Help! Problems with older pony! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-01-2010, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern USA
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Unhappy Help! Problems with older pony!

I have a 19 year old chesnut pony. I've had him since he was 12. Every year during the winter out grass gets really short and I notice my horses' weight start dropping. Well this year my pony's did wayyy more than usual. He had a colic episode back in November at a show from a result of dehydration and cheap hay. Since then we put all of my horses on Orchard & Alfalfa. My horses have been on a rotational dewormer schedule (to be specific the premium one from and the past couple of ones only covered a couple of different types of worms so in January I gave them all Equimax to knock out most of them. At the end of this month I'll go back on the rotation plan. Well anyways I thought that may of been why he was so skinny but it didn't seem to help. About four weeks ago I started him on Seminole senior feed.

Right now he's getting 1 flake of O&A and 3/4 scoop of senior feed in the morning and night. It seems to be alot of food for a pony (he's around 13 hands, so a large pony). I thought maybe I should start keeping him in the stall during the day so I tried it today. When I let him out tonight though he was limping on his front left foot. Could this be stiffness or is it from feeding him to much food? I worry about founder, but his ribs are still showing. He's never had problems limping and I have never had a horse that has ever been unsound. What can I do to get his weight back on? Should I try another wormer? What about beet pulp? Should I feed him less food? HELPPPPP!!!!!

*He has a show on March 27th so I want to try to get him looking good by then.*
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-01-2010, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: East Texas
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Ok, I'm going to hit a few high points and ask a few questions:

1. "premium deworming rotation"---not so good. The old rotational deworming programs are really out-of-date and likely to be ineffective. Check out my posts on this thread about deworming: Need help planning a schedule for feeding and deworming.

2. Seminole senior is a complete feed, so it's high in fiber and not nutrient dense like supplemental feeds that have to be fed with hay, so 3/4 scoop twice a day with 2 flakes of hay simply may not be enough. What we really need to know to assess his feeding is how much your pony should weigh, how much a flake of hay weighs and how much 3/4 of a scoop of senior feed weighs and what brand of senior feed it is.

3. When were his teeth last checked?

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Ryle is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 03-01-2010, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southcentral Kansas
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If he is ribby then he is not getting enough food. Up his hay for starters and don't confine him to a stall all day unless you have no choice. Not being able to move around is especially hard on the older horses. My10hand shetland eats 2 flakes a day easy.. a 13h pony can eat as much as a 15h horse. Just depends.. Basically you need to up his forage(hay) when the grass is going(ie fall)down. Beet pulp and alfalfa pellets are a great way to get more fiber into a horse who can't hold weight with adequate hay.. My old appy gets quite a bit of that but he cannot eat much hay(teeth missing).

Weigh his hay and be sure he's getting enough.. 15-20# a day may be required to help get his weight back up.

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-01-2010, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Fredericksburg, PA
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I had a 20 year old thoroughbred last winter and I had the same exact problem. He got very very skinny and I kept uping the amount of food I gave him. We changed his feed to this 10x10x10 stuff. I think it was 10% protein 10% fat 10% of something else. I dont exactly remember what exactly it was. I gave him two five pint scoops of that morning and night and two flakes of hay each feeding. he was kind of small but by the time summer came along and he went back home to where we got him from and they didnt even recognize him he was so up to weight. And I also had the problem with the limping with him. once you get the pony up to weight he should be fine.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-01-2010, 10:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dixie
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Sounds like you may need to increase his feed and hay. What Senior are you feeding? Hopefully it's a good Senior. Does he appear to be eating ok?

Have his teeth checked. Older kids tend to have teeth issues. Have you noticed any 'cuds' or 'clumps' of hay?

Probiotics are a good thing to get going in him to help him digest his food. A good Senior feed typically has probiotics included.. if yours doesn't, get a tube of paste probiotic and get it in him. Good Luck!

.// \\
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-16-2010, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: California!
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I have a pony, he is 19yo, got him when he was 12 and I was 7. Anyways, we had problems with his food when we first got him and he went stiff in his front legs, its called lamenitis, and you have to try to maintain a healthy weight and DONT FEED ALFALFA! Alfalfa is way too rich for them and it can cause them to founder or go lame. Not good. We feed a hay called teff and we havent had any feet issues since we switched. So I would reccomed switching him and for the soreness, let him lay down and rest it, dont do any major riding until he has gone at least a week or two with out limping just make sure he is moving enough so he is not at risk of colic.

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