Old Pony & Grain - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-26-2009, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Old Pony & Grain

There's an 30ish year old hackney pony at our stable whose owner has been giving him a half scoop of our regular grain. All the horses are on dry lots, and have a round bale to munch on whenever. The pony is worked just about every day, but all he does is walks around with a kid on his back for about 20 minutes at a time. He's at a good weight, actually the best weight of any 30 y/o pony I've seen in my life. He looks like he's 18 or so. He's not obese, more like pleasantly plump. Still has all his teeth and everything. lol Should the owner consider giving him senior feed because of his age, or continue with the regular grain? Just curious. :)
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-26-2009, 07:41 PM
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I own a 30 yr old horse who does have problems with his weight as his teeth are about worn out and he's blind. If he was in as good of shape as the pony you are talking about I wouldn't change a thing. I would keep a close eye on his weight, condition and teeth, etc as I am sure they do.

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post #3 of 5 Old 03-26-2009, 09:13 PM
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-26-2009, 11:36 PM
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Yep, if he is maintaining then she can continue doing what she is doing. However, "good teeth for 30" can be no teeth in very short order. My old man lost his first cheek tooth 2 weeks after having them checked and my boss going on about how good his teeth were. This is because somewhere between 28 and 30 years of age a horse starts out-living his teeth. They are born with all the root their teeth will ever have in their jawbones and over their lifetime the tooth continues to grow up into the mouth to compensate for normal wear from grinding. So eventually there is just so little root left that the tooth can't grow up as far as it should and that the root isn't enough to hold the tooth in place.

If she did change him over to a senior feed that is balanced better for his age (seniors have a little different nutrient need) and more easily digestible, she might be amazed at exactly how good a shape he could be in and how much energy he would have. My 33 year old routinely goes running around the pasture with his tail in the air--sassy old man!

Cindy D.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-27-2009, 01:18 AM
Green Broke
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If it's not broke, don't try and fix it, lol. Until the pony starts have trouble chewing and looses weight, then I'd just stick with what's been working .

If he's toting kids around and is plump, then he certainly doesn't need more energy...

Her vet would be the best person to ask though, as he/she can look at the pony's teeth and give a better estimation on how he's doing with the current diet and when/if he should be switched to senior feed.
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