An aquaintence of ours who breeds minis "rescued" 4 from a backyard breeder. She took them in with plans to get them up to snuff, then rehome them as pets only. The smallest one, who is a yearling, has been offered to us if we'd like to take over rehabbing her. I think she will need a little more tlc than the other 3. She is a very sweet little mare who we think would make a nice little companion animal, so we would like to get her. All 4 of her rescues are underweight and generally unhealthy looking (her small herd of horses she breeds are very healthy, utd on everything, she shows them, etc). The little girl we are going to be getting has an underbite (bottom teeth jut forward about 1/2 in - 3/4 in in front of top teeth).
We have experience taking care of minis at our farm, as we have had several boarded here. The little guy we have here now has brought home several halter 1st places, so we must be feeding him properly .
However, we have not ever had to deal with a mini (or large horse, for that matter) that has had an underbite. She has been on a hay-only diet, and seems to be doing well with it. The vet will be going out to pull her coggins/vaccinate for us tomorrow, so I plan on discussing this with him then, but any personal experiences with an underbite would be greatly appreciated! How often did you have to float teeth? Did floating "correct" the problem to a certain extent? I guess I'm approaching this as a "wait and see" thing - get her utd on everything, make sure she is wormed (to our standards/vet advice), gradually introduce her to our feed schedule. I plan to offer her a very small portion of mini-feed (literally, start out with like, a tablespoon) and possibly increase the ration based on the vet's advice. She still has quite a bit of weight to gain (can see her backbone and hips). I guess, I am thinking that after she's home and we have observed her and get to know her better and see how she maintains her weight, we will better see what she needs. Things that come to mind that scare me, however, would be choke (from not being able to properly chew her grain - which is why I'll be offering only a few morsels), and not being able to gain weight (from not being able to chew and aid digestion properly). Any thoughts? We have a ton of horse-care experience, but just havn't encountered this sort of congenital defect up until now.