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Inherited old mare - any tips for keeping an old horse?

15 replies

CioccolataCalda · 26/01/2009 22:32

We have had MILs old mare for about 5 years and she is a very hardy welsh mountain pony who has always lived out without a rug.

This winter she has started to look really old and has lost muscle tone. She is 28, still lives out, has a huge winter coat and a good apetite (has a bucket of food every morning and night plus hay).

Should I be doing more for her? I do feel a bit sorry for her as she really does look old now? Is the muscle tone loss normal?

OP posts:
LadyOfWaffle · 26/01/2009 22:43

Is she having an older horse feed? Supplements? Do you think she may need a rug at night? If she has lost fat she will be colder, even if she does have a thick coat. 28 is quite some age!

mysterymoniker · 26/01/2009 22:44

maybe a rug?

hopefully someone with proper veteran experience will come along soon with useful advice

mysterymoniker · 26/01/2009 22:44

oh, LoW beat me to it!

CioccolataCalda · 26/01/2009 22:59

I wondered about a rug but MIL (very old school stuff and nonsense sort) has said she would rip it off if I put one on!! FGS.

I am feeding Alfalfa ATM and she has a shelter to get out of the wind. Also I have moved her away from the other two ponies to give her a break which she seems to prefer!

OP posts:
Pixel · 27/01/2009 01:11

Have you had her teeth checked recently? As they get older they need doing more often. When my old pony got to 28 the vet said his teeth were actually starting to rotate in the sockets!
Also, ponies of her age often develop Cushings disease which can cause a loss of condition.
some info here
I'm not trying to panic you though! If she does have it, it's not a death sentence or anything, there are ways of managing it. My sister's welshie was 35 when we lost him and he had Cushings for the last few years. The shetland that ds rides has it (she is about 26 now) but is very happy and well. We just have to be ultra-vigilant with her because cushings ponies are so prone to laminitis.

CioccolataCalda · 27/01/2009 09:57

thanks Pixel.

I think it might be a good idea to get the vet out some time to give her a look over.

Just looked at your pics and your ponies are lovely - especially love the frozen shetland pic!!

OP posts:
skankywitch · 27/01/2009 10:04

Definitely get a rug on her, it will make her feel more comfortable.
I even rug our Shetlands when they are old.

CioccolataCalda · 27/01/2009 10:07

Thanks Skanky - will look out for one. She feels damp and I do feel sorry for her!

Pixel - I will look into Cushings thanks.

OP posts:
tengreenbottles · 27/01/2009 14:52

I would second the rug definately ,and the teeth thing .Our 28yr old mare manages well throught the winter as long as she is fed her food/hay seperately otherwise she ends up being bullied off the food .She has her hard feed in the morning ,which consists of chop/beet and nuts ,plus a flap of hay and then aanother scoop of nuts in the evening ,plus another flap of hay . clearly she doesnt look as well as the 3yr old we have but she looks healthy

Nekabu · 27/01/2009 14:52

What the others say really. A veteran feed (I use D& H 16+), teeth done every 6 months by a BEVA dentist and definitely a rug. You'll need two though, one on and one spare in case the one she's wearing gets soaked or torn. Lots of sales on at the moment!

kormachameleon · 27/01/2009 14:56

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CioccolataCalda · 27/01/2009 17:57

great advice everyone - thanks so much.

I was thinking of a thinner waterproof sheet (can;t remember what the trade name is) but feel a full on padded version would be too much for her if she has gone this far without IYSWIM.

Would that be ok - I mean to keep the frost and rain off and shield her from the wind a bit.

OP posts:
Pixel · 27/01/2009 18:56

My sister has one of those for her welsh cob as he is getting on for 20 now. She calls it his 'mac'.

CioccolataCalda · 27/01/2009 19:22

Oh perfect. DH will help me measure her tomorrow and I can start shopping!! Yey

OP posts:
joyjac · 28/01/2009 16:02

Rug at night, veteran feed and vet check.

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