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post #11 of 21 Old 12-25-2012, 11:07 AM
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I was taking care of a friends mini and they got half of what you are feeding.
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post #12 of 21 Old 12-25-2012, 11:07 AM
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It's difficult to determine without seeing photos of her whether she's overweight or not. I'm always squeamish about saying anything related to horse health online.

So that said, here is my two cents for what it's worth: some additional body fat isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially in Winter. I personally would be cautious with backing down hay too much this time of year if you're in a very cold climate.

I don't know what hay she's getting and what's available to you. I would stick with a mixed grass hay, whatever is low protein and late cut. But before you listen to me or anybody I'd suggest asking your vet.

I don't know what grain you give and how much (by weight) but there are a couple of very nice products made by Purina called Wellsolve W/C and Wellsolve L/S; here are the links to them. See what your vet approves of.

Purina Horse Feeds - WELLSOLVE

Purina Horse Feeds - WELLSOLVE

Merry Christmas to you and your pony :)
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post #13 of 21 Old 12-25-2012, 11:36 AM
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If you are used to feeding big horses or even no horses, you are probably going to be surprised at just how little food, Minis need.

Exactly how tall is your Mini. That will make a difference as to how much food he needs. Also, how much work - real work, is he doing daily? Is he sporting normal coat, which would have grown for the winter, or is he shaved down? If he has a winter coat, he might look a lot fatter than he really is. Sliding your fingers through the hair, will tell you if you can feel ribs or not.

Many new Mini owners, tend to overfeed their horses. No more than an hour or two grazing each day. If lush pasture, then an hour is enough. Many Mini owners keep their Minis on dry lots, so they can monitor their feed properly. Unless being actually worked/exercised each day, your Mini probably won't need much, if any, grain. Hay is what puts weight on horses quickly. Too much and you'll see a horse put weight on.

Join the Li'l Beginnings Mini Horse forum and you'll find tons of information as to the correct feeding of Minis.

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post #14 of 21 Old 12-25-2012, 11:43 AM
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Another thing to consider is giving her the hay with some sort of "slow feeder". Often the problem with limiting hay is that they eat it all and then go empty the rest of the day until the evening feeding. This can cause blood sugar up and downs. I have friends with minis that are on a ration balancer (1/4# per day) and hay only (no access to pasture). They were super fat. She rigged up a slow feeder and is feeding them the same amount of hay, but they have lost weight.

Stop the grain. Find out what you mini weighs and feed about 1.5% of that body weight in hay, slow fed. I think you'll see improvement. Another advantage of slow feeding is that it helps to keep them warm as they have something in their hind gut most of the time.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
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post #15 of 21 Old 12-25-2012, 05:56 PM
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We dry lot our miniature horses 24/7 all year unless we supervise them while grazing, and even then they only get 2 or 3 hours a week, no more than that.

We were feeding our minis a 2/3 timothy 1/3 alfalfa mix but because of hay shortage have switched to 2/3 jiggs costal and 1/3 alfalfa. The broodies and working mini/ponies were getting free fed hay and some got about 1/2 a pound of low fat, low sugar grain- but our others that arent doing much only get 1 1/2-2 small flakes a day and no grain. All of them except the in-foal broodies get only hay in the winter because of lack of exercise.

Take your mare off of grain and buy a slow feeder net. If possible, just get some higher quality grass hay and nothing like alfalfa. We only feed alfalfa because we have quite a few growing babies and seniors that need it.

If she's still thick come March or so, start lunging her 10-15 minutes a day at an active walk and trot, slowly building up to 30 minutes if possible. Or better yet, give her a job. Our minis tote feed and hay around, drive, do in hand obstacles, and work with younger kids to teach them how to properly work with a horse. There are all kinds of ways to exercise them! :)
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post #16 of 21 Old 12-25-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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yes, up and moving is what i need to do for her and for me as well. Time to dress warm and get myself off the computer. Will begin tomorrow. :)
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post #17 of 21 Old 12-25-2012, 09:57 PM
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Hay is the main weight gainer can cause "hay belly".'especcialy on minis.l
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post #18 of 21 Old 12-26-2012, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by crom5 View Post
Hay is the main weight gainer can cause "hay belly".'especcialy on minis.l
I don't totally agree with hay being the main weight gainer (if that horse is also getting grain). We have an elder mare that couldn't gain weight and all we added as 1# of rice bran per day and she gained beautifully. No change in hay. I guess I'm not sure what you mean by "main weight gainer", as clearly hay can be used to help a horse gain weight. But if that horse is also on grain...

I'd also like to address the hay belly comment. If a horse has a "hay belly" and no other indication of being overweight, that hay belly is often from bad hay (in which case the horse won't gain weight but instead will lose weight). If the horse is overweight all over, then clearly the horse is getting fed too much and/or not getting enough exercise. Some hay bellies on otherwise healthy weight horses are sometimes just caused from gas, which is actually a good thing because it means fermentation is happening.

Many people believe too much hay causes hay belly and try to replace some hay with grain to avoid the hay belly. Not a great idea; they only increase the risk of colic. Forage should be the foundation of any horse’s diet.

If an overweight horse is getting fed both hay and grain, then the grain should definitely be cut. If they are still overweight, then changes should be made to both the amount of hay and how it is fed.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-29-2012, 04:15 AM
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You could try soaking the hay in water overnight before feeding which helps get rid of the sugar content. I do this with my mini.
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post #20 of 21 Old 12-29-2012, 04:11 PM
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I'm not a feeding expert, but I would personally suggest considering putting her on a feed for weight control. I'm not sure if it would differ because she is a mini, but I have a full-size horse who needs to lose weight and I've found a lot of good out of switching her into Purina Well Solve Low Starch grain. Honestly, you don't want to harm your horse by restricting too much. I know your horse is small, but she needs to still have a nutritional diet. I would recommend contacting a vet.
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draft , grain , mini , overweight

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