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This year my 2 Minis have gotten FAT on pasture. Last year they were fine on the pasture all day and stayed a normal weight, but this year they both became elephants. What causes that, just overeating? Besides keeping them off of the pasture, what is the best way to get them to lose weight?

I cannot believe how fast they got fat, it's made my head spin.
 

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Off pasture and get them some exercise. Get them grazing muzzles if you don't have a dry lot big enough for them to run around in (a small enclosed space isn't going to help the weight loss).

Keep an eye on them in the future, 99% of the time minis can't be left on pasture 24/7 like horses can.
 

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Minis can be such a trial with keeping the weight off :?

I am planning on getting my gelding and mini onto a track system once spring arrives and the ground drys up so that she doesn't have to stay in a small grass-less area and can wander with my gelding. Are you able to set one up in a paddock for your two?

Tape off the outer ring of a paddock so they are on a continuous circle, narrow enough so it will keep them moving forward - it is great for keeping them fit, they will get much more exercise than in a square paddock. Get them onto hay once all of the grass has gone (or cut the grass down if you can) and dot it around the track in small piles to keep them moving.

Otherwise you could look at grazing muzzles or shutting them up in a grass-less area during the day and muzzles on during the day.

Soaking their hay would help too with getting rid off some of the sugar content.
 

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This is a very common issue with minis. I have the problem of getting one of mine really thin so I am still working to put weight on her, while trying to balance and keep weight off the other one.

I use a dry lot system - they can run and play and there is a little bit of scrub grass in there for them to graze on, and I limit how much actual pasture time they get. You can also get mini-sized grazing muzzles and keep those on them a part of the day. It lets them be out and exercise but not eat until their sides burst.

A track system is also a great idea. I don't have a set up to do that for my minis, but I have one for my big horses and they use it quite a bit and has really helped my husband's draft cross from blimping out too much this year.
 

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The metabolism of a mini is much different than that of a horse, and they tend to be able to get fat as ticks in the blink of an eye. ;) I like the track idea suggested. However, the biggest thing, in my opinion, is that they need a ton of exercise. They need to be worked as much as, or in some cases, more than, a full sized horse. If I'm short for time I will throw three of them in the roundpen and lunge them all at once (they seem to be group motivated) just to get them moving.
 
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