The Aging Equine

The average lifespan of a horse is said to be about 24 years; but as with humans, a horse’s chronological age isn’t always a good indicator of how old he really is. Some horses still are active at the age of 35, while others suffer significant signs

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We’ve all heard the statistics about aging America–as the population of baby boomers rounds the curve of 40, the average age of our society is inching its way up. In recent years, horses have experienced a similar population shift. While 100 years ago they were primarily beasts of burden, seldom kept around once their most productive years were over, now our horses are not only work and athletic partners, but are our companions. It has become increasingly important to us to preserve their good health through their "golden years" and to extend their lifespans as long as they can enjoy a "quality" life. Modern veterinary science has provided a vast array of knowledge and techniques that can assist us.

Aging equines

As horses get older, they experience a number of gradual, irreversible changes

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Written by:

Karen Briggs is the author of six books, including the recently updated Understanding Equine Nutrition as well as Understanding The Pony, both published by Eclipse Press. She’s written a few thousand articles on subjects ranging from guttural pouch infections to how to compost your manure. She is also a Canadian certified riding coach, an equine nutritionist, and works in media relations for the harness racing industry. She lives with her band of off-the-track Thoroughbreds on a farm near Guelph, Ontario, and dabbles in eventing.

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