Struggles Keeping Weight on Older Horses

The majority of my work with horses has been with the older verity. You see I spend my summers at a summer camp in Idaho working in the barn and teaching children of all ages how to ride horses whether it be their very first time on a horse or they have been around the block a few times and they just want to go for a trail ride to make sure they can still get back in that saddle. We do it all. Our problem up at the barn is this though, camp is a non profit organization so we don’t really have the money to purchase horses. Virtually all of our horses have been donated and are almost all over the age of 15 when we receive them. Now don’t think I am complaining about a 15 year old horse. No! I think that is a great age to start at camp. Most the time by that age they have been around the block a few times and are perfect for a kid to jump up on them and take them for a literally spin. The issue arises when you have had that amazing Arabian mare for 7 years and she just can’t put in the horse she used to. She is getting old and remember she is an Arabian so she is not going to keep weight on her as well the older she gets as Arabians tend not to age well. You have taken her to the dentist to have her teeth floated and are providing her with a delicious arrangement of grains and (my new go to) liquid 747 to add a little something extra. She lets call her Reflection, even with all of this extra that you are doing to try and help her keep some fat on her during her summer labor Reflection is still looking a little lean. Her withers are protruding a little high and her doc is more prominent. It would seem she just can’t keep up with what she could even just last year but she is still the same great horse! She’s that horse the kids look for when the come to came each summer, the one they know by name and know will treat them right. So what do you do? You can’t just put her out on the street and she is by no means ready do be planted under an oak tree with the same number of rings around is belt as she has years to her. Do you keep her till you absolutely have to give her up and just lesson her rode time till she can keep up? Or do you sell her while you can get a good price for her because you know your going to have to replace her cause you still need a decent line up.

This is the stage I am in right now and the dilemma that so presents its self. I am in hopes it resolves its self in a satisfactory manner that is beneficial to all party.

Well until next time, God Bless!

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