I'm mostly interested in how her weight/over all condition looks right now. She's normally in a pretty decent amount of work but she twisted her fetlock joint goofing off in the pasture and is just getting back into work after a few weeks of stall rest. Therefore she has like NO muscle. She was looking a bit thin back about 2 months ago (no ribs showing, but just over all poor coat and a bit homely looking) so I switched her feeds to 2 small flakes of grass hay, 2 cups of RB twice a day, and a pound of alfalfa pellets, as well as 1/2 a cup of DuMor Ultra Shine for her coat.
You can try to do a conformation critique too, if you'd like- but I know the photos aren't great. I know her flaws (she has a lot of them xD) but if someone wanted to practice, by all means try it! She's a new five year old, just mediocre quality, but that's ok. She's not a show horse ;)
She was trying to steal my Gatorade bottle in the picture...little bugger.
It seems like she's always either a bit too thin or a bit too fat, theres no in between for her and its so frustrating! XD I'm prepared to take her off the alfalfa pellets if she gains more weight though, so hopefully this regiment will work. She'll start working harder come July or so anyways, which should help.
Haha, sorry Casey! I didn't think about that. She DOES have a pretty funky back that is really straight with a steep croup, but it isn't quite that bad. Lol!
I'm getting ready to have a chiropractor out for both her and Kenzie though, because she's acting like maybe something back there is misaligned (shorter steps in the back than the front) so I'm hoping that might help. Its always a battle with her conformation for us, keeping her comfortable while working. She foundered before I got her as well and I really don't want a relapse, so that paired with her conformation makes me want to be very conscientious with her weight. The closer she is to optimal weight, the better.
She does have some patchy looking skin from rubbing that's itching her a lot underneath her thick mane though, which is bothering me. She doesn't take heat too well so I think that she might be itchy from that. I thinned her mane yesterday and started doing a running braid for when she's turned out, so hopefully that helps keep her cooler. Poor gal got really itchy last year too and rubbed part of her mane off so I had to cut it. It just grew back out and I really would like to keep it long if possible!
She's a good looking little mare. It's difficult to keep miniatures at a good weight, they have the tendency to go over and get the chubby "pony" belly. But overall she looks great!
Has she ever been a broodmare?
She was unfortunately bred once last year, and foaled September 11th. Uncomplicated delivery, healthy foal, but I definitely would not have bred her had it been my choice (I bought her and the baby right after she foaled) given her conformational faults and...well...less than stellar personality XD I love her to death but she's quite the little alpha mare with enough 'tude for a mare 5x her size! LOL. Out of curiosity, why do you ask? Is there a defining part of her body that shows that she has foaled before!
This is her filly, if anyone is curious. She had some locking stifle issues for a short period but I talked to the man who bought her from me a month ago and he said that it has completely gone away with a careful diet and access to exercising herself whenever she wants to, so I'm hoping that was just a result of her growing so fast (supposedly she's already 30" tall and only 9 months old! Sour is only 34".). Otherwise I think she turned out pretty good considering her parents. And yes, if its not yet obvious...she's a mini mule ;) 4 months old in the photo, and mid- foal fuzzies on top of donkey fuzzies on top of winter fuzzies xD
Everyone always mistook her for a purebred donkey though, she looks nothing like mama except for maybe a more refined face than a donkey, and a full tail!
You're not kidding about how hard it is to keep them at the correct weight! She had the most horrifying hay belly for a while, no worms, but thankfully that was rectified with some daily probios. She's dry lotted 24/7 so that I can regulate how much fat and sugar she's taking in, and I try to make sure she gets decent hay but not super high quality, but her weight fluctuates like crazy even still. I'm just going to leave her feed as is right now though and hope that as her work load increases again, she slims down just a tad bit so that her weight is perfect.
Needless to say, I'm totally content with her as my cart pony and don't ever plan on breeding her again ;) sucklings are a pain.
I ask because I've raised and been around miniatures for the majority of my life. It's pretty typical for miniature mares to get a bit of a "pot-belly" after they've had foals. Normally it isn't seen until after a few foals, but every horse is different. To me she didn't really seem chubby, more like a broodmare. The difference is if a horse/miniature is chubby they show their weight outwards. Whereas with your little mare, her barrel is just lower. Which is a typical thing for mares who have been bred. It's kind of like people; they put on "baby weight."
I understand not wanting to breed her again. Some mares just aren't meant to be mothers. The diva attitude sure isn't suited for mommy-hood ;)
Her baby is adorable! I really want to breed one of my mini mares to get a mini mule! :)
We mainly pasture our minis. They rarely get grain except for maybe a treat here and there or if someone is a pain to catch. They tend to keep a pretty neutral weight. Miniatures are notorious for weight issues because people have them mainly as pets (not saying there's anything wrong with that, it's a good life for a mini :)) and they feed them treats galore. When they're fed like that and don't get proper exercise they tend to put weight on quickly.
All that being said, I think your little mare looks to be a good, healthy weight and she's got a lovely face!
**Sorry for the double post, I left the thread and then a little later thought to add this**
Also, if she's a shorter mare they tend to have a bit more of the belly issue than a larger mare would. Say if she was grade A (34" and shorter) vs a grade B (35" and taller) she'd show more weight gain than a taller mare would.
Again, very similar to the way people work.
I think I remember seeing a pic of your girl, before or just after you got her, when she was not in good condition. I do think she is in just about perfect condition now. Certainly she has her faults which will never change, but she is in as good a shape as she can be with the amount of work you can do with her. I do think Minis are the most difficult of any breed, to get and keep them, looking as we would like. Her baby is a very spiffy little person.