The use of older horses for athletic and/or recreational activities is a common practice, with many animals still actively competing or working even at ages greater than 20 years old. Research involving human athletes shows an age-related reduction in the ability to perform strenuous exercise; however, limited data are available regarding the exercise capacity of aged horses. Advancements in medical care as well as our understanding of nutritional and activity requirements of geriatric horses have led to many horses living well into their 20s and even 30s. Thus, there is an increased demand for a more thorough knowledge of the effects of aging on exercise ability. This review discusses the effects of aging on major physiological systems and the resulting impact on athletic performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immune response
- Insulin-like growth factors