Skinny pony.

(76 Posts)
MissBrown Thu 31-Jan-13 19:11:59

Hi all. Looking for a bit of advice. I have 2.5 yr old section B gelding who lives out. He has lost a bit of condition over the last couples of weeks, and I want to get his weight back up. He has been having approx 1kilo of nuts and a large handful of chaff every night and adlib haylage in his field.

However I have just changed his food to include barley rings but he won't eat them, he just sucks all the chaff off and spits them out! Cheeky monkey!

He was wormed a couple of months ago but I'm not sure what with as my friend did it with a bulk buy wormer she has.

I will be worming him tomorrow with a brand the saddler has recommended.

Any ideas to get my little man a little bit bigger!

Fredstheteds Thu 31-Jan-13 20:15:26

Be careful, with a native I would worry about lami. Up hay or hayledge and worm test so you know what to treat. The grass will come through and that will help but again careful. Why not try a balancer? Top Spec or blue chip. I feed Feedmark balancer. I would use some youngster mix/ cubes.

MissBrown Thu 31-Jan-13 20:28:17

Thanks for your reply Fredstheteds. My pony is called Ffredi! He has hayledge adlib in a feeder in the field so can't change that, but I will try a different feed. I've lots of good things about balancers so will try that along with some youngster mix. Can I get a worm tester from my local tack shop or is it an online thing? I am back to horses after a 8 yr break so lots of info forgotten! Ps. I've only had him for about 3 months. I 'ended up' with him after a friend picked him for £50 from the local sales as a present for my daughter! We love him though so he is not going anywhere.

My welshie drops weight at the drop of a hat. Worm counts need to be done by a vet or specialist company. They cost about £6 from our vets. Just drop off a few lumps of fresh poop & they give you a worm count. Do you know his worming history?

I feed happy hoof with a bit of sugar beet when its cold. Be very careful with this wet/ sunny weather the grass is coming through very rich already.

Is he rugged? I keep my girly wrapped up warm, helps keep condition on her.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 08:49:46

I will try to get the worm count sorted but he lives out so will need to follow him round with a bucket and wait till he goes!!

He was bred by a show breeder who had him till october and sent him to the sales because he didn't make the grade. I don't know his worming history as he came from a sales.

He is well rugged, he wears 2 high neck m/w turnout rugs when its really cold and 1 when it is warmer. He is always warm when I check.

I have only been at this field for a few months but the other owners there tell me that the grass is very good when it comes through.

Hopefully he'll pick up as soon as the grass comes.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 09:12:53

I wouldn't do anything! and my welshies live out wih no rugs or feed the grass is growing right now, and in a few weeks it will go mad. Going into spring with room for the spring grass is EXACTLY what a native needs, and it is quite natural and normal. If he's a youngster he is probably having a growth spurt.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 09:56:26

That really helps Saggy. I am just worrying as the other horses at the stables (natives) are all doing really well living out and have hardly dropped any weight, but they were carrying a lot of weight going into winter and Ffred wasn't. I hope he will grow upwards as well as outwards- he is still a teeny weeny! Won't be bi enough for my 7 yr as this rate!!

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 10:13:12

He will be fine! I've got a 2yo (may officially) who sounds exactly the same. He had a bad year last year anyway, had an abscess on his jaw which we didn't find for months, was a right poorly state for a while, he came back round, but he's not as fat as his mate this winter, or his older companions. Im not too worried though, hes still by no means skin and bone! Mine get nothing but grass, arent rugged and live out 24/7, are still chubby, and 2 of them are pregnant. Grass grows when temperatures hit around 4 degrees, so they are getting more than we think right now, especially as there's plenty of moisture about!
And don't be put off by his size. My mate has the weediest sec B going and hell still carry 8 stone!

Millie2013 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:05:33

Tbh, a wouldn't worry too much, if you have eliminated anything wormy, or otherwise obvious, as others have said, he will likely pick up coming into the spring and is probably going through a growth spurt. Mine looked awful coming out of the winter as a 2yo- gangly and lanky, but she soon picked up.

