Help-My mini IS getting fatter.
Here are some recent pics of my mini and he is definitely getting fatter. Yes he does have a thick coat growing in but his belly is getting huge. He was wormed 2 weeks ago.
I cut him back to about 7 hours a day pasture time. His pasture is quite small and very weedy now.
He gets no feed and and a tiny amount of hay. Just a handful. No treats either.
Soon it will be snow here and obviously I will be able to regulate his food better and he will be burning fat to stay warm. Should I not worry too much till then? We have about a month and half till snow and it is getting pretty cold now. Maybe sooner.
Here is a top down picture.
Wow he's definitely a chubby little guy. Carrying all that extra weight is so hard on them. I hate to say it but I think I'd invest in a grazing muzzle.
So when's the foal due? ;]
What kind of hay is that? Every horse needs at least 1 percent of its body weight or 50% of total intake in good quality forage. An average mini weighs 200lbs and should receive at least 2 - 4 lbs of forage a day. Use a weight tape to estimate your horse's weight. Look for a soft leafy hay rather than a coarse mature hay. Feed at least 1/3 to 1/2 of a flake of a good quality grass or alfalfa grass mixed hay twice a day.
Though, if your mini is in a pasture and is overweight, a grazing muzzle might be the optimum choice (cruel as it seems).
I know it totally looks like he is pregnant.
I just can't understand how my pasture is making him fat. Its pretty short and thin right now. He is outside about 8 hours a day.
The hay I have is very high quality. I'll have to ask him what exactly it is but he did win an award with it at the local exhibition. I do know it tested very high in protein but that is about as much as I can remember. I'm wondering if he is getting fat off the hay and just hasn't lost the weight yet since I pretty much took him off it.
Porkie little one! Going into winter he'll stay nice and warm. I would check on the hay but it doesn't sound like your feeding that much. How much excersise does he get?
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Not very much. Although I started him on it, I've been told he's too young to lunge (9 months now) or work him in any serious manner until he is older. I'm not sure what else I can do to get him some exercise. Every once in a while he will run around on his own but that is about it.
Is there anything you'd suggest?
This time of year my minis always put on a little extra weight, as well as hair, even though they are getting the same amount to eat.
I think a little is normal, like "bear" weight, for going into winter.
But his belly is pretty portly in these new pics. :wink:
How many inches tall is he?
Seems like the more vertically challenged minis, like 30" and under, seem to have a much easier time accomplishing that large belly look than the others...
I just measured him and he is 27" tall at the withers. Such a little fellow.
Yup, he is a shorty!
But he is a growing little boy. and he looks happy and healthy.
You might limit his grazing more. I know you think it is sparse, but remember how much less it takes to maintain a mini than a full sized horse....
Is that hay you have really "high octane"? Were you able to find out?
Just do not cut his in take back too much. I have seen way too many mini foals who have big hay bellies, and yet their poor hips and ribs are showing for lack of proper nutrition.
I know he is too young for proper lunging, but if you have the time, even leading him for walks each day would be great for him. Just 15 minutes or so, he is young and still has a short attention span.
You could be working on ground manners and getting exercise all at the same time. :D
If you have a hilly area, lead him up and down, good for building up strength and would help tone his belly area some too.
Just throwing out some ideas....
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