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hard keeping pony

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  • hard keeping pony

    Hi all, I bought a medium pony in June of last year. She came from a reputable barn but was very skinny at the time. Quickly put weight on with our lush grass and right up until December was in great weight. She is now losing even though we've upped her feed. I started her on cocosoya last week as well. She is on day turnout with hay thrown, no round bale. She is wormed regularly. I am thinking she's just a hard keeper during the winter, but any other things I should be worrying about? Trainer/BM says we are doing all we can do, but I hate seeing her lose the great weight she was in. She's a very fine boned TB style pony just for informational purposes.

    Is there anything else you can do in winter to help gain and keep weight on?

  • #2
    Make sure she is blanketed adequately (being cold burns lots of calories).

    Check a FEC rather than just deworming regularly. Make sure what you're using covers bots, tapeworms and encysted strongyles.

    Teeth OK?

    Could she get more hay? Is she being bullied away from her hay if she's in group turnout?

    I wouldn't be too quick to classify her as a hard keeper--winter is a time when horses can lose weight more easily. Which in the case of my pony is a blessing!
    Click here before you buy.

    Comment


    • #3
      All horses and ponies tend to drop weight thru the winter. In a natural environment, that leanness by the end of winter is what protects them from foundering on spring grasses. I like to try to "modify" the natural drop, but allowing them to drop a bit, but not to the extreme that a wild horse would.

      That said, this is too early to allow them to continue without helping them out a bit.

      If she was in great weight on good grass, I would increase the amount of hay, and also the quality/type. Maybe add an alfalfa mix. That would more closely match the nutrition level she was getting from grass.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        sThanks, it's a pretty dramatic change and it's early in the winter so I worry about it getting worse. Its not like you can see her ribs just yet but she's lost alot of weight and it was work to put it on her. I have spoken with the BM about throwing more hay, I don't think is being bullied (she is typically THE bully) but she is certainly not getting as much as those who have a round bale in their field. I will look into getting a better quality hay as well.

        thanks

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          on the blanketing note, she was clipped in early November and really has not grown much of anything back... she will certainly not need to be clipped again until next winter. She does get cold easily, but I have been very careful about her blanketing so I don't think she is cold. Good point though and I will keep watch on it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Some of them really need to be blanketed heavily to not drop weight after being clipped. Be sure she has been dewormed correctly, if she is a recent purchase, I would powerpack. Adding Tri-Amino can really help if she is losing muscle. Let us know how she does!
            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
            ---
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by deltawave View Post
              Check a FEC rather than just deworming regularly. Make sure what you're using covers bots, tapeworms and encysted strongyles.
              You can drop off a fecal at Warrenton lab for $10.

              Comment


              • #8
                A hard keeping pony? That's a new one to me, anyway!

                I would definitely check the amount of hay she is really getting. In comparison to grazing pasture and eating round bales, she might be getting *just* what she needs to maintain for her metabolism and workload; whereas while in pasture she might have been eating a LOT more than she is now. It's hard to know - especially hard to measure the quantity of pasture and then compare it to hay.

                And just a random thought - does she have any signs of Cushings? I only say this because my Cushings pony (who, as you know had tons of symptoms) eats like crazy and still hasn't gained enough or built up much additional muscle. He eats as much as my full-sized horses, easily. If I fed him like a "pony" he'd be very thin.

                Considering how treatable Cushings is when caught early (as compared to my guy), if you see any other symptoms, I'd check on it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  duplicate post

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ulcer? Just a thought...
                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                      A hard keeping pony? That's a new one to me, anyway!

                      I would definitely check the amount of hay she is really getting. In comparison to grazing pasture and eating round bales, she might be getting *just* what she needs to maintain for her metabolism and workload; whereas while in pasture she might have been eating a LOT more than she is now. It's hard to know - especially hard to measure the quantity of pasture and then compare it to hay.

                      And just a random thought - does she have any signs of Cushings? I only say this because my Cushings pony (who, as you know had tons of symptoms) eats like crazy and still hasn't gained enough or built up much additional muscle. He eats as much as my full-sized horses, easily. If I fed him like a "pony" he'd be very thin.

                      Considering how treatable Cushings is when caught early (as compared to my guy), if you see any other symptoms, I'd check on it.
                      I agree. Hard Keeping Pony is an oxymoron. I need pics.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Have you had her teeth checked? I have an older pony that cannot chew the long stem hay (missing some teeth), so I have to shred it for him. He can eat grass fine. I'm certain this is why he came to me 150lbs underweight! That could be one reason why she does better on grass, than on hay.
                        Cindy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                          Ulcer? Just a thought...
                          My thought too. Ulcers get worse in winter, so theoretically she could be a hardkeeper during winter because she has ulcers, but not bad enough ulcers.

                          Try doing the calcium-magnesium chewables (a handful a few times a day; the kind you get at CVS for humans), if she begins picking up weight, you have your answer. If she doesn't, you're out like $5 and she got some tasty peppermint treats.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do you have an idea of how much hay she is actually eating? If not in addition to her feed you may want to start adding alfalfa pellets and maybe some beet pulp.

