used to be,” senior horses come with individual histories that can determine what specialized care they need today. Many horses can live long and healthy lives into their 30s and beyond. The world’s oldest horse was a gelding named Shayne, who lived to be a whopping 51 years old!
Check out Neil Clarkson’s primer on caring for your older horse, including special dietary and shelter considerations that can help them stay healthy for many years to come. Kathleen Crandall’s “Nutrition for the Aged Horse” and Roy Johnson’s “What Your Senior Horse is Telling You About His Diet” are some other great resources worth reading.
Do you have a special “oldie but goodie” in your life? Share their story in the comments below!
This Week in Horse Health News
Speaking of senior horse care: The American Society of Animal Sciences (ASAS) recently welcomed Dr. Karyn Malinowski at their annual meeting. Her presentation, titled “Ensuring Good Health and Well-Being of the Aging Equine Population,” addressed topics such as the importance of exercise and maintaining muscle tone in older horses. [The Horse]
Contaminated feed responsible for positive morphine tests: Two British feeds have been found to have been contaminated with poppy seeds, the raw source for the naturally occurring prohibited substance morphine. While the levels of the seeds in the feed are minimal and “of no concern for either human or horse welfare,” they were enough to lead to positive dope tests for several racehorses. [HorseTalk]
Fran Jurga examines new navicular drugs: Two new drugs, called Tildren and Osphos, have been approved by the FDA to help manage navicular syndrome. Click the following link to read about these medications, their pros and cons, and what this could mean for horses diagnosed with navicular syndrome. [Fran Jurga’s Hoof Blog]
Sored horses illegally sold at auctions: The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Omega Horse Rescue recently rescued a Tennessee Walking Horse at an auction; Dutch had been subjected to soring, and was bearing heavy shoes and scars from his abuse. Soring is an illegal practice, and auction facilities selling horses with signs of soring are in violation of the Horse Protection Act. The HSUS is now urging the USDA to prosecute auctions that fail to comply with the law. [HorseTalk]
Video of the Day: I love watching videos of horses hamming it up for the camera. Watch Habanero, a 30-year-old Paso Fino, get totally pumped for his breakfast: