Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

Latest posts by Talitha vanNiekerk (see all)

I have five beautiful horses, each with their own feeding requirements. The youngsters eat me out of house and home since they’re still growing, but the oldies are my main concern. When the weather turns bad, they quickly lose weight. With age, loss of teeth, and a general drop in health being against them, I must ensure that I feed them only the best at all times.

Are you in the same feeding boat as me? I’ve got the best horse feeds for older horses for your oldies, with unique features, a detailed overview, and my personal take on each. No more guesswork and expensive purchases that don’t work—just real quality and value for money, scoop by scoop, so your oldie can shine again.

horse feeding

Final Feeding: The Best Older Horse Feeds

Older horses need feeds that respect their unique health challenges, so before you purchase a “senior” feed, you should ask your vet why your older horse is losing weight. If they have organ damage, you need to be careful about feeding high protein or carb feeds, which can severely affect their liver.

Here are the best horse feeds for specific types of older horses based on their health requirements:

Type of Older Horse FeedFeed OptionBest Because
Best Overall Older Horse FeedSAFE ‘N EASY™ Senior Extruded FeedGreat comprehensive and balanced feed with little supplementation needed.
Best Horse Feed for Older Horses with Poor TeethPurina RepleniMash™ ProductExcellent for colicky older horses and provides hours of munching fun when mixed with chopped hay.
Best High-Fiber Feed for Older HorsesTriple Crown Senior feedCan be fed as an exclusive ration to replace hay for horses that can’t chew hay
Best Processed Grain Feed for Older HorsesHygain Senior feedExcellent source of fiber with additional protein for maximum long-term weight gain.
Best Senior-Type Horse FeedNutrena SafeChoice Senior Horse FeedMakes a great mash for those horses with dental issues.
Best Mature Horse Feed BalancerEnrich Plus Senior Ration Balancing Horse FeedCan be fed as a topping to existing feed without adding calories.
Best Rapid Weight Gain Feed for Poorly Older HorsesRenew Gold Supplement for Senior HorsesHighest combination of protein and fat content.
Best Specialized Health Senior FeedEquine Senior Active Horse FeedGood protein-to-fat ratio with high-value proteins and minerals

What Are the Feeding Requirements for Older Horses?

When considering your older horse’s new feeds, you should know just what they need to eat to keep them in good condition. Iowa State University indicates that your older horse’s diet must address their health concerns and current weight score.

Older Horse TypeFeed Requirements
Healthy older horse with good body condition1.5-2% of their weight as daily supplemental feeding

4-7% fat

Restricted starch or sugars

Good quality grass and legume hay and forage

Thin older horse with poor body score1.5-2% of total body weight supplemental feeding made of grain-based feed with 12-14% protein content

4-7% fat

Good quality forage

Forage-based pellets can replace 10-50% of natural grazing

Older Horse Food Requirements and Tips

Older horses need more feed than younger horses. Follow these best tips when feeding your senior horse:

  • Inclement weather and exercise can also influence how much to feed an older horse. However, keep your feeding volumes under four pounds per meal rather than providing several meals per day.
  • Check that the feed has a healthy dose of protein (14%-16%) for meals and as much as 35% for balancing supplements.
  • Older horses should also be fed a fat intake of 6%-12% as part of their balanced meals.
  • Food should be high in fiber to provide sustained energy but avoid excessive carbohydrates and sugars.
  • Adding some water to the feed (even when not soaking) will help your horse chew it better and reduce the risk of choking.

Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses: My Selection Criteria

Not all horse feeds are the same, and I had to decide my selection criteria to ensure I only use the best and most nutritionally sufficient food for my older horses.

Here’s what I looked at:

  • Protein Content
  • Fat Content
  • Sugar Content
  • Fiber Content
  • Digestibility
  • Palatability
  • Ease of Chewing

Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

With many different feeds aimed at older horses, it’s not always easy to know what your older horse needs. Identify their weakness, such as not having teeth, struggling to graze, not keeping weight despite eating, and any other reasons for losing weight or struggling with their health.

Choose a feed that targets this particular aspect.

Top Tip: Don’t be scared of combining more than one feed. However, stick to the overall guide of 1.5-2% of body mass as daily feed intake to avoid colicking. Never feed more than 4.5 pounds in a single meal.

SAFE ‘N EASY™ Senior Extruded Feed

Best Overall Older Horse Feed

safe 'n easy™ senior extruded feed Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

For the best overall care for older horses, I prefer SAFE’ N EASY™ Senior Extruded Feed from Buckeye Nutrition. This comprehensive meal includes all the essentials to support my older horse’s digestive health.

It ticked all my boxes, and my oldies love the taste, wolfing down their food.


