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Feeding an elderly pony

(5 Posts)
frostyfingers Sun 09-Feb-14 15:34:31

Dpony who is around 20 has always been a good doer, his ability to get fat on thin air is unparalleled and I have to monitor his intake all year round. Over the last few weeks, because of dhorse's mud fever dpony has been on the yard with him and being fed hard feed & hay instead of being out at grass. Whilst out he was getting a double handful of Dodson & Horrell Safe & Sound just to keep him happy.

He is prone to colic now, and I was recommended the Safe & Sound (last year whilst he was in at night) as the fibre it contains keeps his tummy ticking over without adding to his waistline and although he's not especially fond of it, it has done him well. Dhorse also gets it and loves it.

My problem is that I have noticed in the time that he's been in that he seems to be struggling with the Safe & Sound - it takes him ages to eat, he picks out the nuts and leaves the chop - and with the hay. I have been adding water to his feed and soaking the hay but the problem is still there and he's lost a little weight. He had his teeth checked in November and although worn the bite is still good and they are generally in average condition for his age. I have been putting him out for a couple of hours daily, but cannot leave him out and dhorse in for any length of time as dhorse is incapable of being alone (loopy thoroughbred) and tries to jump out of his stable.

So, before I go to Countrywide for feed I thought I'd ask for suggestions as to what I could give him which has the same result as S&S but is easier for him to eat. The vet is due out this week to check dhorse's mud fever so I'll ask her to look in his mouth again, but any advice would be much appreciated.

curlew Sun 09-Feb-14 15:39:49

Dd's mare is 20ish (although neither she or we think of her as elderly!). She has speedybeet to keep her weight up over winter.

Pixel Sun 09-Feb-14 20:19:24

Sorry just a bit confused. You've said he's a good doer and also that he's lost a little weight. Are you looking for something to put the weight back on, or are you just after something easy to eat that will keep him happy but not put weight on?

frostyfingers Mon 10-Feb-14 08:25:21

Sorry - he has always been a good doer, however he seems to be having trouble eating and has therefore lost a bit of weight. So yes, you're right - something easy to eat but not fattening!

Floralnomad Mon 10-Feb-14 19:35:31

We had an elderly thoroughbred mare ( retired) who had an oesophageal stricture and teeth problems and she spent the last few years fed purely on high fibre nuts soaked to a puree so she could literally just swallow . She did very well on it .

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