I'm venturing into a world unknown to me. I've never had an"older" horse. I was raised on a working farm in Michigan by my depression era grandparents. If "it" couldn't be used, we didn't have room for it. This included pets, which included horses.
My horses as a kid/teenager were a 10 year old Morgan/QH Mare who was absolutely INSANE when in season, but all other times perfect. I learned how to care for horses with her. At the same time my grandpa bought me a 2 year old 3/4 Egyptian Arabian mare (out of the fire and into pan?) She taught me to ride.. no I mean TRUELY ride! To this day I still have the "stick like glue no matter what" seat. That Arab teleport will teach you to just go with it. Anyway the point to that is that they were both young horses. I sold the Morgan/QH mare at a 4-H auction and kept my Arab until I moved away from home. So I never learned how to care for the aging horse.
Bonnie is 18, she's not always had the easy life. I don't know a heck of a lot about her past (prior to my friend D buying her). I do know she's barrel raced, and pole weaved, and from her reaction to anything crop/whip she's been beat. She's had hip surgery (got into a fight with Clyde and ended up with a bone chip). When I bought her I did very basic flat work, and she's done some eventing, and cross country. She LOVES to jump! Not to mention many, many trail miles.
She's not moving so well these days. Pretty stiff in the hind quarters and I want to do my best to make her as comfortable as possible. Stall rest isn't for her. She stocks up just from being in over night, so she gets as much turn out as weather permits. Which means if it's raining she comes in, other than that she is out side.
I've been giving her for over a year now smart omega 3 from smartpak, but obviously that does nothing for joint health. I'm thinking of moving her to some sort of Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement but the choices are so overwhelming I'm lost.
Then there is the whole "senior feed" thing.... Reading everything I can find - but welcome any advice, what's worked, what's not worked, what to stay away from. Oh.. and she's a super easy keeper with "whimpy" hooves. I'll save the hoof issues for tomorrows blog post.