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This is a discussion on Feeding? within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    • 1 Post By verona1016

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        07-25-2013, 10:33 PM

    I am really not sure how much hay I need to feed my horse. She is a small horse, but I haven't had a chance to actually measure her height yet. My guess is that she stands somewhere between 12 and 13 hands. I know I am giving her enough hay, but feel like I'm giving her more than she should have.
    Right now I am not working her very much, I will soon be doing more lunging as well as other groundwork. There is no grass in her turnout and I don't usually have the time just to sit and hand graze her enough for it to count.
    She is really out of shape right now, and a little overweight, so it's especially important that I don't feed her too much, and I obviously don't want to give her too little.
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        07-26-2013, 07:48 PM
    If she's overweight, I'd stick with just hay and either a ration balancer or a vitamin/mineral supplement. A lot of ponies tend to be "air ferns" and can easily founder when fed grain (or even when left on lush pasture too long).

    Putting the hay into a slow feeder net can be beneficial. It will slow down her eating, which means she'll go through less hay and digest the hay she is eating better. It also lessens that amount of hay that gets wasted and lets the hay last longer (ideally, a horse should have hay available 24/7. Going long stretches between feedings of hay can result in ulcers)
    smrobs likes this.
        07-26-2013, 09:27 PM
    I agree about the slow feeder. A way healthier way to go.

    Just google 'freedom feeder' and options will pop up to choose from (they run $80-$100 each). One 45# bale lasts my Oldenburg/Arab two days. The only thing is (and I don't know if it's just him), that he doesn't like eating the last bits, so I just dump those in the tub and then give the next bale after he cleans the scraps. I have two feeder bags, which makes it nice for prep and cycling.

    Grain can be an issue with ponies. Really just a small taste to mix the vitamins often does the trick. I like to soak mine overnight to really let it all mix in and make digestion easier. (I use just a cup of alfalfa pellets, cup beet pulp pellets, half cup rice bran, and the vitamins - you might want to avoid the rice bran and alfalfa though... and feed much smaller amounts - again, just enough to mix vitamins).
        07-26-2013, 09:47 PM
    Slow Feeding Horses on Paddock Paradise Tracks - Paddock Paradise Wiki has all kinds of slowfeeder ideas, homemade, cheap, fancy, expensive. The benefits were already mentioned

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