Saturday, November 18, 2017

Senior horsekeeping in the winter

As we head into winter, I've noticed some more signs that P is really feeling her age. During some of the short cold snaps that tell us winter is on its way, I've noticed that she moves a bit more stiffly. In my last post, I was considering putting P on a senior supplement to help with joints, digestion, and overall health. But when I actually started looking at supplements, I discovered that there are so many choices out there! I have to admit that I became overwhelmed and haven't actually tried any of them yet. So I need to be more decisive and get P on something soon. I know there are a lot of claims that senior supplements don't work - I plan to give one a try, and if it doesn't work, then we'll either stop or try something else!

I've also been trying to bed P's shelter with a thicker layer of shavings to help her get up and down more easily. I have to say that P is quite good at using it as a bathroom, so it's more expensive and it makes cleaning more difficult for me, but she also lies down more - and of course, it's all about her comfort!

P has also been quidding her hay a lot. The dentist did check her teeth this fall, and they're still okay but wearing down quite a bit. Therefore, I've been soaking more mashes and trying to find the softest hay and hay alternatives. We tried one brand of alfalfa/timothy hay cubes - and according to P, they were ABSOLUTELY NOT ACCEPTABLE! P wouldn't touch them! So recently I tried a different brand, and so far, so good. Let's hope P keeps eating them!

Winter is a tough time of year for any horsekeeping, and I think that keeping senior horses happy and healthy during the winter is an even tougher job! Keeping them comfortable and well-fed often involves a lot of extra work and expense - and I honestly can't imagine doing anything else during the winter! Keeping P happy makes me happy, and I hope we'll both get through this upcoming winter in good shape.

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