That said, there are chaff and nuts and "chaff and nuts", so maybe check out the formulations. I have had good success feeding my 30 native The Pure Feed Company "pure condition" which is a complete feed, with hefty amounts of speedibeet and supplemented with Simple Systems ready linseed for some extra calories

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 21:13:21

Hi everyone. Thanks for your replies. I took poor Ffredi's rug off tonight and he is a real poor sight. Ribs aren't visible but are easily felt. His long coat is flattened in all directions and he has been rubbing his neck on something. He has hair missing on either side of his neck. He is also very scurfy.

On the upside, he has been wormed now, and is very perky. He always comes to call and jogged from the field to where his feed was. He ate all his barley rings (soaked to a mass and with a bit of molasses) and was generally very bright.

I think I will try a balancer for him, does anyone have any suggestions as to something that will help with his condition and his coat?

elastamum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:18:29

Try not to panic. If you cant see his ribs then he really isnt that thin. 2yr olds should be lanky rather than fat. If he was well covered now I would be seriously worried about excess weight gain and laminitis once the grass come through. Most native ponies are far too fat.

elastamum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:21:25

Also, feed lots of low carb fibre food rather than any high calorie conditioning stuff, which is totally unsuitable for a native

elastamum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:23:45

I have a large hanovarian who lives on hay (lots) pasture mix and hifi lite. All year round. Most people feed far too many carbs and too little fibre. Horses should have to eat 16 hours out of 24 to get their calories.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 21:32:50

Thanks again for your replies. I totally agree on the idea of feeding lots of fibre. I just panicked when I realised how poor he looked. I don't want him fat but I do want him healthy. Luckily my job as a teacher allows me lots of holidays so I can spend plenty of time with him soon. We are hoping to start breaking him in the summer (when he turns 3) so want him in ship shape buy then. He really is lovely, I am very lucky to have him! Ps he does belong to my daughter but with any young child it always ends up with mum doing the work, doesn't it?!

How often do you Remove his rugs ? He should have the,m removed daily to check him over and be groomed regularly. Sounds like you haven't seen him unruffled for a while to have sounded so surprised ?

He also shouldn't be scurfy. Why don't you know what he was wormed with ? Please get a worm count done and worm accordingly, it is so important

I wouldn't try to feed him up too much now as we are hurtling towards grass growing weather and native + grass+ feed = laminitis and obesity

However, for next year start feeding early ( October ish ) something high fibre / low starch and sugar. Fast fibre by allen and page is perfect. You can add a balancer to this to ensure a good range of vits and mins. You can also add a low sugar/ molasses free chaff to bulk it out. Be careful with the haylage, hay would be better to keep the sugar content of his diet down

Forgive me for saying but you don't sound very experienced - is there someone around you to off advice ? If not please keep posting here with any problems and we can help you x

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 21:38:28

Not wearing a rug would probably help! The flat coat, rubbed patches and scurf will all be down to it. He will also look skinnier because his coat isn't fluffed.
As a welsh, if you don't rug him next winter, he will grow fur so thick he will look like a fuzzy felt!
I'd try a rug bib for a start, then maybe try a rug change? I like rhino pony Wugs, they come with a half neck which floats nicely round the shoulders. If you can't see his ribs I wouldn't panic. Have a look at fat scoring, and reassess.
Fwiw, I don't like high neck rugs, they prevent the horses grooming each other socially, not good for herd interaction.
1kilo of nuts, chaff and barley loops is a huge amount of food for a small pony. Our 18hh warmblood isn't fed that! It's possible that in such an amount, the food is being pushed though his stomach too quickly and isn't being digested properly. Haylage gives all of ours the shits, so probably doesn't do anything to slow digestion either.
We use Biocare from Falcon if someone needs feeding, it's got the highest oil content we could find, is great for condition, and you need very little. Big horse gets 1/2 a scoop a day with a bit of chaff, and is gaining weight slowly but surely.
Also, don't forget, condition is also more about muscle than fat. All of mine lose top line in the winter. As natives, they tend to go into what we call 'stasis'. They spend a lot of the day bum to the weather dozing eat in bursts, then doze again. If they don't use muscle it shrinks.
I really wouldn't panic. The last thing you want to do is over feed a native.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 21:39:33

Can you post a picture of him without his rugs on please?

