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Changing the routine of a new horse.

5 replies

frostyfingers · 22/02/2011 08:09

New horse will hopefully be arriving here next week but his routine is very different from what current horse has and I was wondering how much and how quickly I should change it.

Current horse is fed in the morning, which is 1 scoop oats and 1 scoop light mix, and then has hay in turnout yard (mainly to keep small pony on permanent diet company). He then goes out around 11 and is joined by small pony at about 6 in the evening, with access to hay for the horse only. I ride once or twice a week (weather, children and DH permitting).

The new horse is on a busy 11 horse yard, lives in apart from 3 hours daily turnout, plus about 1 hour on the walker. He's not been ridden much since November. He is on hay and 6lb oats daily (yes I know, far too much!) - I don't know whether he has other food with this yet.

Obviously I'm not going to change it overnight, but how quickly or slowly do you think I can move him over to our way of doing things?

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ManateeEquineOhara · 22/02/2011 22:00

I wouldn't change the diet at all for a while.

DHorse has recently moved yards and I thought that was enough change - I have made sure her routine stayed exactly the same until she has started to settle, now she is settled I would like to start changing it (more turnout, only now turnout is being restricted by the YO - sigh!).

So, I would suggest not to change anything until the horse has settled into the yard, I would change the routine of turnout to fit with yours and once that is established then look at making changes to feed that you want to make. I suppose in the case the settling into the yard and changing turnout depend a lot on how laid back the horse is, while changes to feed obviously should always be gradual. (Although OMG at 6lbs of oats a day, I can see why you would want to change that!).

MitchiestInge · 22/02/2011 22:53

who else is desperate to have a go on the 6lbs-of-oats-a-day beast?

frostyfingers · 23/02/2011 14:24

I was very taken aback at the amount of oats - fine he if was still being worked hard but I suppose with 10 other pointers on the yard it's easier to keep it all the same. I thought I'd give him a week on his old routine, and if all goes well then slowly reduce the oats and partly replace them with a mix, probably over another couple of weeks.

I'm hoping that the grass will start growing soon and he'll need less hard food!

Amazingly even on the whopping 6lbs oats, he was pretty amenable, even when it was blowing a gale and I took him out on his own. I've tried him 3 times now so think I've got a good feel for him, and with a less explosive diet I think he'll be much more settled.

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Pixel · 23/02/2011 15:33

If it was me I think I'd cut the oats right down while he was settling in and then see about gradually increasing them if he seemed to need them. Cutting the hard feed down won't do him any harm if he has plenty of forage but having him oated up and then getting less exercise than he's used to might (I should imagine that hour on the walker makes quite a difference although I've never used one).

frostyfingers · 24/02/2011 16:16

Passed vet today with flying colours - now for the money....

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