Older horses losing weight is not an uncommon phenomenon, is it? Unlike young horses, veteran horses require an abundance of essential nutrients in their diet to maintain their health, weight, and overall performance. This is why learning about the best senior feed for veteran horses is crucial.
In this article, you will find the best senior horse feed comparison and learn about the factors that can influence which blend you opt for. Read on for your underweight senior horse!
Do you think aging is hard for your horse? When a horse gets older, its body and systems grow weaker. That is why you’ll need the best senior horse feed to support their slowing metabolism. Senior horse feeds are easily available, but here are the best fattening feed for senior horses.
Best Overall: Crypto Aero Wholefood Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Horse Feed has the perfect blend of nutrients with countless health benefits.
Best Budget Option: Buckeye Nutrition Gro ‘N Win Pelleted Horse Feed is the lightest on the pocket without compromising on the quality.
Runner Up: Tribute Equine Nutrition Seniority Pellet Low-NSC Horse Feed has top-quality ingredients and is moderately priced.
Best Senior Horse Feed
We have tested an array of products in our stable. But here are the six that have impressed us the most.
1. Buckeye Nutrition Gro ‘N Win Pelleted Horse Feed
If you are looking for a complete nutrition package for your senior equine, Buckeye has the perfect formula. You can use it as a complete feed option for a horse too old to forage or digest pasture and hay.
It is an optimal balance of proteins, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins which is both easy to digest and devoid of any excess calories. There are antioxidants to support the horse’s weakening immunity. Plus, it is low on bad fats and sugar that could trigger hyperactivity.
High protein content ensures muscle strength despite age. Our favorite feature, however, is the fact that this formula contains 100% natural ingredients.
But the low percentage of fiber worries us. The ingredient list shows a mere 5% crude fiber which is lesser than what we’d like for a horse unable to consume grass.
- Complete feed option
- Fortified with antioxidants
- Low glycemic and insulinemic formula
- High in proteins
- 100% natural ingredients
- Fiber content is lesser than what we’d like
2. Crypto Aero Wholefood Gluten Free, Non-GMO Horse Feed
The Crypto Aero Wholefood is a bit on the pricier side for a 25-lb bag. But we should remember the fact that this bag is full of nutritious and yummy horse food. The manufacturers claim that it is a complete package of nutrition for horses of all ages.
The all-natural ingredients are easy to absorb and have numerous health benefits. The rose hips for instance are an excellent source of immunity boosters. Other ingredients also help in forming and protecting gut lining and body cartilage.
Looking into its nutritional info, we were satisfied with the low percentage of sugar. The protein content looks okay too, though we would have liked it a tad more. But we love the fact that this feed is free from any additives, gluten, GMOs, and other low-quality components.
- Suitable for horses of all ages
- All-natural ingredients
- Numerous health benefits
- Low percentage of sugar
- Free from unnecessary components
- High price-to-quantity ratio
- Protein content could be higher
3. Manna Pro Simply Flax For Horses
Who doesn’t know the countless benefits of flax seeds? And if you want those benefits for your senior equine, Manna Pro has got you covered.
The completely pure flaxseed is rich in Omega-3. These fatty acids not only boost immunity but also promote healthy skin. Perfect for horses with any skin conditions such as dandruff, itching, dull-looking coat, and the likes.
While this may not be a complete food alternative, it acts as a perfect skin and hair supplement. We have no complaints regarding its performance in this regard. The container, however, had us disappointed. It cannot be opened with a bucket opener, and once opened does not reseal properly to avoid dust and germs.
- Ideal for horses with skin conditions
- 100% pure flaxseed
- Improves coat shine
- Boosts immunity
- The bucket lid is not user-friendly
4. Legacy Pellets Complete Joint Support For Senior Horses
Old horses start to slow down due to deteriorating joint health. Legacy pellets provide a terrific solution to this problem. These pellets are easy to feed and high in goodness.
Specifically formulated for aging horses, it improves joints function and mobility in horses. Among other ingredients, yeast acts as a pre and probiotic while the rice bran adds to the flavor.
It is a little heavy on the pocket but still reasonable since the 5-lbs pack is enough for a horse for 40 days. The ergonomic bucket design is suitable for storing and traveling.
- Easy-to-feed pellets
- Improve joints health
- Specifically designed for older horses
- Has pre and probiotic
- Ergonomic container
- A bit pricey
5. Tribute Equine Nutrition Seniority Pellet Low-NSC Horse Feed
Easy to digest, this feed is specific for mature horses. High fiber content, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids encourage better performance and healthier hooves. The yeast acts as a pre and probiotic for aiding digestive functions. Plus the presence of omega-3 and 6 promotes better skin and coat health.
The NSC or the non-structural carbohydrates are a bad influence on horse health. Although, this formula is marketed as low on NSC we still think the percentage could be even lesser.
This feed can be used as a complete alternative to grass and grains, and so, it is among our top picks for horses that can no longer forage. And as a bonus, it is a pretty affordable option.