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 22:20:20

Just noticed my typo- by not buy! And I teach language and grammar!! God help us!

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 22:52:05

Korma. As I said in an earlier post I have had 8 yrs out, but previously owned horses including an elderly ex-riding pony, an enormous youngster and a welsh B just like little Ffredi. I would say I have forgotten a lot and that is why I am coming across as inexperienced.

I don't know what he was wormed with before because he came from the sales with very little info and my friend (who owns 9 horses) offered to worm him for me and I didn't make a note of what she did it with. Now ex-friend so not much chance of knowing now!

He can only have haylage as he shares a field with four others and the haylage is in the field for them. No stable so can't bring him in.

I take his rug off at the weekends and give him a groom so I have noticed he had lost condition, but I will try and do it every day now. He was scurfy when I first had him but seems awful at the moment.

How do you post a pic? I took some today so I could compare as the weeks went by.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 22:56:31

Go to your profile page, it's under 'my mumsnet' and you can add a photo. I find it easier to move the photo onto your desktop so that you can find the file when it asks for the location.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 23:06:24

Thank Saggy. I have posted a pic. Looking at it, what sticks out to me is his neck, it's thin. I'll try and get a pic from when we had him.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 23:12:56

You need to make your profile public.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 23:14:11

I'm getting good at this! Just put an earlier pic on. The one in the stable is from october.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 23:17:30

Try that.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 23:28:59

Right. I'm not happy with those pictures. His belly looks larger in the skinny pic than in the other. He also looks all kind of scrunched up. He definitely has less neck, but I wouldn't put it past a show producer to 'improve' a neck with some unpleasant methods, which would wear off given time.
Tbh, it's not a great picture, but going on it, I'd say he really doesn't look like a happy pony. I think I'd be getting him vet checked if he was mine. Hope I'm not being to over dramatic, don mean to scare you, just saying what I see. Xx

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 23:35:02

I wouldn't say he was an unhappy pony, he is very friendly and interested in everything around him. He is extremely sociable with other horses at the field and comes to call every time.

I do, however, think I will give the vet a ring and see what they say.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 23:52:39

I don't mean mentally. Just his all round appearance. I know he's standing differently, but he's much longer in the second shot, and his back end just doesn't look right, IYSWIM. He reminds me of my wee chap when he had his abscess. Something underlying going on...

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 23:53:01

Sorry, much longer in the first shot.

MissBrown Sat 02-Feb-13 08:16:10

Tbh, I thought his back end looked a bit odd in the picture but it may be the camera angle. I'll put another one of him walking in a straight line. Thank you for taking the time to look at these for me.

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sat 02-Feb-13 09:02:00

Just a thought but with the patches of scurf is there any chance he could have lice? It might sound bizarre but lice can really thrive during winter, especially under warm rugs. Lice also seem to attack an animal who can be run down for some reason, so if wormy, he might be a target for them. If I were you I would organise a worm count straight away but I would also call a vet out to him. You might want to get a general blood test done to check all is ok and you can get an injection to treat both worms and lice, if the vet deems it ok. I looked after a pony who came to me in a similar condition you describe. It took a while but we managed to turn her round completely. Best of luck x

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sat 02-Feb-13 09:18:33

He still looks scrunched up. Look at where his tail begins, it's halfway down his bottom. His neck and bum are thin, but his tum is still big. I'd expect his middle to look like a greyhound to match his front and back. I agree that for a start you definitely need to look for lice. Looc in his forelock and down his neck. Your basically looking for headlice. I'd still have the vet though.

