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Pony a bit listless -any ideas?

15 replies

seeker · 15/04/2011 08:52

Dd is worried that for the past couple of weeks her pony hasn't been as "up for it" as usual. She's perfectly well in herself - she just seems to have lost her fizz.

She's at working livery, but never does more than a couple of hours work a day - less during termtime. She lives out, but has 3 feeds a day - mix and chaff - because she's inclined to lose condition.

The yard owner suggested maybe giving her a bit of sugar beet or barley if she doesn't perk up - but we agreed to wait until we see how she reacts to the new grass.

The changes does seem to coincide with the grass coming through - but I would have thought that would have the opposite exxect, wouldn't it?

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seeker · 15/04/2011 13:01


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MitchiestInge · 15/04/2011 13:51

Hm, my horse gets really lazy at this time of year. Just got some oats and dropped one feed to see what happens. Barley is a bit heating isn't it, that was my plan B. Yours lives out too doesn't she? She sounds relaxed rather than listless, no signs of ill health?

CalamityKate · 15/04/2011 13:57

We had a pony at the riding school I worked at that went a bit sluggish. Didn't seem ill at all; just not quite as lively as usual, even when she was doing her favourite thing (cross country).

All was revealed when the yard girl whose turn it was to check/feed the horses on their day off came racing up to the house to inform us that said lazy pony had suddenly acquired a foal Shock

seeker · 15/04/2011 14:18

Oh a foal would be wonderful! Sadly no stallions about.

No, she seems perfectly fine, not ill at all, good appetite, friendly as ever.Just - well - i suppose a much easier ride than usual! Dd had to carry a stick last night and she never does usually. ANd she only jumped the bare mionimum to get over the fences, rather than pretending she was in a jump off over 3ft3!

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CalamityKate · 15/04/2011 14:22

How long have you had her? Hmm

(Still working on the "secretly in foal" theory)

seeker · 15/04/2011 14:48

Sorry -over a year now Sad

She would have such pretty foals too!

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CalamityKate · 15/04/2011 16:34

Shame :(

MitchiestInge · 15/04/2011 20:55

I think she's just chilled out, she's been out all winter and now it's sunny and there's lots of lovely grass! maybe you need to do different things to wake her up when working her in - more transitions, double transitions, poles etc? And something like competition cubes or similar type balancer?

Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 16/04/2011 20:45

I'd be very wary of feeding more hard feed, you could send her the other way feeding oats or barley, and there's always the risk of laminitis when you add the extra feed to the spring grass. You really need to make sure that she is just not under the weather or ill, extra feed may just mask the problem. She could just be full of grass and sluggish. I'd probably try a course of something like Restore from Global Herbs to give her system a flush out and a boost and some extra multivits to start, and check her vitals. Could it be that she has been doing lots of the same things recently and has just become a bit jaded? Could she have some time off from the school and maybe have a holiday somewhere for a week or two? A change is as good as a rest and all that!

Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 17/04/2011 21:26

Ive been speaking to my horsey guru about your pony. She said first and foremost, does it have laminitis? Apparently, a willing pony, with laminitis in all four feet, or both front or back will not necessary seem badly lame. In all four feet, it might not feel lame at all. And, that she would not be feeding any pony anything extra at this time of year. Another suggestion is that she is just bored. We know from experience, (often rehome school ponies) that they just get really fed up of lessons. School ponies seem to have a definite shelf life!
Other than that she just said, dont forget, she will be moulting. Her system will be putting a lot into shedding her old coat and growing her new. She may just be a bit run down.

Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 17/04/2011 21:28

Just realised, my horsey guru said everything I already did! Confused

MitchiestInge · 18/04/2011 11:22

My 'pump it full of oats' approach is not good? :)

I do think boredom must be a factor, horse was quite whizzy yesterday because we went somewhere we hadn't been for ages and there were 'new' things to jump. He was also showing off in front of his new friend the dartmoor, who is a pocket rocket.

Might she be more motivated if you school her somewhere else, maybe when hacking instead of in actual school? Or try completely new things in the school? Surely one or to halt to canter and back again transitions would wake her up?

MitchiestInge · 18/04/2011 11:22

One or TWO

autocorrect WHY

Butkin · 18/04/2011 15:15

Our ponies can get like this when it gets warmer. They are much more keen when they have a cold breeze up their tails. Also we've not put ours the spring grass yet - they are just on their old Winter paddock which is now pretty bare.

Perhaps take your pony out in the cool of the evening and do different, fun things with her. Perhaps take her on a hack she's not been on for a while or take her to a show this Easter to give her something to think about.

seeker · 18/04/2011 23:19

Thank you all. I'm pretty sure she's not got laminitis or anything like that - she's not got any other symptoms and we do watch her like a hawk. She might be bored in the school, but she has an interesting life for a working pony because she's not an easy ride and can do lots of stuff, so the more experienced lighter riders fight over her!

She's going to a show the weekend after next and she LOVES shows. If she doesn't seem perkier then we might get the vet in.

She is moulting like a good 'un - hadn't thought of that.

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