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Yearling Prep :)
For those that don't know, on the 20th of October, I get my boy Ricky. He's a gelding and I'd say he's getting towards the 13.3hh mark. He's a chestnut QH, a star and a snip and his sire and dam are national champions and reserve champions.
I'm all prepared but I have a few concerns.
I have heard and read a lot that you need to wean him off his old food. I can't actually get any of his old hay, so are there any types which would be better to feed to begin with?
My other concern is when we try to load him. As a weanling, he was taught to load and trailer but he hasn't been on a float since. We can't get a travelling buddy unfortunately, so I don't know how he'll cope. Normally I just tie my horses to the ring with their lead rope and they're fine. But they're used to being floated. I've heard of trailer ties (?) but I have no idea how to use them. Do you use them? How do you use them?
http://www.europasaddlery.com/Upload...railer-tie.jpgThat's the type people have said they used.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
The first time I shipped my yearling it was in a box stall cross country so she was free to walk around. The second time was a 30 min ride - she was in a slant load by herself. She seemed a little uneasy so we didn't want to tie her - we looped the rope through the hook and it was still hooked to her halter, but she wasn't tied. We did that there and back and she did ok. I worry about tying them when they are so young and not used to being tied up.
My boy was taught to load up, I think he did one little 15 minute ride in the float around their property. She didn't say anything about how she tied him up or if she did at all.
I know that horses can get colic when their food changes suddenly, but I can't get any of his old hay. I read in a book somewhere that some types of hay are easier on the digestion and might help prevent colic. Does anyone know about this?
Also, the paddock where we are keeping him is very green. And he is not used to that kind of green grass. I'm worried about laminitis. We can't get a mower in there to mow it, so I am at a loss as to what to do. We can't poison the grass either because we get him in like a week and a half. And no, there is no stable to keep him in and limit his intake of it. I am at a wits end as to how to dull it down just a bit. I think my only solution is to go and pick out all of the clover and pick out a lot of the sweet grass. Any solutions or tips that doesn't involve a mower or poisoning?
dont tie a horse that young, especially when they are still developing. they can very easily injure their neck. definatly becareful with the grass. try a grazing muzzle?? Why can you get a mower in?
We can't get a mower in just cause of the location his paddock is in. There's also a huge patch of mud which the mower would have to drive through to get to his paddock and would certainly get bogged.
A grazing muzzle? Aren't they for fat ponies? I guess I could, and then feed him chaff and some kind of supplement?
How fun to be getting your horse! Congrats! :D
As far as the hay situation, what kind of hay is he used to? Simple field grass hay is most common here in the US, but alfalfa is pretty common as well (I think in Australia alfalfa is commonly called legume hay, or something similar, but I could be getting my terms crossed between countries...). Grass hay tends to be the safer of the two, alfalfa/legume has lots more protein and tends to be "hotter." There are other posters far more capable than I to give specifics. Depending on what his new diet will be, I would call around and get around 10 bales of whatever variety he's used to, so you can switch him to the new kind. If he's used to the same kind you plan on feeding him, just watch him close.
Is there any particular reason you can't purchase a few bales from the same person who's selling the horse?
With the pasture, I would start out hand grazing him (but then I pretty much have time...) for half hour periods, and slowly extend the time. The reason I say hand graze instead of turnout is that some horses refuse to be caught after so short of a run. Just slowly work him up to the time he's going to be out.
If you must turn him loose, a grazing muzzle may be a good idea until he gets weaned onto the pasture. They aren't just for fat ponies, they're for any high risk feeder, whether the horse is confirmed laminitic, insulin resistant, overweight, or being weaned onto a different pasture, or even in the spring when new, rich growth is coming up. If you'll probably never use it again, I'd even say buy a relatively cheap one and cut the hole in the end a little bigger each week until it isn't restricting his intake any more, then take the muzzle off. I would wean him onto the pasture, keep hay available to him when he isn't turned out, and keep a salt/mineral block avaliable. Other than that, a healthy yearling on maintenance really shouldn't need any other feed. Maybe if he drops weight in the winter on free choice roughage offer a feeding of a good "junior" feed.
As for the trailering, I honestly wouldn't tie him up. If you would feel more comfortable with him somehow secured, the most I would use is either a Blocker tie ring or The Clip in the trailer. I can't recommend these things enough; I use them myself for mature horses that are able to tie solid all the time, for peace of mind. If he fights, spooks, or falls, he won't hang up. The pic you posted is a decent quick release tie, but you have to be present to pull the snap and get him loose; something you won't be readily able to do on the highway between his old home and his new one.
I hope that answered some of your questions, good luck!
Can you get some hot tape and section off a small chunk of the paddock? He will eat it out quickly, and then you can alternate between the eaten out patch and the longer grass, i.e. maybe leave him in the smaller part overnight and out during the day, or vice versa.
Floating. What type of float are you using? I use the ties that you posted a picture of, only started recently as in our new angle load the horse could untie themselves when tied normally, lol. I like the new ties, as they have give in them if the horse pulls, but won't break, and of course are quick release. I always tie horses in the float, but I know other people don't, so it is up to you. My arab gets his head behind the divider if untied, and if we had to brake suddenly, might snap his neck. Hence we tie!
Yep, agreed with wild_spot. Whatever the terminology, if he's used to it, and you can get it, go ahead and feed it.
I think he gets lucerne and some kind of hard feed. I will have to call the owner tonight just to confirm what he gets fed.
I think I will tie him in the float with a quick release tie. I don't think he'll be too much trouble to float, but I don't want to leave him untied because everyone I know always ties up their yearlings.
I still am concerned about his paddock though. I think his paddock is just under an acre, so I really don't want to fence any of it off just because its so small already.
Ok, this is my plan at the moment.
I will tie him in the float with a float tie. I think its called a bungee float tie or something along those lines. Its white anyway and has a pull-down solid clip kind of thing on it. The lady at the saddlery said it was good for horses whos play up and is very strong.
And my thoughts on his feed are to put him in a grazing muzzle, so that limits his intake of the new green grass, and have him on white hay, and some chaff and a hard mix. Opinions?
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