MissBrown Sat 02-Feb-13 09:34:26

Thanks for all your replies. I'm going down there soon so I'll check for lice. I've made sure his insurance is all up to date so I can cover all eventualities.

He had always been scurfy so fingers crossed it is nothing too sinister. Wouldn't lice cause more symptoms that scurf though? I have never seen him scratching and stamping his feet which I know can be a problem in horses with lots of feather.

Again, thanks for everyone's input, I really appreciate it.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sat 02-Feb-13 09:42:22

The youngster we bought had them chronically. She was unhandleable. Didn't scratch much though.

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sat 02-Feb-13 17:07:12

No lice don't necessarily create more symptoms than what you described. Your description of how some of his mane has come out and the patches of scurf sound highly typical to me. It can also be extremely difficult to see lice too. My vet told me that whenever he sees scurf he usually considers lice. As well as checking the forelock and mane they also run along the spine, so if you part the hair on the withers and a bit further down along the spine and sit and wait for a while you might well see some running about.

Because it sounds like he's rather run down the lice might just be part of the whole package - just like with the girl I inherited. At this stage I'd nearly bet my bottom dollar he has them, so you could do a pre-emptive strike on those with some louse powder all through the mane, down the withers and along the spine. Wear gloves and really work the powder in by pulling the hair back and using your gloved fingers.

At this stage I really, really would recommend a vet call-out because he doesn't sound right at all. Yes two year olds can look a bit gawky and he might not have wintered well, but there's no way I would consider starting to back him etc if he's not 100% sound. Sorry I cant see your photos on the mobile app but, if Saggy saw them and thought he didn't look right in the photos, I would get the vet in.

Hope he was ok when you saw him today.

Good luck x

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sat 02-Feb-13 17:20:28

Sorry I'm back again as I managed to log on through the website and look at your pictures. Is the very first photo (where he is being led) the most recent? If so, I definitely think you should call the vet. From the slightly blurred photo I would still be sure that there are worms and the coat looks very dull and patchy and so I would suspect lice.

Did you have a look under his tail around his anus? Sometimes you can see evidence of worms (the worm itself or a crusty looking area around the anus). Has he rubbed out any tail hair or rubbed any patches around his bottom?

Not all worms can be found by doing an egg count, so you might want to presume he has something like pinworms, but still do the egg count just in case. Your vet can advise you on appropriate treatment.

If you would like any more info please don't hesitate to ask. X

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sat 02-Feb-13 17:51:24

The vet should be able to sell you something called SWITCH. It's a sweet itch treatment, but works fabulously for lice and is a spot on, so no inhaling powder and getting covered in it. I've found in the last few years that louse powder isn't that good anymore.
Hope it all goes well with the vet, good luck.

fortyplus Sat 02-Feb-13 17:59:07

I'm surprised no one so far has said get his teeth checked smile
Scurf does sound as thoug hlice is a possibility but they won't in themselves cause weight loss - they are usually an indication of a poor, unwell animal.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sat 02-Feb-13 18:06:48

I didn't automatically think teeth, because his belly is out of proportion with his neck and arse, and hes all hunched up, which makes me think its something going on inside, not that he's just generally thin.

Pixel Sat 02-Feb-13 18:32:47

If you are treating for lice, don't forget to do the rug as well wink.

MissBrown Sat 02-Feb-13 20:49:29

Hi all. Update on Ffred. I first went to the stable this morning and as usual he came straight to me. He munched through a small feed while I took his rug off gave him a brush. I had a good look for lice but couldn't see anything. I will still treat though. Turned him out and he went straight back to his pals.

I then rang the vet and he advised me to treat him for lice. I told him that I thought he was wormy and had been wormed yesterday. Spoke of lost condition etc. He advised me to keep an eye on him for a couple of days and see if he perks up, if not he will come and do blood tests etc.

