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Feeding Advice would be gratefully received.

(26 Posts)
needastrongone Tue 24-May-16 18:17:52

Here's our Section B. 22 last week. We've had him since the end of August. So, he's a work in progress still.

When we got him he was overweight, cresty neck, fatty deposits on his flanks and unfit, couldn't do a flat work lesson without being lathered and panting.However, he is absolutely brilliant at our discipline (mounted games), brakes to die for and an absolute schoolmaster, so I was willing to take a shot on him.

We've gradually fittened him up, he's dropped weight etc. Been tested for Cushings and he's clear. He is sprightly, super speedy, lively, loves his work, particularly games (excitable and needs an experienced rider here) but happy doing flatwork and will pop a small course of jumps during a lesson (he was used for jumping in his previous life)

Food wise, two feeds a day. Calm and condition, build up cubes, chaff and tons of linseed oil. He came to us on molasses free food and it does fire him up somewhat, but not stupidly so. We've gradually introduced, no history of laminitis.

He's just dropped off maybe a tad much now, and is being asked to work harder than he has for years, from what I understand. Grass not fully through here. Pacey in a stable, lives out in the main. Ad lib hay available at all times, teeth etc all up to date.

Sorry, I'm in the phone so forgive grammar and typos but any advice the tweaking his grub would be welcome.

All Dodson and Horrell and loves his grub. Not sick or sorry, no stiffness whatsoever and blood lines suggest a long life, his age doesn't worry me.

smile

Florinda2016 Tue 24-May-16 18:38:02

He looks fabulous. You've done so well. I'd stick with the hay.

needastrongone Tue 24-May-16 22:50:42

Thank you. Pretty much everyone who has an opinion seems to consider that he needs more weight on. Particularly round his back end. I'm not sure it's not his age?

icclemunchy Tue 24-May-16 23:00:20

He looks fab. If you out more weight on him you'll be risking lami and joint probs. Ponies are much better kept slightly lean (presuming no health conditions!) and don't forget the grass is growing

Gabilan Wed 25-May-16 06:56:40

He looks fine. Walking up hills would build bum and topline but at 22 maybe not so much. I'd keep him like that - cresty neck can indicate lami, whatever previous owners say.

pouncehill Wed 25-May-16 07:17:57

For a section B at 22 I'd say he's looking fab!

needastrongone Wed 25-May-16 08:01:27

Thank you, this is really encouraging, given the observations I've been getting.

The cresty neck pretty much disappeared over the winter, what's left is soft and malleable. He's definitely not had lami in the last 4 years, from the knowledge I have of the pony. He was left in a field really in the home before this, as he's pretty sharp and will throw in an excitable buck, which isn't what you want in a childs pony, but perfect for games.

Gab, that's the thing, I'd like some topline, but not sure if this is realistic, given the muscle wastage and age.

Thank you smile

DraughtyWindow Wed 25-May-16 11:43:01

Call the feed helplines - Dodsell & Horrel. Fast Fibre is good (I didn't find Calm & Condition did much), you could try micronised linseed instead, or soaked oats are good. Is he on a feed balancer? But grass will help loads when it comes through :-) He's looking good!

DraughtyWindow Wed 25-May-16 11:45:10

Spring grass is deficient in magnesium too. Have a read on the Internet - interesting stuff.

hewl Wed 25-May-16 12:42:06

I would feed a good balancer alongside ad lib hay. Not sure if D and H do one but we feed top spec to all ours and they all look great at the moment.

Florinda2016 Wed 25-May-16 13:27:19

I feed top spec anti lami and also have Himalayan salt licks available too.

needastrongone Wed 25-May-16 17:07:44

Thanks guys. I've ended up talking to D&H, they were extremely helpful.

They have suggested making his diet more simple, moving him over to Alfafa based feed, and Staypower cubes, keeping the linseed oil as his coat/movements are clearly benefiting from it significantly.

Apparently a balancer wouldn't provide enough calories for him.

Certainly recommend calling a feed line again!

needastrongone Wed 25-May-16 19:20:47

ps - The nutritionist at D&H didn't feel he needed any extra weight either, so I suspect there are folk around these parts that like their ponies a touch chunkier than we do smile

Gabilan Wed 25-May-16 19:33:56

Imo a lot of leisure horses work very little and eat a lot. So people get used to slightly overweight animals. Good that d&h were helpful.

I know they said no to feed balancers but dhorse is on a top spec balancer and looking fab.

hewl Wed 25-May-16 19:47:14

All three of mine have just top spec balancer and hay /grass and look amazing. I don't believe in loads of hard feed unless they are in serious work. Micronised linseed if they need extra.

DraughtyWindow Wed 25-May-16 21:18:02

Yes, I've always fed a balancer, (Pink Powder or Top Spec Lite) regardless of how much hard feed I've given (but I've never fed what the bags recommend!). And I've always fed as if they are prone to laminitis (just in case!). Ended up on Fast Fibre as ponio won't eat HiFi at all. Although she will eat Happy Hoof. She's 13.2 (British Riding Pony) and varies between 296kg & 305kg over the year, so a bit of a lightweight according to the tables of average weights/heights. Feeding is an art as well as a science... I've found that no two ponies are really the same.

Gabilan Wed 25-May-16 21:37:25

I think "feed what you see" is one of the best guides. Fat-wise dhorse is currently fine. I'm building his topline by hill walkiing and he's able to do that with hay, grass and top spec. They're all different.

DraughtyWindow Thu 26-May-16 09:39:32

Definitely :-)

Rollingdinosaur Thu 26-May-16 09:53:23

He looks in good shape to me. Surely what his back end needs is to build muscle? That will happen naturally if you keep working him. He looks great for his age!

hewl Thu 26-May-16 09:58:44

I lunge my welsh x with an equi ami training aid.

I know you can't beat proper work, but it really has helped to muscle up his bum and seems to be helping him to work through really nicely.

frostyfingers Thu 26-May-16 11:46:35

There are far too many overweight horses and ponies out there, yours looks great ( and my favorite colour!) Have you got some hills around, they're the best for muscles. Also it may be worth asking an equine physio for some exercises - my last horse was given some after kissing spine surgery and I was amazed at how effective they were.

needastrongone Fri 27-May-16 09:19:21

I look a bit further into the balancer, I have never used one before.

We do have hills around here, in abundance, in fact DD had him out yesterday, and they did a hilly road route round a neighbouring village, road work is a 'once in a few months' occurrence here.

We will be kept in work now indefinitely really, weekends are full on as the team compete every weekend all over the country, we have a lesson weekly and a mid week training session. Plus the odd session like last night, or rally. Hopefully, this should help, the previous 5 or so years of his life will have been very different.

Thanks all, I feel reassured.

needastrongone Fri 27-May-16 09:21:48

We do have a back specialist around these parts, that had a look at him when we first got him, as he throws a few cheeky bucks when doing games (nowhere else). I'll consult again, thanks for the suggestion.

Brenna24 Fri 27-May-16 09:29:55

Pretty much the same as others from me. He looks pretty good to me, and quite a handsome chap. With my old mare, who was severely underweight when I got her and about 24 years old, I moved to haylage rather than hay over the winter to keep her condition up a bit and gave her Alpha-A Oil as the base for her feeds. Plus we did a lot of walk and trot on hills to muscle up her back end and give her some topline. Going up hills in walk and trot are better than cantering. I also put her feed and water at opposite ends of the field (which was luckily on a hill too).

Toomuch2young Fri 27-May-16 09:36:53

Looks good smile. Am another in massive support of feed balancer here. Mine glisten on top-spec even in their teens/ twenties, and are worked 5 times weekly.

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