- Easy to digest
- Complete blend of nutrients
- Promotes skin health
- Alternative to foraging
- NSC levels could be even lesser
6. Purina Animal Nutrition Purina Impact Professional Senior 50
Another worthy mention in the list of best feeds for mature horses is this one from Purina. It has nutrients enough to completely replace pasture and hay.
Packed with proteins and minerals, it has all that a senior horse requires. Also, healthy fats and fibers make it a great source of weight gain.
Plus, this feed has no corn to limit the sugar and starch content. But there’s one downside. Our show and performance horses needed additional supplements to give their best.
- Alternative to foraging
- Good for weight gain
- Packed with nutrients
- Contains no corn
- May need another supplement
How To Choose The Best Senior Horse Feed
Finding the best senior horse feed for your aging horse can be an overwhelming process because there are so many different blends available and not each one is formulated equally. In short, you need to know exactly what your horse requires to find the most palatable senior horse feed.
Here are the major factors that can help you narrow down your choice better:
Senior horse feeds are a combination of specific ingredients and contrasting levels of nutrients as compared to regular equine feed. For example, they have a higher level of crude fiber, phosphorus, calcium, and protein.
If the ingredients mention rice bran, alfalfa, or beet pulp, the formulation is going to be delicious, nutritious, and super easy to digest for your old horse. Vitamin E is a great ingredient too as it aids in immunity, whereas Omega-3 fatty acids provide anti-inflammatory benefits along with aiding weight gain.
Bonus tip: don’t fall for a long ingredient list that may have some questionable inclusions. The shorter the ingredient list, the more you can be sure that it contains only the important stuff. Also, try to avoid feeds that contain non-structural carbohydrates. NSC can trigger stomach problems and hyperactivity in your steed.
All its life, your aging horse has not only walked around carrying heavy loads but at times running at incredible speeds too. Although the animal’s joints can easily withstand all this, the exertion is bound to take a toll with age. Naturally, horses lose their ability to perform at the best of their abilities with age and time. To help them combat this weakness, look for a blend that promises to offer joint support alongside essential vitamins and minerals. Senior horse feed with glucosamine is highly recommended.
As with all horses, it is likely that your oldie too prefers a certain texture when it comes to food. Luckily, senior horse feeds are available in several textures, depending on their formulation. These range from soft and crunchy pellets to delicious hard cubes. Moreover, a few are even available as ground powders, deeming as best feed for old horses with bad teeth. It is therefore advisable to invest in a horse feed with textures that your horse enjoys eating the most.
FAQs Related To Senior Horse Feed
As horses age, their heart, lungs, liver, etc. can no longer function at their best efficiency. This is when introducing senior horse feed into their diet becomes vital. Let’s clear out a few concerns that you might have:
Surprisingly, there is no right or wrong age to start senior feed. While some steeds benefit from senior feeds as young adults, others don’t find the need for it even in their 20s. Anyhow, the moment you feel that your senior horse is losing weight or hasn’t been giving its best performance lately, and isn’t able to maintain a desirable body condition despite eating a healthy diet, know that it’s time to consider putting it on the best senior horse feed.
On average, an equine should be given 4 to 9 pounds of senior feed for 800 – 1200 pounds of bodyweight, daily, alongside hay. This helps it to meet the minimum intake of protein, minerals, and vitamins every day. However, if the animal depends solely on senior feed, the amount given should be increased to 10 to 16 pounds daily, depending on the horse’s weight.
During their senior years, horses tend to find it difficult to gain and maintain weight. This is only natural as the animal is bound to lose muscle mass and the ability to chew forages with age. Hence, to ensure that they are getting proper nutrients daily, senior horse feeds come into play. Not only do senior horse feeds provide equines with the essential amounts of nutrients, but they are also easy to digest as well.
Always feed good quality forage to your senior horse, and see that it isn’t facing any dental issues. In case your equine has difficulties while chewing and digesting food, substitute it with the best senior horse feed. Moreover, it is important to reduce 1.0 pounds of senior feed in your horse’s diet for every 2.0 pounds of hay it consumes.
Feeding rates are likely to vary with the animal’s weight, temperament, health, and activity level. Still, you need to feed it at regular time intervals, at least twice or thrice daily for maximum benefits of the senior horse feed. Remember, your horse will put on weight gradually, so don’t expect a senior horse feed to work wonders overnight. Once it reaches its ideal weight, reduce the senior feed quantity in its diet to prevent adverse health conditions.
Choosing a senior horse feed can be a tricky task. In fact, if you think that scrolling through the best senior horse feed reviews will help you pick the right one, you are only partly right. In addition to the reviews, it is equally important to consider a few other factors before the purchase. These include the ingredients and nutrients in the feed, how much joint support it offers, and what its texture is.
With age, these horses lose their ability to chew forage properly, which eventually leads to digestive issues. Thus, to fix the animal’s deteriorating body condition, investing in a complete senior horse feed is advisable. Some of the best senior horse feed options are mentioned in this article.
Our favorite from the list is Crypto Aero Wholefood Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Horse Feed due to its immense nutrition benefits. However, it is suggested that you consider the ingredients, nutrients, joint and immune support of the individual formulas to find one that perfectly suits your steed’s condition. Don’t forget to consult the vet before introducing something completely new to your equine pal!