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5.2.2022 How To… Care For The Older Horse… In 10 Easy Steps: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Comfort

In my opinion, the older horse has earned the right to a level of comfort. One of the difficulties, of course, is working out what ‘comfort’ means for your horse. Don’t assume that keeping him comfortable means having him wrapped up in plenty of rugs, or kept safe in the stable out of the worst of the weather. For some horses, that might indeed be what makes them feel comfortable. But is it what your horse wants?

Does he prefer to be in, or to be out? Rugged, or bare? With friends, or on his own? To be ridden, or to be left alone to eat and sleep? A quiet environment, or busy-ness? The radio on, or off? Does he like a deep bed, or does he find it more difficult to move around with too much bedding around his feet? Does he enjoy being groomed, and if he does, does he like the rubber curry comb or the body brush?

Making sure that he has the relevant checks from vet, farrier, equine dental technician, physical therapist, nutritionist, and saddler if relevant, is important. Equine professionals who are qualified and experienced are likely to have come across far more ‘older horses’ than you have, through their work. They won’t have the same level of emotional attachment that you do, and may be able to make more accurate judgements in relation to the care of your horse. However, bear in mind that you know your horse better than anyone else. You are his best expert. You are the centre of the team that supports him, and ultimately, the decision on what is best for him is down to you.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion

February 5, 2022
Sue Palmer