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Fat pony question

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  • Fat pony question

    I like having hay in front of my horses as much as possible. I know it is the best thing for their digestion. When I moved them home this past Oct we started off giving them loose hay, but they ate through it very quickly and it made a horrible mess with a lot of waste. So we bought small hole hay nets and fashioned a hay net "bin" out of large plastic water troughs with haynets attached. No more waste at all and it did slow them down.
    But they figured out the nets pretty qucikly and we started to notice that they were still finishing the hay pretty quickly.
    So we started double netting with small hole hay nets.
    Again it slowed them down a pretty good amount......but now we are noticing that the pony is managing to fly through her's pretty quickly again. Stinkin smart pony.
    She is coming out of the winter pretty overweight...if anything we need to cut back on her hay (she just gets a handful of beetpulp with her vit, no concentrated feed) but I hate having her just standing around with nothing to eat. Plus my gelding doesn't eat as fast so then the pony stands there watching him over the fence, pissed that he has food and she doesn't.
    Any ideas on how to furthur slow her down?? Do I start to triple net???

  • #2
    Sounds like you are doing the right thing with the small hole hay nets and if she gobbles it all up and makes faces -well too bad. Ponies by nature are able to substain themselves on a lot less and forage on poor situations-that is why they were the "poor mans" work horse. You have to be somewhat thick skinned when dealing with them and ignore the pitiful me faces.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."-Hunter S. Thompson


    • #3
      How much acreage is the pony on? Can you do several double or even triple netted bags and spread them out as far as possible?

      Horses CAN eat hay with muzzles on, even if you have to enlarge the hole a bit. Maybe a regular net and a larger-holed muzzle?
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • #4
        If she's barefoot, Some people cut the string off the net, put a carabeaner through the loops to keep it closed and toss it on the ground. Without being attached to anything it supposedly slows them down.


        • #5
          For next year, if you are in a cold area, you could do a trace clip on her so she uses up more calories. That's what I do with my easy keeper pony in with horses who have hay in front of them at all times. It stops him coming out of the winter fat, and has worked really well the two years I've done it so far. (If it is super cold & windy I blanket).
          Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


          • #6
            I second the muzzle idea! I've never enlarged the hole though, defeats the purpose. And make sure she can drink out of her waterer (if its an automatic one of some kind) with the muzzle on.
            A student in all things.


            • #7
              Enlarging the hole is *sometimes* necessary when being used in conjunction with hay. Grass? No. Hay? Yes.

              Hay does not sit there and stick up like grass does, which is why the small hole still works for grass.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET