Where #SeriousHorsePeople come to better understand digestive health in horses and its impact and management.

Addressing the Digestive Health Challenges of Senior Horses

 Senior Horse Gut Health

The number of elite riders and trainers who feed SUCCEED on a daily basis is proof of how important digestive health is to top-level competitors. Our SUCCEED-sponsored riders include Olympians like Karen O’Connor and Steffen Peters, but SUCCEED is important for all horses — not just those competing at the Grand Prix level or at the AQHA Worlds. Senior horses, for example, may appear to have a much easier life than their younger peers — plenty of turnout time, little work and (ideally) a special diet — but they have their own set of challenges to overcome.

SUCCEED is an important factor in keeping senior horses healthy. We spoke with two top horsewomen to hear why they put senior horses on SUCCEED; don’t miss our follow-up post to hear the science behind senior horses and SUCCEED.

Cathy Wieschhoff, of CW Event in Lexington, Ky.

Three-day eventer, Cathy Wieschhoff, has been using SUCCEED since 2007. All of her top horses are on it — but so are two of her retired 4* eventers, Ocotillo and Spelga Dam. They’re both in their 20s and out to pasture, but Cathy feels strongly about keeping them on SUCCEED. “I’m going to do everything I can to keep them in good digestive health,” she says.

Joan Hamilton, of Kalarama Farm in Springfield, Ky.

Harlem Globetrotter, a five-time World Championship-winning Saddlebred stallion who sired many successive World Champions, was put on a daily dose of SUCCEED at the advanced age of 25 years old until his death in 2012 just short of his 33rd birthday. Bred by Joan Hamilton and trained by Larry Hodge, both at Kalarama Farm, “Harlem” showed noticeable improvement when he went on SUCCEED.

“SUCCEED made a huge difference for Harlem Globetrotter,” Hamilton said in a 2009 interview. “Now he has a bloom to his coat and his eyes are bright; he is filled out and looks like a much younger, happier horse.”

Harlem leaves behind a legacy that has spread to Canada, Europe, Australia, Greece, South America and South Africa.

Why Senior Horses Need SUCCEED

The Natural Digestive Challenges of Advanced Age

There are multiple factors that can cause a senior horse to be underweight. Mainly, the digestive tract simply doesn’t function as well as it used to, making it harder for an older horse to fulfill his daily nutrition requirements. In addition, older horses’ teeth are typically worn down, making it harder to grind food.

Ongoing Environmental Challenges

Many horse owners assume that once a horse is turned out to pasture “for good,” his digestive problems will magically be solved. It is true that mimicking a horse’s natural lifestyle — foraging slowly and constantly — and reducing the challenges of a competitive schedule will help reduce the risk of digestive upset.

But as we discussed earlier, digestive problems are still an issue in horses that are turned out, due to ongoing factors like parasites, toxins, dehydration, rich spring grass, and the possibility of ingesting foreign matter like sand. It’s critically important for horse owners to do everything possible to mitigate these factors by deworming regularly, limiting access to spring grass, and providing a source of fresh water. Other environmental challenges are best addressed by keeping your horse in the best digestive health possible.

Up Next: How SUCCEED Can Help Support Senior Horse Health

Feeding SUCCEED once a day can help with both the physical and environmental challenges in senior horses. In the second part of this post on keeping senior horses healthy, we’ll talk about why SUCCEED should be part of your older horse’s daily care. Subscribe to the SUCCEED blog so you don’t miss the science behind senior horses and SUCCEED.

Photo used by permission via Creative Commons. Photo credit: SaraiRachel

Give us 60 days. We'll give you a better horse. SUCCEED Challenge.

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Related Articles:

NCHA Non-Pro Rider Inductee Missy Jean Etheridge

From a young age, Missy Jean was a self-proclaimed “horse-crazy” girl. Her family was not in the business of horses, but that didn’t stop her from finding her calling at a neighbor’s home. Watching, learning, […]

SUCCEED: A Prebiotic, Probiotic, or Something More?

Horses are hindgut fermenters that rely on large populations of beneficial microbes to digest their forage-based diets. The hindgut includes the colon and cecum, which house the diverse microbiota responsible for fermenting fiber to produce […]

Breakaway Roper Beau Peterson's SUCCEED Story

A cowgirl from day one, pro breakaway roper Beau Peterson is no stranger to hard work. The Council Grove, Kansas, superstar spent her childhood helping her parents ranch and run cattle in the Flint Hills […]

Zack Jongbloed SUCCEEDs in Heading to the NFR

Young calf roper and steer wrestler Zack Jongbloed has experienced the highs and lows of rodeo throughout the years—but his faith in SUCCEED hasn’t wavered. A graduate of McNeese State University with a degree in […]

Breakaway Roping Standout Shelby Boisjoli

Canada native Shelby Boisjoli has made a big splash in professional rodeo since crossing the border. The tools her family instilled in her about making it in the horse industry have carried her far. With […]

Haven Meged: From Record-Setting Rookie to Veteran Competitor

Miles City, Montana, is far from being rodeo country. But it’s where world champion calf roper Haven Meged calls home. Growing up helping his dad at the sale barn, Haven was no stranger to hard […]

SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program is a nutritional approach to managing the horse’s digestive health, including the stomach and the hindgut. Learn More

succeed veterinary formula

SUCCEED Veterinary Formula, available only from veterinarians, is an advanced version of SUCCEED and comes backed by the SUCCEED Healthy Gut Commitment. Learn More