Question: How do I shelter my older horse? Do I need a stable?
What type of shelter does an older horse need? Do senior horses need any extra consideration when providing sheltering or stabling?
Just like older people, a horse’s ability to sense and regulate temperature may deteriorate as they age. If your horse doesn't spend part of his day in a stable, a snug run-in shelter
, with a thick layer of bedding
will provide a dry, draft free place for your horse to rest. Your older horse may need more energy to keep itself warm in cold weather. Expending energy on staying warm means that your horse will need extra feed, so make sure in addition to a draft free place to live, your horse has access to high quality forage
. In hot weather, a run-in shelter, or shade trees can help your horse stay cool.
You may want to blanket your senior horse to provide an extra layer of protection from wind and damp. Many people don’t believe it’s natural for a horse to wear a blanket, but it probably isn’t natural for horses to live into old age in a natural setting either. We also keep them in climates that they probably wouldn't live in naturally either. I’d rather provide a warm blanket than hope that my senior horse’s natural defenses against the cold were enough.