Why do you need to feed your old horses the best senior horse feed instead of hay and pasture grass?
The older your horses are, the weaker their systems and functions are. They require a more significant amount of nutrient source, which hay and grass can’t provide enough.
Top 7 Best Senior Horse Feed of 2023
Top-rated 7 Senior Horse Feed Reviews
1. Bluebonnet Feeds Triple Crown Senior – Best Low Sugar Horse Feed
Bluebonnet Feeds is the best overall senior horse feed for the following reasons:
This contains a high level of fat, which is a vital, efficient, and safe source of energy for horses. Correctly, your horse can perform longer without being tired, which mainly decreases the risk of injury. Moreover, it can help your mare recover and breed back quickly. Compared to horse feed with a high level of carbohydrates and protein, it’s easy to digest fats and produces less heat.
This horse food is free of grain. As you might know, the digestive system of a horse works well for grass and water mainly. Consuming grain might cause colic and chronic diarrhea.
Horses with Cushing disease usually lose weight quickly, so they need a safe weight gain, which provides your horses with extra fat without carbohydrates.
Bluebonnet Feeds is based on beet pulp, which is a digestible fiber supplement for your horse. This ingredient can significantly lower the starch and sugar content. Moreover, its high nutrient and fat content are also beneficial in treating Cushing’s disease.
2. Purina Animal Nutrition Purina Equine Senior – Best Complete Feed for Senior Horse
This complete feed offers enough essential nutrients for the overall development of your horses including Vitamin E, Activ Agetrade prebiotic, high in fat and fiber, and low in starch and sugar.
If you feed your horse on hay only, it might lack Vitamin E, which is an essential nutrient for your horse’s healthy immune system.
Purina Waggin’ Train contains a high level of Vitamin E, which brings a lot of benefits:
Usually, the immune system of aging horses is very weak, so it’s straightforward to be ill and have some specific health issues. However, Vitamin E content in Purina can help you improve this problem.
This Vitamin is a powerful antioxidant, keeping your horse from disease by neutralizing damaging free radicals.
When providing your horse with enough Vitamin E, can fight bacteria as well as increase antibody immunoglobulin.
Besides, this product has an Activ Agetrade prebiotic, which promotes the development of microorganisms in the digestive tract. At the same time, this ingredient won’t produce extra bacteria.
3. Renew Gold Supplement for Senior Horses – Best for joint health
Why is Manna Pro the best senior horse feed for joint health?
It is because this product contains some beneficial ingredients for the development of joints. Take a look at 2 main vital ingredients as follows:
First of all, calcium is helpful in the growth and integrity of bone because the skeleton accounts for 99% of calcium. If you can’t provide enough calcium, the horse’s body will sacrifice the calcium of bone for blood Ca homeostasis. After a long time of lacking calcium, the skeleton will be weaker.
Apart from calcium, phosphorus is also an essential nutrient for bone development and skeletal health. Phosphorus makes up 14-17% of the mineral component of the skeleton.
Moreover, this is also the right choice for digestive health. Specifically, the extruded pellets help your horse digest feed easily and quickly.
4. Manna Pro Weight Accelerator for Senior Horses – Best for older horses
If you are an owner of old horses, you might know that their health and body condition are not good anymore. Thus, you have to take care of your best friends carefully. Manna Pro can provide your horses with essential nutrients for the best health.
The Omega 3 fatty acids can decrease body-wide inflammation as well as support immune function. In particular, they improve some symptoms of allergies, joint health, skin condition, and respiratory issues. These acids bring reproductive advantages such as improving fertility, enriching colostrum quality, and increasing passive transfer, sperm concentration, viability, and motility.
Meanwhile, the antioxidants and essential vitamins of Manna Pro are useful to keep your horse with a healthy immune system.
If you are looking for a safe solution to weight gain for your old horses, consider Manna Pro, which contains a high level of fat and calorie.
Finally, according to some studies, most older horses love the taste of this horse feed.
5. Horse Guard Super Weight Gain Equine – Best Senior horse feed for weight gain
Do you have a skinny horse or an old horse?
Both need to put weight on them.
Some systems of old horses like the digestive system function less efficiently over time. What’s more, weak teeth lessen the ability to chew, leading to decreasing absorption of proteins. In these cases, your horse might lose weight, and you need to gain weight. Meanwhile, skinny horses also need to have more nutrients for a fit body.
If you want to put weight on your horse, you should increase the caloric content of its diet. Horse Guard has 3 essential nutrients: fiber, starch, and fat to produce a lot of energy for gaining weight healthily and safely.
Besides, the full-energy extruded soybeans can provide you with a high-quality source of protein. This nutrient is beneficial for both weight gain and muscle development.
6. TRIBUTE Senior Sport for Horses – Best for muscle development
If you want to build your horse’s muscle, you have to pay attention to both training and nutrition.
Here, I recommend you the TRIBUTE senior horse feed, which works well for muscle growth because it comes with enough nutrients.
During periods of intense exercise, amino acids in this horse feed will produce muscles for young horses. When your horse reaches an advanced age, amino acids play an essential role in maintaining muscle mass.
