I posted this in the Nutrition section as well, but would like advice from mini/pony experienced people!
I'm looking into getting a mini/pony... He's 48", so not a mini, but small enough that mini lovers can help me!
His owner says he previously foundered "slightly" and they have since kept him off grass completely. He is on a sweet feed though which I find odd and negates keeping him off grass... anywho... I'm still interested in giving him a home even though he has foundered in the past.
I plan on putting him on a low carb/low sugar pelleted feed, that I currently feed my draft horse, because he too needs a low carb/low sugar diet. I may even take him off grain all together and give him a min/vite supplement instead and then provide him with good hay.
That being said, if I do make these changes to his diet, would it be possible, with the use of a grazing muzzle, to allow him in the pasture for a few hours a day with my draft horse? The purpose of getting the pony is to provide my draft with a companion. I do also have a dry lot that I use at night and in the winter/spring.
Get him off the sweet feed. About no more than two hours a day of grazing, if the field has pretty short grass. Pelleted feed is ok or a couple of handfuls of hay, twice a day plus his grazing. You will see by his weight, whether or not he needs a bit more or less. Is he in good weight, or overweight right now?
Get him off any form sweet feed!!!
Feed him SALT. about 1 tb a day in his feed (this is to counteract high potassium found in most pasture)
Contrary to popular opinion short grass is the WORST type of grass for him to be on - he needs LONG OLD unfertilised grass if you can find some OR absolutely NO GRASS - get some HAY but make sure there is NO CLOVER in it. For a GREAT article all about founder/laminitis this - I think is brilliant...
I include a picture of one of our boys - a connemara with a history of founder - we've had him about 4 years with NO more attacks by following the plan on this site - here he is at 21 years fit and healthy and super cheeky thanks to sticking to this diet :-)
Hope this helps - if you've EVER seen how much pain horses go through when they founder you will do anything to prevent it!:D
Oh and I forgot to mention do NOT put shoes on him :-)
We rescued a mini pony that "slightly" foundered. When I brought him home our farrier was appauled to see the was foundered. So the process starts. Had xrays done so the farrier could make sure to keep his feet where they should be, Christopher only gets hay stretcher, NO SWEET FEED. For sure you want to keep the weight where you can feel the ribs. Minis love to eat and eat and eat. I give hay, handful (1/4 slice) morning/evening. He grazes. The most important thing to have is a good farrier, IMPORTANT. No shoes. Christopher has his feet trimmed every two weeks without fail. Oh and just for good measure all my horses get a half an apple at bedtime. :)
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