Except that isn’t true.
“Neglected” Old horses are Skinny, but well cared for, healthy senior horses are not “skinny.”
Take Emi, for instance:
Emi is in his mid 20’s. The folks said he was skinny because he was so old. After 8 months of proper care, he is boarderline tubby.
Fresa, though not emaciated at intake, was thin. She was also in her mid 20s. After a few months, she was also a bit tubby.
Clover was 30 and skeletal at intake. The second photo was about 7 months later, and she continued to gain a bit more weight after her adoption.
Reece was 18 at intake, and in less than 6 months, he was almost portly rehabbed almost senior guy.
Dodger was an OTTB brought in very underweight, and in less than 5 months, he was entirely rehabbed. He was in his early 20’s
Alice was a 23 year old Standardbred at intake, and look at her a year later
We could go on and on with examples, but suffice to say the statement, “Old horses are skinny,” simply isn’t true.
I’m not going to tell you that documented medical conditions fail to exist causing a select few aged horses to struggle with weight. Certainly, at the very end of a horse’s life when letting him cross the rainbow bridge is just a step away, the bodies might truly be shutting down. . .
But generally, age and weight aren’t especially connected. Health and weight are, though. This is true in people and dogs and horses.
Illness and a small number of chronic health issues in horses young and old would be the only true reasons not related to neglect where horses will be truly thin. If not those cases, there is a vet record of treatment.
So when dealing with a senior horse, make sure teeth are being floated by a very good equine dentist 1-2 or more times a year. If needed, add sufficient senior feed and soaked forage (like alfalfa pellets or cubes) and chopped hay, to the diet.
Please share to help others dispel this horrible old horseman’s tale