I went back this evening and he was playing games with me in the field, chasing me and then stopping, like trying to play tag. I then spotted him poo so I picked it up with a poo bag and had a good look. I could see some tiny redworms in it and I think some very tiny white worms. So definitely worms!!! I brought him in and he ate another small feed.

His coat looked much better after not having a rug on all day and he seemed really content. I am going to watch him carefully over the next couple of days (well, forever now!) and if no signs of improvement I will call the vet again.

His teeth were recently seen and no problems were present so not worried about that.

Thanks for everyone's replies, it is really helpful to know that there are people willing to give up their time to offer a complete stranger advice.

Miss Brown and Ffredi.

fortyplus Sat 02-Feb-13 21:50:48

Gosh if there are visible worms that's an extreme infestation. Hopefully the reason you're seeing them now is because of the recent dose of wormer.

Do please get his teeth checked next time the vet is out - even young ponies can get very sharp edges on their teeth that will restrict the amount of food they eat and how efficiently they chew it. smile

MissBrown Sat 02-Feb-13 22:01:06

His teeth were checked by the vet in November. He has no problem eating. I stand and watch him every day. He has a great appetite and really enjoys his feeds. I used a good wormer and have a programme set up to avoid this happening in the future.

Thanks again for everyone's replies.

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sun 03-Feb-13 00:25:06

I'm glad to hear you're getting to the root of the problem. If you google pinworms do they look a bit like the white worms you saw in his dung?

There was a widespread problem with Pinworms in the last year and a lot of horses were getting them. If you have a quick read on Google you will see it's because you can't detect them on ordinary egg counts (they lay their eggs outside around the anus) and they are very hard to kill with just one dose of wormer.

The reason I'm asking you this is because everything you mention about your boy and the picture I saw reminded me of the mare I looked after last year. It took me a long time to clear them and you need very specific wormers (normally a Pyratape type). The best course of action is to treat with an enema as well as an oral or injected dose so you kill the worms near the anus. I also had to smear some wormer around her anus too to kill the eggs.

I can't emphasise highly enough that you need to be very specific about what the worms are and how you treat them.

If you need any help or advice about pinworms then I will gladly help, but I really think he needs a vet visit too. It does sound like he is quite badly infested.

Ummmm.... stupid question.but we always keep ours in 24 hours after worming. I know not everyone does this but if.you're looking at pin worm you need to worm the whole herd....

MissBrown Sun 03-Feb-13 12:27:04

Unfortunately we have no stables available to bring him in. Everyone at the field is worming together.

I have checked his tail and anus and all seems fine. He is not rubbing or scratching at all. Obviously I realise that this does not mean he is clear for pinworms. I am going to worm for tapeworm as well and treat his programme like he is a new horse.

He looked much better today already. His coat was shinier and he already looks less 'wormy' if that makes sense.

I will definitely call the vet if he doesn't improve more. I am keeping a photo diary so I will be able to see if he is improving.

Thanks again for everyone's advice.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sun 03-Feb-13 19:23:58

Something else to consider, which my friend pointed out, is that this wee pony has been lugging around 2 high neck rugs for weeks! this is a lot for a little chap. Now the weather is better, downgrade to 1, and change to a normal or half neck if you have one. On good days, let him go rugless. An unridden native really doesnt need to be rugged. They grow perfectly adequate coats. Next year, Id think very seriously about just letting him go naked.

MissBrown Sun 03-Feb-13 19:52:51

Thanks Saggy, I did think that myself. He only had 2 when it was really cold but only has one now. I have tucked the neck in and took it off both days this weekend. I can't do this in the week as can only get there in the evenings on work days.

However his coat has improved enormously since removing his rugs! The scurf has reduced an awful lot and there is shine to him. I may consider naked next year! Thank you for following this thread. You have given some great advice.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sun 03-Feb-13 19:54:11

Seriously, he will grow a coat like a polar bear if you leave him!

