Senior Feed for Horses

Let me start by mentioning I am not a feed expert, and I don’t sell the stuff.  I have been feeding my senior horses Purina Equine Senior feed for years.  I started feeding senior feed to my quarter horse Skittles before I moved to my horse farm, while I was still boarding him at MacNairs Country Acres.  Skittles was missing a couple of teeth, and would spit out little grass balls, but he managed to get enough forage that he kept weight on nicely.

When I got my thoroughbred Red, who was 18, I found he was not keeping the weight I wanted, so it was natural to put him on senior feed as well.  He is 23 now, and is living with me on my mini farm.  He  eats grass and hay, however to keep the weight on him I feed quite a bit of senior and he takes forever to eat it.  That was okay, as I could manage the time he spent in his stall and outside, and he could eat at his own pace.

My family decided it wanted to spend more time at the beach this year, so we found a barn down near Holden Beach, North Carolina, that would let us spend some time as a boarder.  They found Red’s leisurely eating habits did not work into the schedule, and they needed to feed him less or throw it away.  After a week and a half, it was apparent that that solution did not work, as Red began to lose weight.  The barn owner suggested I give Red a supplement for more calories.  That doesn’t suit me, due to extra expense, and I know Red will eat around supplements if he can do so.  Red does okay with the pelleted feed if he has time to eat it.

As a result, I began researching senior feeds.  The “beach” barn feeds Triple Crown (by Nutrena) feeds.  I have

Equine Senior Active

Equine Senior Active Healthy Edge

had good luck with Purina.   The feed stores near me stock Purina, I have a forty minute drive to get Triple Crown.  But here is what I learned.  People who feed Triple Crown swear by it.  Many people say their horses do better on it than with Purina.  However Purina also has a senior feed called Equine Senior Active Healthy Edge which is designed for horses who are still working and can still eat grass and hay.  When comparing analyses from bags of Triple Crown Senior with Purina’s Active Healthy Edge Senior, they are very similar.  I have just bought two bags of Purina Equine Senior Active, and I am in the process of converting Red from the original to the Active.

According to the feeding instructions, I should be able to feed half as much of the Active senior feed and provide better nutrition for what Red really needs.  I hope this works.  Red is a little picky about what he eats.  He likes Purina’s original senior feed, and he likes Triple Crown, too.  Maybe this Healthy Edge feed will suit his tastebuds…


About A Cain

I am originally from New York State and moved to Pennsylvania for college and graduate school. My husband and I later lived in California and West Virginia, and then we were transferred to North Carolina. I learned to ride as an adult, in North Carolina. I have two horses now: one wild-and-wooly teenager who is learning from me, and one former race horse that has turned into a school master for me. They are both pretty sensible and great on trails, so we go everywhere. They live with me on my own North Carolina mini farm. I love to sit on my deck in the evening and watch them graze.
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