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Ponies As Pasture Buddies -- Founder Risk?

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  • Original Poster

    No goats!!! I know too many escape artists, LOL!

    And Watermark Farm, I already have a harder keeper TB and even the HALF TB takes some work, hahaha, I sure don't want to pay to feed another one!!!
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
    We Are Flying Solo


    • #22
      I always wondered if my hard keeper TBs could subsist mostly on pasture IF it was full of good grass. Guess not, huh? If you could find an easy keeping TB like the one I have now, that would probably be easiest.
      That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...


      • #23
        Originally posted by OTTBs View Post
        I always wondered if my hard keeper TBs could subsist mostly on pasture IF it was full of good grass. Guess not, huh? If you could find an easy keeping TB like the one I have now, that would probably be easiest.
        I have had one TB that I brought in as a companion to my TB. Both horses were easy keepers and really only got a handful (1/4 cup) of grain with some beet pulp. Come summer I had to limit their time in the large pastures from ~ 10-12 hrs day to 5-7 hrs mostly because the companion was starting to look like a draft cross. I kept him through the winter to get his weight down and sent him home come spring. I remember his owner saying I must have very lush pasture that he put on so much weight. I told her that I maintain the pastures I have as best I can with spring and fall fertilizing, continual mowing to 4-6" max to keep weeds down and pasture rotation to allow the recently eaten pastures a chance to come back, just the way it should be done.

        I did much better with a hard keeper. If it cost me a few dollars more in grain, so be it but it was much better for both the horses, and I could afford it.

        I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


        • #24
          Originally posted by OTTBs View Post
          I always wondered if my hard keeper TBs could subsist mostly on pasture IF it was full of good grass. Guess not, huh? If you could find an easy keeping TB like the one I have now, that would probably be easiest.
          I was going to recommend a TB too. I have to limit my TB mare when she's on pasture because she will get fat. She loses weight over the winter, but I always hesitate to up her feed in the spring because she will blow up on pasture in about five minutes once the grass comes in.

          If not a TB or other "regular" horse, I'd still avoid ponies as grass pasture-mates. I have a Cushings pony and a mini (so, not *normal* ponies) but I have to be careful with them even in the "sacrifice" pasture that is nearly all dirt. Mid-summer, it still grows enough sparse grass to give them laminitis.


          • #25
            Originally posted by Chall View Post
            If going for a companion, I think it's easier to have two of the same type. Either two hard keepers or two easy keepers. Thats independent of species horse/pony/donkey.
            Just my opinion.
            This, I had a companion Shetland pony out with my hard keepers, and it was very difficult. I have a very laid back situation here at home, and I find that to be a challenge. So I prefer all harder keepers, in that I can feed them a decent amount and not worry about them having issues or getting obese.


            • #26
              Yes, managing ponies on grass together with a hard keeper....a big pain in the butt. I have done it (and currently do it) and would not recommend it unless there was no other option. Fostering for a rescue sounds like a great idea but... doesn't sound like you have a separate turnout option. I would want that if I was keeping a foster with a competition horse. Best bet might be advertising for a free lease companion where owner pays for vet/farrier etc. Lots of people with retired pasture sound horses would fall over themselves to find a situation like you would provide.


              • #27
                Get a retiree or foster a rescue. I personally have some ponies (and a mini, and 3 goats) but I keep them off the good pasture. Mini is my one-eyed horse's BFF in the stall (yes, I stall them together) since he is used to living out and now has to be semi-stalled, causing super anxiety. Good luck.
                Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by OTTBs View Post
                  I always wondered if my hard keeper TBs could subsist mostly on pasture IF it was full of good grass.
                  Well, according to mine, no way, LOL! He is 16.2 with plenty of bone and 9 years old. Even on GREAT pasture that is nearly endless, he still needs AT THE VERY MINIMUM 5 lbs of TC Complete a day and since he burns that in one eyeblink, I also keep him on a couple scoops of Cool Calories and in the past, on limited pasture, supplement with alfalfa and rice bran as needed.

                  Sigh. Beast. So no -- NO HARD KEEPERS WANTED, haha. Just "normal" (I should know better in equine land, eh?).

                  Thanks so much again for all your notes, they have definitely confirmed my ideas and added a new one. Horses are hard on pasture too, so trying to avoid adding new hooves beyond the minimum necessary.

                  Yes, I'm a picky beast, hahaha, many years of experience with critters and small paycheck! Now I just have to be careful that my neighbour, who knows everyone and everything, doesn't leave some random donkey tied to my porch as a "gift"!
                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                  We Are Flying Solo


                  • #29
                    Just read your blog. Are you living in North Dakota? There is eventing not that far north of you. Come on up! http://www.manitobahorsetrials.com/


                    • Original Poster

                      Me? Nooooo, I live in NC. That would be a long drive, but thanks for the invite!
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                      We Are Flying Solo


                      • #31
                        Yes, ponies must be muzzled when the grass comes in. I had mine out on about 2 acres with three goats and she still is trying to founder. She's dry lotted now and moving much better. I would say if you have a companion pony it must be muzzled and you must have a way to separate to feed. My pony gets no grain and is very fat. They are tricky. Cute as a dickens though and I bought a little pony cart and harness and am having a great time with her. Oh, and friends can bring their kids over and she is great with them.
                        -Painted Wings

                        Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted