Copper is a trace mineral essential to the well being of horses. As we strive to provide our horses with a good diet, we add supplements to complement the lack of nutrients from depleted paddocks or diets that do not suffice in regards to minerals and vitamins. Of course, we want to give our horses the best so we look for natural sources of copper.
There comes a time when every horse owner will realise that his horse is getting old. As horses age 3 times as fast as human beings, a 20 year old horse would be roughly equivalent to a 60 year old human being. The horse’s reflexes will slow down and he will become far less agile. However, just like with human beings, this is not yet the time to give up on your faithful old horse but it is vital that you start caring for him in a different way.
Part 1 of Horse Care Basics was about horse behaviour, Part 2 about stable management, grooming and training. Part 3 tips on horse care are dear to my heart as I am passionate about equine nutrition.
I hope this summarised information regarding feeding horses will be valuable to you and your horse.
Horses are creatures of habit. Their life is made of events which repeat every day. This daily routine brings them comfort and safety. Feeding is part of their routine, therefore they must be fed at a fixed time. Having had-oc feeding times cause distress to horses. They become inpatient, and sometimes aggressive. It is even more prominent with a horse who has been starved in the past. Once a feed regime has been established for your horse, it should not have any radical or dramatic changes. The program must be very carefully examined and must be changed gradually only if the horse’s response is not satisfactory such as losing weight, showing signs of extreme hunger or putting on too much weight. Horses have a highly sensitive digestive system which digests a fixed set of food items in a well organised digestive cycle. Any sudden change in the horse’s feed may bring about colic and he may die. The introduction of new food (except hay and chaff), should be spread over a two week period, starting from about 50 g or 50 ml (solid or liquid form feed) the first day to increase to the desired amount at the end of the period. It is important to keep the digestive balance in place.
Owning an old horse can be at time upsetting when you see your old companion fading away. However, nowadays, horses can live happily until a very old age, some well after the age of 30. Hopefully this article will help you and your old mate find the right care.