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Questions about my not so mini mini-horse
Polar Bear is new, and he's technically not a mini, as he is 10 hands high. I measured him today with our height and weight tape. However, the weight tape said he weighs 150 lbs. There is just no way this is accurate! He has an ENORMOUS hay belly (we just got him). I am giving him .2 lbs of ration balancer with probiotics to get him proper nutrients since he has some coat/hoof/gut issues (farrier is coming) and he is on 2 lbs of hay in his stall at night and a grazing muzzle during the day. He has not figured out how to eat in the muzzle, but he can drink. To be honest, he doesn't seem to be all that hungry. When I put on the muzzle and he goes in the pasture, he doesn't eat at all. He just stands around, walks a little bit, and maybe puts his head down now and then. I tried to show him he could get a blade of grass here and there, but he's not that into it. Will he eventually learn? I don't want to starve him all day, but I don't want to just give him access to grass, either.
What else can I do to reduce his hay belly? Seriously, it looks like he is uncomfortable. We have high quality hay, so I am hoping that with the probiotics will help. I know mini horses are 'round' per se, but yikes! He's has runny poo since he arrived, and that is why I am pumping him full of probiotics. I am going to keep trotting him in the arena and working on gorund work, but just wondering if there's something else I can do that I am NOT doing ... ?
Have you dewormed him?
We gave him Equibits dewormer on Saturday.
Aside from the runny poo - is he excessively gassy or, on the flip-side, completely non-gassy?
Okay, good. That could be causing the runny poo. Have you seen any worms in the feces?
I'd say you have a good plan, Just have to be patient and work him daily to shed those extra pounds.
Well, I brought him to the vet's office today because I needed to weigh him. The weight tape kept saying 150, but I knew it was wrong, so put him on the scale. 330! HA!
So I have been giving him too little wormer, and the vet, after looking at him, said I needed to do a 5 day worm purge program on him. So I have Ivermectin and we're going to start tonight for 5 days.
Also, she said he is no way a mini horse but a POA. He is 10 hands and his conformation is correct for a POA. She said I could probably use him as a lead line pony for small kids (once he is gentled to ride). She did say his hooves are a wreck and I am glad the farrier is coming out this week.
I will post pictures after I get him dewormed. He looks like he swallowed a beach ball!
If he is hungry, he will figure out how to eat. My two minis found out fairly quickly (like, whithin 2-3 hours of first wearing a grass muzzle) how to eat with them. They have grass muzzles on 24/7 and are still a bit chunky (but not near as bad as they were before the muzzles!).
Well, he's a Houdini with the grazing muzzle! He gets it off no matter what I do. It must be his super small ears! They just slip under the strap. So he's in the corral dry lot. I put my mare with him in the AM so he's not lonely, but she goes in the pasture with the others in the PM to eat (she wears a muzzle and keeps it on). He neighs and neighs. He can see them, but he keeps neighing. If I don't figure out how to keep a muzzle on him I may have to rehome him because his screaming bugs the neighbors. :(
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Did you or the vet check his bite? Many minis are parrot mouthed and are unable to graze. Since they are prone to grass founder he may be better of on a dry lot anyway.
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