Veerle Vandendriessche, nutritionist and veterinarian
Horse name: Python
Age: 34 years old
Description: Python competed in show jumping until he was twenty. He even competed in ZZ jumping when he was younger, then later on at level B and L. He regularly went out for a ride once he turned twenty and we rode him in the paddock too, to keep his muscles nice and flexible. We stopped this after his 25th. Python is still a happy horse and loves wandering round the meadow all day long. We have noticed that he’s having an increasingly harder time with his roughage. He’s starting to make ‘clumps’ and isn’t really that interested in hard chunks anymore. His condition is poor and it’s quite difficult to keep him at a healthy weight. The coat change is taking much longer than before too.
It’s essential to provide 2% of the body weight in very short fibre roughage (< 1cm) when you notice a strong deterioration in the dental function as a result of the horse’s age. Put Python out to pasture as much as possible and also feed him Pavo FibreNuggets and Pavo SpeediBeet (or Pavo FibreBeet). This will allow you to meet his roughage needs. You can supplement this with the daily recommended amount of Pavo 18Plus. This will allow you to keep him at a healthy weight and he will get all the essential vitamins and minerals, as well as a sufficient amount of energy. If you choose to use Pavo FibreBeet as a source of beet pulp, you should never give more than 25% of the total amount of roughage per day. This will ensure the Calcium / Phosphor ratio (Ca/P) will stay balanced. Opting for FibreBeet should primarily be determined by the horse’s muscle mass. Is your dear old friend not doing too well in that department? Then make sure you also add extra proteins to the ration in addition to FibreBeet. Are you feeding Pavo 18Plus and have you noticed that Python still isn’t shedding very efficiently? Then give him a course of Pavo OmegaFit in the spring. Extra tip: horses of this age also often have significant wear and tear on the joints. As Python used to be a sport horse, it will be a good idea to support him in this area with Pavo Mobility.