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New Pony - Bad Condition

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  • New Pony - Bad Condition

    So I just bought (well more inherited) a new pony to fix up. He's an 11 y/o 14.2 Large Welsh x TB. He's a Liseter Joy Boy Pony if anyone here is aware of those bloodlines. Anyways I rode this pony about 5 years ago at Pony Finals (auction) where the pony was being sold as an eligible green large pony hunter and went for somewhere around 30k. He was great and my trainer bought him for another client. The client shortly lost interest and the pony still hasn't really done anything other than pre-childrens/childrens. He's been sitting around for the past two years literally has gotten 0 work and little turn out. I just moved him to a barn with an indoor and big stalls, he thinks he's in heaven. So I have a few questions. The first thing is his food situation. The pony is very underweight and has been on 2 handfuls of Barley am/pm because he "has shown signs of founder in the past" is all I got. He has no rings, no rotation, and doesn't sit back on his feet at all? So I'm thinking i'm going to (slowly) switch his feed to Purina Ultium (anyone have any experience with this?) soaked in beat pulp. He's also on Yucca supplement? I've never heard of it, anyone know anything about it? He's been at a backyard barn so I dont trust the reliability of anything they've been doing with him. I'm body clipping him today to see what he actually looks like under all of his fluff. I'm going to start bringing him back into work slowly which brings me to my second inquiry... I'm thinking walk/trot for a week or two then slowly incorporate more/longer. I'm not sure what i'm asking for specifically. I suppose any ideas or stories on bringing a pony back from bad conditions? He used to be an amazing pony, i'm hoping i can bring that back. Also I'm super worming him today to make sure that isn't an issue. I have all of his vet records and he's never had any problems with anything. Thanks!
    Last edited by Moderator 2; Feb. 11, 2009, 07:07 PM.

  • #2
    There is an article in last month's Equus about bringing a horse back into shape with a timeline of work. Check it out. Good luck!


    • #3
      I would feed high fat high fibre pellets and beet pulp, lots of beet pulp.


      • #4
        If this pony has had no work and *limited turnout* you should not be walk/trotting for only two weeks. In truth, you should be just walking for a few weeks to a month. Build up to ong, slow, distance work. Start with ten to fifteen minutes walking undersaddle for a week - build up to 1/2 hr the second week - then a bit more time and perhaps some slight terrain. Then start with SHORT trot sets. For two years of inactivity (with all of this based on limited turnout! That makes a huge difference - it would be very different if he was 2 yrs out of work but out 24/7) you are not only going to be dealing with lax muscles - but also ligaments, tendons, and bones. Especially since he is in poor condition - Take the time now to slowly condition this guy - it will be well worth it in the long-run. He will not be the awesome pony you used to know if he becomes sour with work because it is A) work and B)makes him sore afterward. His poor body will be going through quite a lot - changes in feed, new barn, trying to renourish himself, build muscle, AND get restarted in work.


        • #5
          Is Ultium low carb?
          What kind of wormer are you giving?

          I would also get an equine dentist to give his mouth a power float.
          Windswept Stables-Specializing in Ponies
          Sales, Breaking,Training,Showing, Stud Service

          Home of 2008 Sire of Year Reserve Champion
          Pony Hunter Breeding - Empires Power



          • #6
            Sounds like you got what I got 5yrs. ago when I bought my guy.

            He was a grade 1.5-2 on the body condition scale, and looked like this: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/20539...Cxd?vhost=pets
            And those make him look fatter than he was, due to his winter coat (it was like 3" long, and really coarse & gross).

            Anyway. By the time I had him, he had been at a barn that had started the process of giving him food again for a couple weeks. So, we basically gave him all the hay he wanted, and slowly increased his feed. We just gave him Horseman's Edge pellets, 2qts. twice a day. Probably wasn't the best diet out there, but I was younger then, and didn't know much about feed, so I went with what my trainer said to do.
            We had his teeth floated a week after he got here, that wasn't the issue though. Wormed him with a Panacur Powerpak as well.

            I was NOT allowed to body clip him. #1, my trainer was worried that someone would call the SPCA on us (like I said, his hair was covering his bones). And #2, we didn't want to risk him getting cold, which would cause him to use the energy we wanted him using to gain weight to stay warm. So, I curried, curried, and curried til my arms about fell off. Within 11 days, he looked like this: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/11304...jVW?vhost=pets
            Amazing what food, and grooming does You can see the rest of his progression here: http://pets.webshots.com/album/54706...UEt?vhost=pets

            I did have to treat him for ulcers once during the rehab process, as he reached a point where he stopped gaining weight steadily (and still needed more). 30 days of Gastrogard helped that.

            As far as work goes, I did no riding on him for 10-14 days. He was just too skinny and I would've felt bad asking him to work (felt bad enough that I rode him to try him out). After that, I did lots of walking, and maybe some trotting, not much for the first month though. He got back into shape fairly quick, and we were w/t/c and jumping small courses within 3-4 months if I remember correctly. Good luck!


            • #7
              Yes, Ultium is fairly low carb/low starch. I feed it to my breeding stallions and any that need to gain weight. I also use Unbeetable by Buckeye which is a fortified beet pulp based feed - also low in starch and Ultimate Finish by Buckeye - which is a great fat additive - makes them fat and shiny. I also give a probiotic in the feed a.m. and p.m. - I use Fast Track. Good luck with the pony!
              Quicksilver Farms, LLC
              "Welsh Hunter Ponies"
              Welsh Sec. B Stallions and
              Fancy Show Pony Prospects


              • #8
                so i dont get equus magazine...can anyone send me the info on the timeline of work and what not?
                "If you are nervous you arent focused-if you are focused, there is no room for nerves!"


