How Can You Help Your Horse To Stay Supple As He Gets Older?

Zeolite Clinoptilolite powder - happy horse

Older horses can be prone to stiffness and reduced flexibility, just as older human beings are. This loss of suppleness can impact on the performance of the horse, making it harder for him to maintain fitness levels and reducing overall wellbeing and quality of life. However, there are plenty of ways to help your horse remain active and agile as he gets older.

Regular exercise

Exercise is crucial to keep your horse moving fluidly and willingly as he ages. You have probably noticed that you become less flexible and more prone to aches and pains after a few days without any exercise, and horses are no different. If you have the opportunity to turn your horse out rather than keep him stabled, do so whenever possible.

This allows your horse to move around naturally, particularly if you have undulating land. However, even turnout in an enclosed riding arena or paddock for a few hours per day can be beneficial.  If there are no opportunities for loose turnout, take your horse out for a walk on days when you are not riding him.

When riding your horse, be patient and incorporate warm up exercises such as leg yielding and 20 metre circles to ask for a slight bend in his movements. An older horse may take longer to respond and perform the movements satisfactorily, so take your time before rushing into more demanding work such as cantering and jumping.

Practice transitions on a loose rein until he is moving at ease. Most horses have a natural tendency to be stiffer on one side than the other, so take time to notice which side this is. Exercises such as figures of eight help you to alternate between a left and right bend, improving overall balance and suppleness.

After your horse has warmed up and starts to move with a lower neckline and their hind legs engaged underneath him, reward him with a longer rein so he can gradually stretch out his neck. 

A balanced diet

Diet is also an important factor in helping your horse to age well. Your horse should be fed according to his activity levels, turnout hours, and general state of health. Keep an eye on his weight, as extra weight will put more pressure on the joints and make it harder for him to move with ease.

Many owners make use of feed supplements that are specifically designed to support the joints of equines. One product that has been gaining popularity as a health supplement for horses in recent years is Zeolite Clinoptilolite powder. This is a naturally bioavailable substance that contains silicon.

When used as a food supplement, zeolite powder may help to support bone strength and the tendons and ligaments of the horse. This is because silicon is a key component of hyaluronic acid, which supports the connective tissues, fluidity and cushioning of the joints. 

This is particularly important for performance horses who are asked to put a lot of stress on their bodies, and older horses who are naturally losing suppleness, strength and fluidity in their muscles and joints. The supplement may also support young horses who are still growing, horses who are recovering from a bone or soft tissue injury, and broodmares.

Additionally, zeolite powder may also improve the horse's digestive system because it has a natural detoxifying effect. It is able to bind with harmful substances found in the digestive tract such as heavy metals. This flushes out unwanted toxins that can be found in rich pastures, and helps the horse to absorb beneficial nutrients and convert them into energy. 

This improved digestion and processing of essential nutrients may result in better general wellbeing and vitality, and also improve the quality of the skin, coat, and hooves. Therefore zeolite powder may benefit any equine and help them achieve optimal levels of health. This gives you peace of mind and helps your horse to enjoy and get the best out of life. 

It should be noted that any supplements should not replace professional veterinary treatments, and if you have concerns about the health or wellbeing of your horse, you should seek the advice of a vet.  

Regular foot care

Taking great care of your horse’s hooves will help him to feel comfortable and confident in his movements. Check his feet every day for signs of damage, and make sure his hooves are regularly trimmed by a farrier.