Best Way to slim down a mini? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 25 Old 12-06-2012, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Best Way to slim down a mini?

I know this probably a simple answer, but I just wanted to make sure I am doing what I need or any other ideas.

My mini mare is too heavy and I have worked hard to get her to loose weight. She doesn't over eat to my knowledge, in the morning her and my 13hh pony get a few (2 - 3) slabs of hay in the morning and again at night with a tiny bit of sweet grain sprinkled over for their entertainment. There is no grass currently since its winter here and either its covered by snow or pretty much completely dead.

I have been training her to drive, but that's not really working exersise.... What are some good workouts for a mini? I was thinking just running her in the field.... What else could I do?

Thanks!
-Sam

"Chaos is a friend of mine"
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post #2 of 25 Old 12-06-2012, 11:26 AM
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Well once you have her actually trained to drive, I'm sure that my mare can assure you that it is lots of hard work. She's had to develope quite the shoulder and back muscles, learning to drive!

How big are your flakes of hay? You may just have to give her less than the pony and seperate them. I wouldn't give her sweet feed at all, that can be very fattening even in little amounts, and a 'handful here and there' actually really adds up after a while...especially with minis who are notorious for getting fat on air xD

Can you teach her to lunge? Done properly, a 15 minutes workout every day of w-t and some canter can really do a lot. I try to lunge my girl at least three times a week and drive her once or twice, with two days of 'chill' time. Except for right now, as she's still on a bit of 'maternity leave'. You could even add some tarps, calvettis, etc to the lunging to make it more fun.

Once she's a bit better you might be able to start integrating groud driving into her lunging, and that REALLY gets their muscles moving. My favorite thing with my mare is to tack her up in a surcingle, bridle, and long 20 ft cotton reins. I'll lunge her in a circle around me for a few laps, then ask her to make a figure eight (ground driving) while still going at a steady trot to switch directions. Then I'll send her in a circle in the other direction. Sometimes I won't even let her go half a circle before deciding to switch directions again. Its more work for the handler and you have to learn to flip the reins over a little to change directions, but its helped Sour with her muscle gain, collection, and driving abilities at the same time!
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post #3 of 25 Old 12-06-2012, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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my slabs/flakes are the average size that falls off the average square bale.. they don't really come in sizes here, they are all the same

I usually feed the two separately, our barn is a open double box stall that they go in and out as they please, so she gets fed inside with her hay and the pony is fed outside with his hay and grain, but if its raining/snowing I can't feed him outside obviously, so they get their hay together with grain, which I scoop with a plastic solo cup about a inch from the bottom full, sprinkled over the hay.

I have tried to lunge her, and she refuses to, but I am not very experienced with it since my pony doesn't do it either.
But any exercise we do is me moving with her. I run regularly anyway, so I don't have a problem getting her to get going beside me. We practice commands, and run up and down the hills. Maybe I can use some of my ponies Agility equipment to play with her.

I also have an issue getting her past a walk when I ground drive her, She works great when I am next to her and ask for a trot, she has a nice light controlled trot, she responds to my lead, I ask her to take it down a notch she eases and everything is great, but when I am behind her, its like she only knows walk and whoa.

So that's frustrating, But I will try to work her in hand more often getting her to run with me maybe.
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Last edited by SunnyMeadeFarm; 12-06-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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post #4 of 25 Old 12-06-2012, 01:18 PM
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I meant average weight :) depending on the size of square bale and type of hay, a flake may weight as little as a half a pound or as much as three pounds.

Is there someone that can help you get her started? She's likely just very confused about what you want and sometimes it takes someone leading them the first few laps for them to really understand what you want.

Teaching her to lunge and adding voice commands is a big step in the ground driving process. Once she knows the word 'trot' that is reinforced with the whip, she'll understand it when you're behind her asking her to 'trot' and giving the lightests of tap.

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post #5 of 25 Old 12-06-2012, 02:28 PM
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Overweight ponies frequently get in to trouble with laminitis. Have you tried the small mesh hay nets? They are under $10 and it will slow the ponies right down as they can just nibble the hay not grab big mouthfuls. Is it that she has a large tummy or is her neck quite thick as well. Can you post a side shot of her?
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post #6 of 25 Old 12-10-2012, 04:23 PM
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After my mini foaled a filly this spring, and I have been working on getting rid of her belly, but it just looks the same from the week after she gave birth. I trained her to drive, lunge, jump, and do liberty, but nothing has helped! She is on a dry lot with hay all winter and summer. I just don't know what to do about it!

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post #7 of 25 Old 12-17-2012, 09:19 AM
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mine were getting pudgy and I asked my vet. I told her I was only giving a 1/2 cup of grain total a day and she said it wasn't the feed, it was the hay/ I was giving them 1-2 flakes a day each. She said that was way too much, I cut back to 1/2 flake each and they are looking much better.
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-28-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku View Post
I meant average weight :) depending on the size of square bale and type of hay, a flake may weight as little as a half a pound or as much as three pounds.

Is there someone that can help you get her started? She's likely just very confused about what you want and sometimes it takes someone leading them the first few laps for them to really understand what you want.

Teaching her to lunge and adding voice commands is a big step in the ground driving process. Once she knows the word 'trot' that is reinforced with the whip, she'll understand it when you're behind her asking her to 'trot' and giving the lightests of tap.
idk the weight. Sorry. Its not very heavy at all, so a flake would probably be in the low half pound range. She has started well, I have gotten her to trot when we ground drive down out private road, she has gotten to the point of ground driving where I hook her up and walk her to were we start our "drive" I tell her to wait as I loop her reins through so I can stan behind her and as soon as I do, I just click and she starts right it, when we trot she seems to really enjoy showing off to the other horses, she holds her head up and tucks her head and her little stubby legs trot on down the road lol
But I don't really have anyone to help me, though she seems to know what she is doing, once we get going her whoa is great and then her walk -and now trot- get a great response.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Overweight ponies frequently get in to trouble with laminitis. Have you tried the small mesh hay nets? They are under $10 and it will slow the ponies right down as they can just nibble the hay not grab big mouthfuls. Is it that she has a large tummy or is her neck quite thick as well. Can you post a side shot of her?
We have iron hay racks we usually put it in. But we do have a pair of rope hay nets we use for our other animals, I could use those outside. I will try to post a photo, though she has a very thick winter coat right now, and by really thick I mean like 3 inches, so she's a bear right now. Out vet told us she is "thick" (fat) on her body and neck, mostly on her crest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigggr1570 View Post
mine were getting pudgy and I asked my vet. I told her I was only giving a 1/2 cup of grain total a day and she said it wasn't the feed, it was the hay/ I was giving them 1-2 flakes a day each. She said that was way too much, I cut back to 1/2 flake each and they are looking much better.
Interesting, I am thinking I will try to use less hay as well as grain.

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post #9 of 25 Old 12-30-2012, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a current pic of her:



Here is her during this summer: (sorry if the photo is big)
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post #10 of 25 Old 12-30-2012, 12:30 PM
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she is BEAUTIFUL! Looks just like my stallion, Huffman's Classic Little Dude, AKA Little Dude. He is 26" tall. 14 Years old. Such a sweet boy!
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