Skip to main content

Horse Feed for Seniors

What is the best horse feed for seniors? Find out what ingredients set Nutrena® horse feed apart from other senior horse feed brands on the market and why we provide the best support for your older horse’s diet.

FAQs About Senior Horse Feed

If you’re a horse owner trying to find the best feed for your senior horse, it’s important to read these frequently asked questions about ingredients, diet requirements, and what is guaranteed on your feeding tag. In order to choose the best horse feed for older horses, you have to know what factors go into aging and how to compare different products on the market.

  • What are signs you have a senior horse?

    Are you questioning if your horse has reached that Senior stage in life? Generally, people often consider a “senior” horse older than 15-18 years of age. Some other tell-tale signs for older horses are how well they absorb nutrients, which directly affects the way the look, act, and feel. Some signs you have a senior horse include loss of topline muscle, diminished coat quality, difficulty maintaining weight on a normal diet, quidding or struggling to chew, reduced energy and stamina, graying muzzle, decreased muscle mass, and stiffness in their gate.

  • What should a senior horse feed diet include?

    When you are looking on your feed tag, some ingredients to check for in your senior horse feed are fat, omega fatty acids, amino acids, pre + pro +postbiotics, organic trace minerals, calcium, phosphorus, and fiber.

    Not only should senior horse feed have higher fat for extra calories with the benefit of Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids, but senior horse feed should also have higher quality protein (lysine, methionine, and other amino acids) for proper metabolism, muscle maintenance and hoof quality. For overall gut and immune health, your feed should also include pre + pro + postbiotics and calcite. Plus, organic trace minerals to more easily absorb traditional minerals. Look for levels of Calcium and Phosphorus to help maintain strong bones and soft, high fiber pellets that are easy to chew (especially in cases of dental loss).

  • Why are “complete feeds” a good diet option for senior horses?

    There are now a variety of Senior Horse Feeds available that can be fed as a complete diet. These feeds are designed with sufficient fiber to help maintain gut heath as well as providing the required energy, protein (amino acid balanced), minerals and vitamins for the balanced diet.  They will also normally contain added pre and probiotics to help maintain gut health.  For horses with extremely poor teeth, these feeds can be made into a mash as well to make consumption very easy.

  • How does Nutrena feed support senior horses differently than other feed brands?

    First, the Nutrena brand changed the feed industry over 20 years ago with the debut of the original SafeChoice® horse feed, the first-ever controlled starch horse feed to hit the market. Prior to the launch of the original SafeChoice feed, unknown starch and sugar content levels were the norm in the feed industry. While starch and sugar are effective and efficient calorie sources in horse feeds, excess intakes per meal, particularly for starch, can lead to problems in the horse. By “controlling” and setting maximums on the starch and sugar levels, our SafeChoice horse feed provided a new direction in the feed industry and helped reduce the prevalence of digestive concerns for a wide variety of horses.

    Throughout the years, Nutrena has continued to focus on digestive health by including ingredients such as Pre and Probiotics and organic trace mineral complexes to support a healthy gut.  Then in 2023, Nutrena relaunched SafeChoice formulas, being the first feed on the market to offer a complete Digestive Shield™ with Controlled Starch, Pre + Pro +Postbiotics and Calcite to help optimize the entire digestive tract.

Save with our See the Difference Trial

Recommended Products

  • ProForce


    14.0% Crude Protein
    17.0% Max Crude Fiber
    11.0% Crude Fat
    High fat, beet pulp based complete feed for the needs of active senior horses
    Learn more
  • SafeChoice


    14.0% Crude Protein
    16.0% Max Crude Fiber
    8.0% Crude Fat
    High fat and controlled starch formula designed for the unique needs of performance horses, hard keepers and older horses – now with Digestive Shield™
    Learn more
  • SafeChoice

    Senior Molasses Free

    14.0% Crude Protein
    16.0% Max Crude Fiber
    8.0% Crude Fat
    Specially designed, molasses-free formula with high fat, controlled starch, and key ingredients for older horses – now with Digestive Shield™
    Learn more

“We’ve been feeding SafeChoice Senior to our almost 31 yo quarter horse for the last 5-6 years to help maintain his weight and topline. It’s always met his nutritional and digestive needs. We whole heartedly believe SafeChoice Senior has given us many years to love our old man.”*

“This makes my heart happy. Harley is a 24 yo quarter horse who had two molars pulled and has not been able to eat hay. He started Nutrena ProForce Senior and not only started gaining weight back but also filling out his topline. This is his progress after 60 days.”

“It has been harder to keep muscle and weight on my 24 yo, so I changed his feed to something with more fat and amino acids. In just 30 days, I’m already seeing an improvement in his body condition – plus, his coat is looking so shiny and healthy!”*

Get a FREE Consultation

Fill out our Contact Us form for an equine nutrition expert to provide 1-on-1 recommendations for your feeding program.

Nutri-Bloom Technology icon

Nutri-Bloom Advantage®

Only from Nutrena

What if something in the feed formula could help a horse better digest the hay, pasture, and feed they eat? Nutri-Bloom Advantage, a proprietary digestive health blend built into SafeChoice® Feeds and ProForce® Senior, can help overcome some of these obstacles. By improving the horse’s digestive efficiency, more calories can be extracted from the less-than-ideal hay. In fact, in a research study, horses who consumed diets fortified with Nutri-Bloom Advantage® demonstrated up to 15% improvement in apparent fiber digestibility from their hay and feed concentrate rations.

Nutrena Horse Feed Trial - Digestive Tract
Digestive Shield icon

Digestive Shield™

Only from Nutrena

Digestive Shield is a new technology, exclusive to the Nutrena® brand, that supports gut health from end-to-end with a unique combination of controlled starch, calcite and pre + pro + postbiotics. Digestive Shield™ is one more way Nutrena® continues to work to promote the health and well-being of horses. Unlike some other horse feed, Nutrena SafeChoice guarantees pre + pro + postbiotics on our feed tags, so you can support your horse’s immune system and gut health, maintain microbiome and stomach pH, balance digestive system, digestive tract, overall health and performance.

Related Topics

  • When Is It Time for Senior Horse Feed?

    It is interesting to note that 30-35% of the current horse populations in the US are “Seniors”. Surveys show 54% of all horse owners own at least 1 “senior” horse. By age definition “senior” horse has been defined as 15+ years of age. Learn signs that it is time to switch to a senior horse feed.

    View Blog
  • From Sport to Senior: Your Horse’s Changing Nutritional Needs

    The nutritional needs of a horse’s feeding program will depend on the amount of activity, age, metabolism and quality and quantity of hay and pasture. Let’s go through two different stages and provide feeding recommendations for your aging equine athlete as they make the shift from sport to senior.

    View Blog
  • horse feed

    Fiber Sources for Senior Horses

    Senior horses often struggle with their teeth. Inspection by a veterinarian may confirm that the condition of the teeth requires an adjustment in fiber sources.

    View Blog
  • Warm Mashes for Senior Horses

    Senior feeds are high in fiber, as well as properly fortified with calcium and phosphorus. By simply soaking a serving of your horse’s senior feed with warm water for 5-8 minutes until it reaches a consistency, your horse will enjoy a nice warm mash.

    View Blog

*Review collected as part of incentivized campaign