Trivia Challenge: Are You Savvy About Senior-Horse Health?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more fun and educational information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. Your 24-year-old horse is akin to a…

A) 72- to 96-year-old human.

B) 52- to 76-year-old human.

C) 32- to 56-year-old human.

2. True or false: Your horse’s immune system becomes less effective as he ages, making him more prone to infectious diseases and heavy parasite loads.

T / F

3. True or false: It’s estimated that as many as 15% of horses over the age of 20 have Cushing’s disease.

T / F

4. Most experts agree a horse can be considered geriatric when he reaches what age range?

A) 15 to 17

B) 16 to 18

C) 18 to 20

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. A is correct. Every year of a horse’s life translates into roughly 3 or 4 human years, so your 24-year-old is approximately equivalent to a 72- to 96-year-old human.

2. T is correct. Older horses have less-effective immune systems, which means they are more susceptible to illness and parasitism, plus slower to recover from both disease and injury.

3. F is correct. The actual estimate is 30%. Older horses are at a considerable increased risk of developing endocrine disorders, such as Cushing’s disease or insulin resistance.

4. C is correct. An 18- to 20-year-old horse is considered geriatric…but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s too old to be ridden or even competed. The answer to that is…it depends! (On what? See below.)

[TOO OLD? Find out if your horse is too senior for the type of riding you do with him.]

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