New Pony Now Has Cresty Neck, What To Do??
I recently bought a new pony as a companion to my show horse. I went and checked him out and everything else before I purchased him. He has been a companion all his life to other show horses on the east coast.
Anyway, he was all fuzzed up in his winter coat when I went to look at him. He was on a semi-dry lot with, which looked like, a lot of hay, and 2 other large ponies/horses. He never looked like he had anything wrong. Brought him home a couple weeks ago and started shedding him out. I do have a lot more grass than he previously had. Introduced him slowly to the grass, feeding same grain amount and same kind, and a little less hay since there is more grass. After about 3 weeks of having him, I recently noticed his neck is super thick and hard. "Cresty" in other words.
Should I be limiting his grass intake more? What can I do to prevent and help fix his Cresty neck?
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Why are you feeding him any grain? A companion pony does not need any concentrates and grass will probably have to be limited, unless of course, you want a founder project as well.
I would get him a grazing muzzle and give him a handful of grain with a coat supplement added and access to a good loose mineral (not mineral salt). Watch his weight and watch his feet. Obesity is the pony's greatest enemy.
I'd maybe look at his diet in other areas as well as the amount of grazing, what is he feed on normally? What kinda breed is he? I'd look at his intake of everything, its the right time of year here for the horses to be gettting a bit on the big size. How does his neck feel?
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Well, I feed him grain because if I dont, then between my other horse and him it wouldnt be a pretty sight. He only gets a handful of "Triple Crown Lite" or something like that. It is made for small ponies and minis. He also gets flax seed to help with his coat along with any minerals needed.
I'm thinking it may be too much grass for him. And another reason I'm thinking this is because his poop has started getting runny also.
He is a 14 yr old, 11.2, Welsh/Paint pony.
He is now on much more grass than where I bought him from. Its very fresh and green. So it may be to much for the little guy.
The top part of his neck is very hard and lumpy. It is only the top part of his neck, near his mane. Not his whole neck.
Probably the richness of the grass then. I think grain is different between here and there. Is it our version of a compound feed like pony nuts or barley etc? Worth popping him on less grass and see if it helps at all.
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Yea, Im thinking its the grass.
And the grain is just plain pellets
I would try to limit his grass intake for sure whether you get him in a dry lot or have to muzzle him.
There is not such thing as 'just plain pellets'. They are all made of something -- usually grain products and grain by-products. Look at the label. The ingredients will be listed in descending order.
You cannot keep fat easy-keeping ponies with other horses at feeding time. The ponies will founder just about every time. It is very simple. When one gets too fat (and a thick, lumpy, cresty neck is a BIG warning sign), you are feeding more calories than the animal is burning up. The calories need to be brought down and the sugar / starch content of those calories needs to be drastically cut down or removed all together.
The price one pays for not doing this is an Insulin Resistant horse (pony) and founder along with subsequent bouts of laminitis every time the animal gets a tiny bit too much sugar / starch / calories for the rest of its life.
Horses and ponies that are chronic cannot stand one bite of green grass or one bite of grain and even need grass hay that has been tested for sugar content.
The more obese they become, the harder they are to manage in the future. It is more abusive and more damaging to them than letting them become thin.
Cheri is right he doesnt need grain and a grazing muzzle for sure if you dont cut out the grain the price youll pay will be high. The people behind us have ponies about the size of yours all they get is hay not free choice limited amount and only a few hours of grass a day when grass comes in for the summer. They didnt always feed them like that at first they got all they wanted then the ponies got very fat lucky for the owners they didnt founder. So cut out the grain hes not working he doesnt need it period.
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