  • It’s a 14% protein meal (made of fiber energy, not carbs)
  • Wide fiber spectrum with wheat, soybean, rice bran, and flaxseed making up the roughage profile
  • It’s low in sugar and starch, helping to stave off laminitis
  • Includes prebiotics and probiotics to increase healthy gut absorption
  • Chew-friendly pellets for sensitive teeth
  • The texture is soak-friendly to make mash
  • Corn and molasses-free
  • It contains a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals
  • Can be fed with other feed supplements


  • Lower protein profile than other senior feeds
  • It can be quite pricey to feed

Why Do I Like It?

Fortunately, my oldies are both ponies, so I don’t have to feed buckets to keep them in good condition. Feeding this senior feed from Buckeye is relatively affordable for me.

My horses love the apple flavor, and I can even use it to hide medicines and tempt my youngsters when I run out of treats. My older girls gained and maintained weight on this great overall senior feed product.

Purina RepleniMash™ Product

Best Horse Feed for Older Horses with Poor Teeth

purina replenimash™ product Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

As horses age, their teeth wear down, and they struggle to chew effectively, reducing their ability to masticate their feed, leading to a dry gut.

Luckily, Purina RepleniMash™ offers an ideal solution with this high-fiber formulation that aids in gut hydration. This meal is formulated as a mash, which is dense in nutritional value and flavorsome, helping oldies eat up.


  • Ideal low protein feed for oldies with sensitive guts
  • Highly hydrating qualities when mashed
  • It contains a muesli or granola-type mix of bran, grains, and vegetables
  • Includes seaweed-based calcium for gut health
  • Extra beet pulp aids in moisture absorption for better gut hydration
  • Includes beneficial minerals and vitamins
  • Fairly affordably priced


  • It contains molasses, so take care not to overfeed
  • Best combined with a dense protein-rich meal

Why Do I Like It?

I like this mash’s flavor; it’s a great mash to feed and keep my oldies busy for a long while without worrying about them tying up or colicking. I like adding a handful of this mash to their meals as a boost with loads of water to soak and ensure my horses have correctly hydrated guts.

Triple Crown Senior Feed

Best High-Fiber Feed for Older Horses

triple crown senior feed Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

Triple Crown is a trusted brand in horse nutrition, and Triple Crown’s Senior Feed offers the benefit of their years of experience in equine nutrition. I love the feel and quality of their senior meal, which my horses absolutely loved.


  • This is a 14% protein meal
  • Included is 17% fiber, which equates to healthy digestive energy
  • The 10% fat helps with further nutritional energy
  • It doesn’t contain whole grains
  • Less starch and sugar for laminitic ponies
  • Pulp-based formula helps horses gain weight and ingest more water
  • Can be fed as an exclusive ration for horses that can’t chew hay
  • Contains gut-friendly probiotics and prebiotics


  • The ratio of omega 3 to 6 is not ideal, and some increased inflammation may occur
  • The meal ratio is relatively high, making it a pricey meal to feed according to feeding instructions

Why Do I Like It?

The overall texture of this mash-friendly meal is excellent, and it just feels quite filling when you mix it with your hands. My horses were initially skeptical, but they soon dove in and gobbled up the meals.

I like that this feed can be fed as an exclusive hay replacer for much older horses without teeth, so I have an avenue when my oldies get there.

Hygain Senior Feed

Best Processed Grain Feed for Older Horses

hygain senior feed Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

Micronized feed is the most easy to digest of all the feed types. This type of feed is ideal for an older horse to gain and maintain weight as there is less need to digest complex seed hulls to get to the protein of the grains. Hygain Senior feed is a very popular micronized feed for oldies.


  • This is a 15% protein feed
  • Soy-free and oat-free feed
  • Micronized for better digestion
  • Additional joint support
  • It contains prebiotics and probiotics
  • Reasonably affordable to feed


  • No omega contents
  • Limited fat content
  • Molasses can be a problem for laminitic ponies

Why Do I Like It?

An extruded feed or a feed that’s been micronized or heat-processed is beneficial for older horses, and this product by Hygain offers this value at a reasonable price. My horses like the taste of this feed, and while I chose not to continue feeding it since they are sugar-sensitive, I recommend it for excellent weight gain for poor-doer horses.

Did you know? When feed is micronized or extruded, it means the grains are exposed to heat, which reduces the harder-to-digest fibers and allows the horse’s digestion to process the actual nutritional gain of the grain.

Nutrena SafeChoice Senior Horse Feed

Best Senior-Type Horse Feed

nutrena safechoice senior horse feed Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

Since senior horses have compromised digestive systems, the Nutrena SafeChoice Senior Horse Feed offers better digestibility and improved health with its senior feed. Their feed is specially tailored for horses older than 15 years, making it ideal for those golden years when horses often suffer sudden and unexplained decline.