                            What type of hay? How much and what brand of feed?

                            How much oil are you using?

                            My hard keepers energy needs for winter in the past have jumped ~8000cal over warmer weather. So far this year we have had only a few days here and there of single digits. But that is all coming to an end here in a couple days. I started increasing his feed last night and will continue to. Or he drops like a rock.

                            Hay this past growing season was not all the lovely too...thanks to the drought. Lots of horses out there losing weight this year on their usual feed/hay. But for the rest of my herd of course.. they only need to walk past hay or feed to gain weight.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AzuWish View Post
                              Ulcers get worse in winter
                              According to whom?
                              Click here before you buy.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Not the same situation but I just rehabbed a skinny pony, she has done really well on TC Senior, Purina Amplify, and soaked alfalfa. All soaked together.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  thanks guys, she gets the following:

                                  2 flakes hay at night - average quality from what I can tell
                                  5 lbs (i think) of a locally made feed 2x day, http://www.tricountyfeeds.com/pages/...cfm?pagesID=41 hyfyb plus I believe it is on this webpage
                                  Cocosoya oil - not sure how much, switching to a smark pak at end of the month
                                  Pro CMC for stomach issues. Don't think she has actual ulcers, but she has a nervous stomach for sure
                                  Smartpack senior and smartcalm

                                  She is in a field with 4 other mares that she gets along with. There is basically nothing to eat other than the hay bale that is thrown in the AM and well gone by the time I get there around 3:30 in the afternoon. She is usually just standing around in the field.

                                  She is very un-pony-like in every way. Everyone that sees her thinks she is a tiny TB, that is how she is built (and how she acts). She's 13.2 so she must be a welsh cross but she is all TB in her build, very refined. She is clipped (in Nov) and has not grown any fur back, is often cold, I really have to watch her blanketing. I think she's blanketed well so far but maybe not. I don't think she has cushings. oh btw she is apprx 10.

                                  The pic in my profile is her this past November in what I'd call perfect weight for her, not "fat" but nice and round and lovely. She is much skinner than that now... but not ribby or anything... YET.

                                  I think it's the lack of good quality hay and lots of it during the day... but very interested to hear more ideas.

                                  We have always chuckled that this pony is NOT a founder risk, she did get to a nice weight in the summer, but was never FAT. I spoke to her old owner last night and she also indicated that she gets cold and maybe that is an issue. They had alot more trouble keeping her in good weight than we have, and she lived out 24/7.
                                  Last edited by Mayaty02; Jan. 16, 2013, 09:22 AM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Can you give her more hay during the day? In addition to more food intake, just eating the hay would help her keep warm. My BO always gives the horses more hay to eat when it's cold.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Not to hijack but I'm having some weight issues myself.. well not personally.. but with a pony, who I suspect is IR (no blood work but a pretty classic case) When I got her she really really really needed to loose weight, which she did a little too much >.<

                                      She's gets bailed grass/Timothy/possibly alfalfa hay 2-3 times daily and usually has a little I have to clean up at the end of the day, along with a 3qt scoop of Dumore equistages 2x daily 14% protein 6% fat. UTD on shots and worming, teeth are possibly an issue that I have spoken with her owner about and should be addressed soon. My question's are mainly about the calcium magnesium chews. because my shot in the dark would be ulcers, she's low on the totem pole and my horse was not so nice to her at first and would continually move her around the field/ drylot for about a month. She's being ridden regularly - easily. I just feel like she's undergone a lot of change in her lifestyle in the last 3-4 months.

                                      Firstly, can anyone else second that? I put her on magnesium 5000 when I got her, and is there any chance of giving them too much?

                                      Second, Could this possibly bee a cheeper supplementation option?

                                      Third, that would just band-aid the ulcers correct? In which case she would need meds?
                                      Saddle Tree Acres

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Stushica View Post
                                        My question's are mainly about the calcium magnesium chews. because my shot in the dark would be ulcers, she's low on the totem pole and my horse was not so nice to her at first and would continually move her around the field/ drylot for about a month.
                                        Generally speaking, normal herd dynamics are not particularly stressful to horses. They accept their place on the totem pole with equanimity. A more dominant horse displaying "not nice" behavior to a subordinate is just normal, and neither animal gets emotional about it, especially mares. It is the humans who get their feelings hurt in these scenarios.

                                        OP, ten pounds of grain daily is a MONSTROUS amount for a pony. Are you sure about that? If she's losing weight on that much, you've probably got a crappy feed.

                                        If you think she has a "nervous stomach" then a 30 day trial of ranitidine would probably be simple, safe, and not too costly. But before reaching for pills I'd have a sit-down with the barn manager and go over her feed in precise detail, to make sure there are no glaring problems. And maybe a couple of flakes of alfalfa or really nice hay added to her stall in the evening (where she doesn't have to share) would help.
                                        Click here before you buy.

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