MissBrown Sun 03-Feb-13 21:15:26

I did leave for a quite a while without to let him get a thick coat- it is already about 2inches so would be quite a sight with it even thicker. Thinking about it, the scurf could be due to being too warm.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sun 03-Feb-13 21:43:44

The thing about a thick coat is that it needs freedom to puff up to keep them warm. It acts like a duvet. It's the air trapped in it that warms up. Putting a rug on just flattens it.

Eve Sun 03-Feb-13 21:51:42

When you say start breaking him in this summer... at 3? Are you planning on riding him this summer?

MissBrown Sun 03-Feb-13 22:08:56

Not riding, I mean mouthing and bit of long reining. There are a lot of arguements about what age to break. A lot of people back at 3 where we are. Some people wait, it depends very much on the horse I think.

horseylady Mon 04-Feb-13 17:47:58

If he's skinny etc. Wait see how he matures.

My tb only wears one mw rug and she's fully clipped!! I don't think people realise how dangerous over rugging a horse can be sad a baby I wouldn't rug at all!! As saggy said remove it.

MissBrown Mon 04-Feb-13 19:09:11

I will see how he gets on next year before I let him no naked. It would be a bit of a shock if I take it off now! As soon as he has more weight on and the weather warms up, it's coming off. There is not a lot of shelter in out field so may just stick to a no fill to keep the wind and rain off him. He is looking much better already from just having one rug rather than two. I think sometimes I make the mistake of thinking that if I'm cold then he must be cold. I am learning some big lessons in a short time. I thought the horsey game would be just like riding a bike, that you could just get back on- alas it's not that easy.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Mon 04-Feb-13 19:45:04

Feel his ears, and the naked patch up his gusset. If he is warm there, he is warm everywhere!

horseylady Mon 04-Feb-13 20:00:57

What saggy says!! They shouldn't necessarily be warm to touch on their neck etc. Ears are a good indicator as is the gusset. Horses are made up differently to us !! Same as dogs. They have a coat to keep them warm and all mine are rugless unless clipped and in work!!

MissBrown Mon 04-Feb-13 20:04:40

Gusset! Haha made me giggle! Makes me think of Victoria wood! I'll do that tomorrow when I see him. I hope he won't mind me feeling his gusset! He loves a fuss so he will probably love it. He really enjoyed me moving his tail about to have a look at his bum (for pinworms)! Thank you.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Mon 04-Feb-13 20:29:02

Mine are never warm on the outside. Their coats are so good they are totally insulated. A week or two ago, they were walking round with a full thatch of unmelted snow. Icicles are often a fixture. Natives have fantastic coats. My shetlands have double coats, waterproof outer and thermal inner.

MissBrown Mon 04-Feb-13 21:13:45

As much as I love his woolly coat, I can't wait till spring- I have never seen him without a coat! He was quite fluffy when we had him and just got more so as the weeks have gone on. I bet he will look like a different pony. Of course my other horses had winter coats but they were an elderly (?) tb x and a warmblood, and stabled so didn't get very woolly. I didn't have my 1st section B long enough as she was a short loan. I will post updates as he gets more condition.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Mon 04-Feb-13 22:12:47

I love summer coats! My welshies go from polar bears to Pegasus!

In the really heavy snow a couple of years ago my Welshie spent several days with a roof of snow on his back - his insulation was so good it didn't melt! My TB goes out fully clipped with a m/w rug on if it's not windy/wet and a heavywieght otherwise and he's absolutely fine. My vet has always advised me to under rather than over rug - they can move about to get warm, they can't do much to cool off......