  • This is a 14% protein feed
  • Fiber digestibility is boosted by 15%
  • Balanced omega 3 and 6 profile
  • For horses that can’t eat hay or graze, it can become a solo food
  • Includes probiotics and prebiotics
  • Dense in vitamins and minerals
  • It contains 8% fat
  • Mix with water to make a mash


  • Feeding requirements are quite a large amount per day, making it costly
  • Lower fat content than other brands

Why Do I Like It?

I enjoyed the instant mash that you can mix with this feed, and in just three minutes, the pulp has soaked, giving you a nutritious meal for that oldie you want to spoil or maintain.

Enrich Plus Senior Ration Balancing Horse Feed

Best Mature Horse Feed Balancer

enrich plus senior ration balancing horse feed Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

Purina provides another great balancing meal for senior horses with their Enrich Plus Senior Ration Balancing Horse Feed. A balancing meal offers that extra support without unnecessary weight gain, which strains joints. This balancing meal helps aging easy-keepers make up for sudden weight loss from no longer grazing optimally.


  • This meal has a 32% protein content
  • Larger protein content makes for a more concentrated meal
  • Dense in amino acids for optimal regeneration and tissue health
  • Contains “outlast” supplemented probiotics and prebiotics
  • Better digestive health
  • Smaller feed quantities make feed last longer
  • Easy soak for horses with poor teeth


  • Horses not used to this protein percentage can easily ingest too much protein
  • Best for horses on a calorie-restricted diet

Why Do I Like It?

I like adding Enrich Plus as a topping on my existing feed, as a supplement to add extra protein without adding calories. My horses thrive on this combination, and I know they are getting a tremendous nutritional boost that is kind on the pocket.

Renew Gold Supplement for Senior Horses

Best Rapid Weight Gain Feed for Poorly Older Horses

renew gold supplement for senior horses Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

When horses are already at a poor weight, especially when their digestion is compromised, or their teeth have failed, a feed that offers concentrated weight gain is a blessing. Renew Gold Supplement for Senior Horses from ManaPro is an ideal supplemental feed to add to their existing rations or feed with a high-fiber feed.


  • Meal contains 17.5% protein
  • It contains 16.5% fat
  • Low in starch or carbohydrates
  • Includes joint support to manage inflammation
  • Dense complement of vitamins and minerals
  • Economical at feeding less than two pounds per day


  • It contains quite a lot of inactive ingredients, some of which are chemical

Why Do I Like It?

I really like the higher ratio of protein and fat, which creates a high source of digestible energy, and with controlled starch, I know my horses don’t get a “hot” high. The sugar content is also fairly low, which is another benefit.

Equine Senior Active Horse Feed

Best Specialized Health Senior Feed

equine senior active horse feed Best Horse Feeds for Older Horses

Older horses, whether they are active or lawn ornaments, require specialized nutrition, which is what Equine Senior Active Horse Feed provides. The feed has an optimal balance of protein to fat with high lysine, methionine, and threonine levels.


  • 14% protein
  • 10% fat
  • Dense lysine, methionine, and threonine content
  • 18% fiber for a rich digestive source of energy
  • Good balance of vitamins and minerals for digestive health and immune boost
  • Minimum feed rate is 0.3 pounds per 100 pounds body weight, equivalent to 2.75 pounds per day


  • It can become costly for large horses that no longer eat a full hay ration

Why Do I Like It?

I like the non-heating result of this feed, and my oldies continue enjoying an active lifestyle on this feed. Combining lysine, methionine, and threonine contributes to healthier immunity and overall condition.


Question: What is the best way to put weight on an old horse?

Answer: Feeding an older horse is focused on moisture and bulk, so beet pulp and alfalfa cubes are ideal to mix daily for a mash to feed. Avoid feeding molasses, which is a culprit in disrupting horses’s blood sugar levels and increases fat burn (aka weightloss).

Question: What supplements do older horses need?

Answer: Feed older horses a supplement with linseed oil and fat-based feeds that are energy-rich without being heated. Increase their omega-3 uptake to counter inflammation and boost overall health.

Question: Do senior horses need more protein or fat?

Answer: While protein helps boost weight gain, and older horses require 14-16% protein meals, they also need a diet rich in fats. Avoid overfeeding protein, as this can damage the liver and kidneys.

Final Thoughts on Senior Horse Feeding

Feeding my senior horses is more an art than just a science. I know I must stay on top of their weight and immediately take action if they suddenly start losing weight. Knowing which feeds are best for seniors helps me make informed decisions, and I hope you can also offer your oldies the best possible nutrition now.

For more on caring for older horses, their unique needs, and what steps you can take to care for them, read my guide on the horse’s lifespan.

Read More: Horse Ownership Guide

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