Vitamin E is major support for the smooth function of muscles, nerves as well as other internal workings. The shortage of Vitamin E can lead to oxidative damage in cells. Specifically, your horse might have some signs of oxidative injury such as muscle soreness and slow recovery from exercise. Thus, when you increase your horse’s workload, make sure to provide him with enough Vitamin E.
7. Purina Animal Nutrition Purina Impact Professional Senior – Best for both aging and young horses
Although all products on this list are the best for senior horses, this is the best of the best. You can expect more in keeping good overall health for your aging and young horses.
If where you are breeding your horses is not available grass or grass hay, forage nutrients in this product are the most basic requirement in the diet. Yet, grass and hay can’t provide your horses with enough specific vitamins and minerals, so it’s better to use the forage in this senior horse feed. Its protein vitamin and mineral fortification can meet the nutrient requirements of an aging horse.
Aside from controlling starch and sugar, the manufacturer has formulated this horse feed without corn and corn by-products. This is good because letting your old and senior horses eat a high level of starch can leave some negative implications.
Best Senior Horse Feed Buying Guide
Typically, the best senior feed should have essential vitamins and minerals for an aging horse. For a healthy weight, ensure that your horse can easily chew and digest the senior horse feed. To find out a product that can meet these requirements, take a look at the following considerations:
Which essential nutrients does a common senior horse feed need?
Senior horse feeds are specifically formulated for old horses, so their ingredients and nutrient levels are different compared to regular horse feeds.
When your horse is older, his ability to digest specific vitamins and minerals (protein and fiber) is worse. Therefore, you had better choose a horse feed with a high level of fiber. You can consider some sources of fiber as follows:
- Beet pulp
- Rice bran
- Alfalfa meal
Feed for senior horses requires a high level of phosphorus and calcium for better bone and joint health.
While young horses need 8-14% crude fiber, senior horses require 16-20% of fiber. And complete feeds usually can offer a high content of fiber.
Compared to young horses, older horses need a lot of Vitamin E to support your horse’s immunity. Finally, the Omega-3 fatty acids can improve the anti-inflammatory effects.
Depending on the health condition of your horse, you had better check the essential ingredients on the label to find out the best one.
Which one is better: complete feed and supplement?
While you can use complete feeds as a sole source of food for your horses, supplements have to be fed with forage and other fiber and nutrition sources.
To take care of your senior horses, you should invest in complete feeds, including a lot of fiber. Fiber plays a vital role in keeping your horse’s digestive system functioning correctly. Although your horse can get fiber from grass, it’s hard for senior horses to chew due to some dental issues.
If you don’t want to switch to a complete feed, but your old horses need more vitamins, calories, and nutrients, you can consider a supplement to their current diet. However, in case your horse is using a complete feed, there is no need to consume a supplement.
Does your horse have metabolic problems?
If your horse is suffering from metabolic issues such as equine Cushing‘s disease, and insulin resistance, keep in mind the following things:
- It’s better to pick up horse feed with a low level of nonstructural carbohydrates. This horse feed contains low sugar content, fitting insulin-resistant disorders.
- Remember to avoid products with additives like molasses, adding the sugar level.
FAQs about Best Senior Horse Feed
1. When should I feed my senior horse feed?
You can feed the senior horse feed when your horse has been over 15 years old. However, you also need to consider some signs to provide senior feed on time:
- Poor topline condition
- Weight loss
- Lower-quality hoof and hair coat
- Dental issues (dropping feed)
- Loose stools
2. How many equine seniors should I feed?
To have an exact answer, you have to determine the following features:
In case your senior horse can consume hay, apply the minimum amounts of feed per day as follows:
- 4-6 lbs per day to an 800 lb. horse
- 5-7.5 lbs per day to a 1000 lb. horse
- 6-9 lbs per day to a 1200 lb. horse
If your senior can eat senior feed only, not hay, here are the minimum amounts of senior feed per day:
- 10-12 lbs per day to an 800 lb. horse
- 12-14 lbs per day to a 1000 lb. horse
- 14-16 lbs per day to a 1200 lb. horse
3. How can I fatten up my older horse?
Below are useful tips to maximize nutrient intake in older horses:
- Depending on the specific body weight of your horse, you can feed 1% of high-quality forage.
- Let your senior horse use a complete feed with highly digestible fiber at a minimum of 0.5% of total weight.
- Feed your senior horse at least 3 times every single day, even more regularly.
- You can consult with your vet or an equine nutritionist for healthy diets.
4. Do senior horses need grain?
The digestive system of the horse is designed for breaking down and absorbing structural carbohydrates in forage. Your horses can get 70% of their energy requirements (fats, protein, minerals, and vitamins) from a good forage mix. In this case, you don’t need to feed your horse grain.
However, if your horses have to work more, requiring additional energy requirements, consider grain-based feeds. Your horse can digest simple carbohydrates in starchy feeds like oats or corn.
Unlike a diet for young horses, older horses need plenty of essential nutrients. And the best senior horse feed can meet this requirement. All products above can help your horses keep a healthy digestive system, immune system as well as joint health. And #1 Bluebonnet Triple Crown is the best one on this list. Its low content of sugar is good for safe weight gain and Cushing disease.