What do you feed your mini?
I've always been a "full size" horse owner but getting more serious about minis everyday. I know their nutritional needs are similar but on a lesser scale, and that they can be prone to founder if allowed too much grazing (not a problem here in SoCal - all we have is dry lot!). Just interested to hear about your daily routine(s) in regards to feeding and pasture time. Thanks!
It really just depends on your mini's lifestyle. If they're just pasture puffs, they'll most likely be fine on a high-nutrience hay and no grain, and if they're moderate workers, they'll probably need just a few handfulls of grain. A mini that shows or otherwise works hard will need even more. Broodmares will also need suppliments most likely. Most miniature horses are very hardy though, and I haven't met many that were hard keepers (unless keeping the weight off is called hard xD).
We feed our 'pasture puff' minis 2/3 Timothy 1/3 Alfalfa hay, free choice. On average they probably each end up eating a flake and a half each day, maybe a bit more. Our cart and riding ponies (though the riding ponies are shetlands) eat free choice hay and 1/2 cup of Purina Horse and Pony feed. Our broodmares take free choice hay, 1 cup of Purina Horse and Pony feed, and some get different suppliments depending on their body. We also feed Psyllium (which is in Sand Clear and other products) to all of them because they are on a dry lot, and we have had major problems with sand colic in the past.
If you do graze your mini, just make sure that you allow it to acclimate to the new diet. Begin with just an hour or two of grazing time and slowly allow them more time until they're out for most of the day, but make sure to only allow them a few hours in the Spring when grass is the richest. A grazing muzzle or sacrifice lot works well. We don't graze our miniatures at all, except for the occasional few minutes when they're done working and we want to treat them.
Our guys, a yearling and his new 8 month old buddy, get 1/2 cup of Purina Miniature Horse & Pony feed 2x daily. I normally give them a few handfuls of hay for "breakfast," then they are turned out for the day in a field with a little bit of grass. At night I split a flake of hay between the two. When we just had my first yearling, we gave him Nutrena Safechoice, but then switched at their breeder's suggestion. Our little dudes are at a good body condition. I am very observant about it, because it seems that once they turn into balloons it is very hard to go back! ;)
I will also say, that since we have gotten Pip, Bellamy's conditioning has improved sooo much! All they do is playyy play play.
I've heard really good things about Purina Mini Feed. I feed my minis good quality grass hay. They say feed about 2-4% of their body weight depending on activity level. So I feed about 4lbs of hay each day then on cold nights or when they are working hard I give them some grain. I'm not showing mine so I don't have a really "dialed in" feeding routine but this has worked for me and kept them at a great weight. Oh and they do get to graze for a couple hours every other day in the summer.
our two colts have some pony pellets every day, but otherwise they are out to graze in an acre paddock 24/7
We feed our mini bermuda grass hay and bermuda blend pellets twice @ day.
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