Feeding and Old pony

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Feeding and Old pony

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    06-17-2014, 12:11 PM
Feeding and Old pony

Hi, you guys remember Koba? The little pony we ended up with last summer =) Well he's fantastic! He's mostly blind and a little deaf. But is so well behaved and sweet. A little girl comes out to ride him pretty often. And has taken him to a horse show to "barrel race"(trot around and look adorable). And he went on his first trail ride with her the other day. Question I have is. All the horses are off grains now this far into summer. They have a mineral block. And a salt block. And is someone starts looking off(not happened just if they do) I'll be getting either a mineral pasture tub or a supplement. However little man just seems to not look as nice as they do. His coat seems a bit dull. Just not as shiny as everyone else. He's acting fine =) His coat is rougher to. Just age? The fact that he isn't a horse? I'm thinking about starting to feed him 1 or 2 pounds of soaked alfalfa throughout the day in small feedings. Not having had a pony before I'm open to being told that's a crazy idea Also I'm adding some pictures
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    06-17-2014, 12:13 PM
Pictures are in order. First is about a week after he "moved in" . Second is a month or two after with them learning about each other. She normaly wears a helment now ;) At that time she was being lead we let go and moved off for the picture.

Third is him after being shaved this spring. I'm going to take a picture of him NOW to
    06-17-2014, 12:15 PM
Ps... He's 40 years old. Still has all his teeth. And gets them checked every year. Sooner if I notice a problem. My farrier used to do teeth as well. And he checks to see if they need done. He's always been right so far. He says theres a problem we get the tooth man out. We're careful to not overwork him. He gets walked everyday at least by me. He has arthritis that seems to only bother him if he sits in the field. Remember blind. So he only walks around if Boo leads him or a human does. He moesys about to the water and feed spots. But doesn't jog or anything. Its fun to watch him play with Boo though
    06-17-2014, 12:35 PM
These are from just now. Went out and took them =) He gets out in the grass for 1 to 2 hours a day. I don't like leaving him out in the huge field. So just gave him the yard you see him in.
    06-17-2014, 02:14 PM
Also any thoughts on Senior feeds for this fellow?
    06-17-2014, 02:32 PM
Green Broke
Oopsie, I didn't see his age before - 40! Bless His Precious Heart!

If his teeth have been checked, fecals taken to the vet to check worm load, it is very possible he either has endocrine issues that come along with Equine Metabolic Syndrome (which is not the same as insulin resistance), or he may have early cushings.

EMS can cause an easy keeper (which ponies are) to drop weight.

Because he is 40 or thereabouts, I might ask the vet about my suggestion first:

If you belong to Sam's Club or some other such shopping place:

Buy some chastetree berries and run them thru the blender. I buy mine from an equine herbal place but it's cheaper if you have a Sam's Club nearby (I don't).

Mine looks like coarse ground pepper and I feed 1/8 house hold measuring cup, not quite to the top for my 975 pound horse.

I'm lousy at math, so you figure out the difference for your pony - lol lol

Or I think you might be able to buy pure chastetree or chasteberry (also called Vitex) at certain health food stores; just make sure there's nothing else in it.

My point is, the chastetree should help him quickly finish shedding if he has any sort of metabolic problems. If that is the case, he needs his diet re-vamped. No grains whatsoever, zip zero, nadda

He's a cutie-patootie
    06-18-2014, 08:10 AM
Green Broke
I've got a 39 yr. Old pony. She is a bit on the fat side. This year was the first year she hasn't shed out all her winter hair. Most of it but there a still some longish hairs on neck and sides. She still runs around a bit though not as much as she used to. She is still the alpha horse.

Mix a ration balancer or multivitamin in with his cubes. Does he have hay to chew on while he is in the dry lot. Even when they can't chew their psyche does better with a hay net full of hay. A slow feed net so he has to work at it a bit. Couple flakes should last him all day in the summer.

I would actually get a cube that is timothy or a timothy alfalfa mix. Top dress the soaked cubes with a ration balancer. Maybe even some soaked beet pulp mixed with the hay cubes.
Don't cringe at the price per bag because a pony that size is going to need like 1/3 of a measuring cup. A bag will last a long time.

I wouldn't use a senior feed on most ponies. You have to pretty much mix your own senior meal that's low starch, low carb and still manage to get all the vitamins and minerals they need in.

I think I may try Vitex starting near winters end next time.

Some coarser hair and a bit more of it is normal. Think of the old men you know with grey hairs growing in places it never did before.

I'm still having nights that are in the 40's and low 50's where I am so I'm not too worried about a few stray winter hairs.


This store has been out of stock for a long while now but the explanation of what it does for horses is good.

Vitex / Chaste Tree berry - powder - More Than Alive
walkinthewalk likes this.
    06-18-2014, 08:40 AM
Green Broke
OP, I use Standlees timothy/alfalfa cubes. Tractor Supply carries them. I have two late 20's fellas with molar issues so I soak the cubes then hand crush them down into mush.

SueNH, the Vitex works to help with the shedding. My 26 yr old has EMS and gets tougher to shed out with each passing year. Some hospital-type things happened with me this past Spring and I forgot to add his chastetree back in when I was supposed to.

He was about 80% shed by mid-May, I added 1/8th cup chastetree daily and he finished shedding almost in front me He has the slickest and shinest coat in the pasture
squirrelfood likes this.
    06-18-2014, 08:47 AM
Originally Posted by ToManyHorsesAndOnePony    
Also any thoughts on Senior feeds for this fellow?
I would for sure put him on senior feed. How are his teeth? Is he able to chew ok? Senior feed, Purina and Nutrena I know are both really easy to chew and digest. They soak really well also if you wanted to soak in water. They are alfalfa based, and if chewing hay is an issue they can be fed as a complete diet. You do have to feed more that way, but it would be including your hay too. But if chewing hay isn't an issue, then the senior with hay is fine.
    06-18-2014, 08:59 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Draft lover    
I would for sure put him on senior feed. How are his teeth? Is he able to chew ok? Senior feed, Purina and Nutrena I know are both really easy to chew and digest. They soak really well also if you wanted to soak in water. They are alfalfa based, and if chewing hay is an issue they can be fed as a complete diet. You do have to feed more that way, but it would be including your hay too. But if chewing hay isn't an issue, then the senior with hay is fine.
Most senior feeds have molasses in them. The little guy won't go thru a 40 pound bag too fast and it's entirely possible the feed could get moldy.

I kept a bag of Nutrena Safe Choice Senior in the house and it still went bad with 20 pounds left in the bag. Turns out the bag was old when I bought it from TSC. They did refund the cost of the entire bag; I'd've been happy with pro-rating the balance of the bag

The horse eating that feed is 28, 13.3H and refuses to eat too much. He's a lot bigger than the fella in this thread so, I can imagine it wouldn't take much now that summer is here for a bag of feed to go bad that has molasses added to it

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