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Tue 05-Feb-13 10:02:59

The farm where I used to work had a retired TB. She never had a rug. She had a huge coat in winter! She lived with a welshie, I wonder if nobody told her ahe wasn't one too! grin

horseylady Tue 05-Feb-13 13:41:59

Saggy you should see my mares winter coat. Seriously the welshies unrugged put up less than she does!! And she starts growing it in august!!

funnycase Tue 05-Feb-13 15:23:06

I used fastfibre on my skinny veteran, wth a splash of veg oil . Within a fortnight he had really put on condition and had a very shiny coat smile

MissBrown Tue 05-Feb-13 18:19:19

Thanks funny, i have started putting oil in his feed so hopefully that will help his coat. I have just started the online nutrition course that someone put on here and printed out all the slides at work today. I'm hoping I will learn a lot from that.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Tue 05-Feb-13 19:55:57

I think you need to be very careful about feeding him now he's been wormed and deloused. Like a person, sudden weight gain is not good. You need slow and consistent. I wouldn't feed him anything too heating or high protein, apart from blowing his mind you'll shock his system. I'd feed him a reasonable amout of good sensible food, and just aim to fill him out a little. Another six weeks and the grass could well be growing like mad, and he will end up huge anyway. It's far better to keep him at a sensible weight with room for spring grass. Slow and steady is what you need. And remember good condition comes with muscle, not fat.

I would be really careful with feeding him too much and adding oils

A healthy welsh is really shouldn't need it. And definitely winter him out next year - 2 rugs is ridiculous and can be more harmful than good.

It's great that you are doing the nutrition course, will really help you feel more confident in sorting him out.

Go for high fibre, low sugar feeds, please don't be tempted to feed him up quickly, you will make him ill.

A good amount of fast fibre mixed with a bit of posture mix or something like baileys number 4 - lo calorie conditioning cubes

Plenty of good hay and turnout. A good groom every other day will do him the world of good too

Good luck x

Eve Wed 06-Feb-13 07:42:52

And are you still planning breaking him this summer, at 3?

He's no where near mature or old enough for that.

MissBrown Wed 06-Feb-13 20:02:31

Thank you for your kind words Karma. He is looking better everyday. His coat was shiny today when I took his rug off and his eyes are bright. The owner of the yard who sees him a lot more than me says that he is a lot more active in the field and seems much happier. I feel awful that he ended up in potentially very ill health because I was not vigilant enough with his worming routine. I have learnt some harsh lessons very quickly and will definitely not be making the same mistake again. I have bought some lo-cal condtitioning cubes for him and as he gains a little condition I will start to reduce his feed accordingly.
In terms of the rugs, I think the saying 'killing with kindness' is appropriate here. I have never kept a horse out at grass before and I used to wake in the night when it was raining and windy and think of him. He has one now and will be losing that as soon as possible.

Eve, in terms of breaking, as I said I am not breaking him in this summer just a bit of handling.

MissBrown Tue 23-Apr-13 22:15:15

Hi all. Want to update on how this skinny pony is getting on! He is excellent! A lovely shiny coat and a lot more condition. Lots of energy and a touch of attitude! I'll try and get a picture on my profile, can I do it from my phone? Thanks for everyone's advice!

Butkin Wed 24-Apr-13 10:43:55

Well done Miss Brown. Have you started doing anything with him yet? We don't like them to get too old without some sort of discipline or they can be very unruly to break and handle as 4yos.

TackedOff Wed 24-Apr-13 11:51:03

That's good to hear! Agree with Butkin about breaking at 3.

MissBrown Wed 24-Apr-13 22:08:23

Yes, we walk him every weekend in the woods wearing full tack. He picks his feet and stands to be groomed. He comes to call and loves to be around people. He has excellent manners being led, my 7 yr old daughter leads him around the yard like a puppy! He is a charming little pony and every one who meets him loves him! I'm very lucky to have him! grin

MissBrown Wed 24-Apr-13 22:28:39

Recent picture on profile if anyone wants to look! smile

Littlebigbum Thu 25-Apr-13 00:01:17

Whow so much better, he is going to be a cheeky one

MissBrown Fri 26-Apr-13 19:42:58

He already is! That's what makes him so great! Thank you!

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