What defines a senior horse? While there is no consensus among experts about what constitutes a “senior” horse, most agree that it is not based on chronological age but on physiological age. Some horses might start to slow down at 15, while others are still fresh and frisky well into their 20s. No matter what your horse’s chronological age, if he’s starting to show signs of aging such as stiffness, difficulty maintaining weight, or decreased immune response, it’s time to start thinking of him as a senior.

Cold weather can be hard on all horses, but it is especially challenging for seniors. Even if your senior horse has weathered previous winters without any trouble, he might need extra care and support to stay happy and healthy this year. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that your senior horse is ready to take on winter.

Check His Body Condition

Help your senior start winter off right by making sure he’s at a healthy weight this fall. Many veterinarians recommend that senior horses get two physical exams each year, so your horse’s fall physical is a great time to ask your veterinarian to show you how to evaluate his body condition if you’re unsure how to do so. Once you know his body condition score, consider whether you need to make any adjustments to his diet now.

Schedule a Dental Exam

It’s important to monitor your senior horse’s teeth all year round, but it is especially critical heading into winter. If your horse can’t chew properly, he’s not going to receive the full benefit of the food you’re providing. Every horse needs an