                • #9
                  I swear by Platinum Performance for a multi-vitamin of sorts. We have had good luck using Nutrena Empower for adding weight. It is a rice bran based pellet.


                  • #10
                    BECAREFUL of over worming all at once, I have a client that bought a pony in need of care and almost killed him .To much wormer at once can shut down there kidneys..... When I have to add weight, besides a good high fat grain, it is always free choice good grass hay with maybe a bit of alfalfa.....I am sure your pony is going to very happy....

                    Gates Equestrian
                    National Champion Dan Patch sire of USEF/USHJA winning ponies!


                    • #11
                      I would be VERY careful with this pony, and the changes. My observations would be for one who i consider a severe rehab.

                      I would NOT clip him, in two weeks maybe a trace or neck, then in a month or so body clip for spring.

                      I would NOT adjust his feed immensely, first quality hay will do ALOT, and I would start with timothy or grass hay,
                      I would VERY slowly add a very digestible concentrate ( complete feed pellet) annd vitamins,then begin OVER TIME pumping that up... I would worm him every two-3 weeks for 2 months- Panacur, Strongid, Ivermectin plus.. and then daily strongid as well.. I would NOT use Quest ( because it causes a massive kill)
                      I would be very careful with exercise( you don' really say how much turnout he has had) , hand and lunge walking. Gradually adding one minute of trot every few days until you can lunge him for minimum 15 minutes ( in 5 minute increments) of trot of a 30 minute session, before you start more free turnout time - which i would also start out with very limited and lightly tranquilized so he does not hurt himself. As he can handle more turnout and light work, you can begin to think about riding and working him...

                      Slow and steady is the best influence with change in feed, work, exercise etc..
                      "It's not how good you ride, It's how good your horse covers for you." -Kristan
                      Magic Rose Farm- home of Beste Gold & Hot Shot
                      Beste Gold & Offspring on Facebook
                      Magic Rose Farm Warmbloods on FB


                      • #12
                        How thin is this pony? What is his height and weight? Just curious, as I know what most larges should be weighing.
                        hunter/jumper ponies


                        • #13
                          Get x-rays asap.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Figment View Post
                            Get x-rays asap.
                            Of what?
                            Windswept Stables-Specializing in Ponies
                            Sales, Breaking,Training,Showing, Stud Service

                            Home of 2008 Sire of Year Reserve Champion
                            Pony Hunter Breeding - Empires Power



                            • #15
                              I agree with making changes to feed gradually, and bringing him back into work sloooowly. I mean no-cantering-for-months slowly if he really is that out of shape. And if he is skinny, no body clipping for now... Grooming will make a big difference.

                              Diffuse, your guy is ADORABLE.
                              Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, / And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, / Do not go gentle into that good night. -- Dylan Thomas


                              • #16
                                I rescued one too...

                                GO SLOW. You cannot reverse 5 years of semi neglect, bad or non exsistent vet care and spotty farrier visits in a few weeks or even months.

                                Feed him as you normally would. Do not throw a bunch of extra at him, he will catch up as his body adjusts and that is what you want. You can go up on the hay but watch what kind, stay away from the richer stuff. Don't over supplement either, maybe a multiple or a coat/hoof additive but just good feed in proper amounts is the best choice, save your money on the extras.

                                Be sure to groom daily-sounds stupid but....when they have been neglected, they can get some skin issues, lumps, bumps and what not you never see until you actually give them a good, daily curry and get to know them and what is normal for them. Good way to learn all there is to know about their temperment as well as them to know you.

                                Honestly, I would not clip him if he is poor. Let him shed out naturally this year. If he is poor, you don't want any temp changes challenging his already compromised health.

                                Excercise? HANDWALK 30 minutes every day this week. Get in the tack next week but you are sticking to 30 min and at the walk. Add time the next week and you can start adding the trot a little. I wouldn't canter for at least 3 weeks-until you can trot a good 20 minutes. That may take you longer then 3 weeks but resist the urge to rush.

                                Obviously, you will be working with your vet and farrier on things like teeth, worming and getting those feet back into shape.

                                Mine was about 45 days in when we had an impaction colic so watch out and do not overfeed.

                                You are probably looking at about 90 days to go W-T-C on a normal schedual. After that you can think about returning to jumping-but not before.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                • #17
                                  Very sensible advice, findeight. Overall, resisting the urge to rush any aspect of his rehab (whether feed changes, exercise, etc) is the key, I think.
                                  Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, / And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, / Do not go gentle into that good night. -- Dylan Thomas


                                  • #18
                                    I would get x-rays of at least the front feet to rule out founder, or if there has been some, to see if there's been any rotation to see what his future might or might not be in relation to holding up.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                      I rescued one too...

                                      GO SLOW. You cannot reverse 5 years of semi neglect, bad or non exsistent vet care and spotty farrier visits in a few weeks or even months.
                                      Agreed! I had a young TB I picked up a few years back, who had just hide draped over his skeleton. No substance anywhere on his body. The amount of time it took him to get to that condition was the amount of time it would take to get him safely out. Lots of hay right now, let him (or her) just stand around and eat. Then start incorporating other stuff like the grain and supplements. Good luck and keep us posted!


                                      • #20
                                        Take it veryyy slow! If you go too fast you will end up causing more damage.

                                        Start off with getting a vet out just to check the pony overall. Very slowly start on a complete feed with just a general multivitamin supplement and strongid. You can add more supplements later but you don't want to over do it at first. Make sure the pony is getting TONS of good quality hay. Have the farrier out to check out his feet.

                                        I would just turn the pony out in a good sized paddock for about 1-2 weeks. Let him put on some weight and walk around on his own before you push him to do anything. Then maybe do hand walking with tack on for a couple days. Move slowly into walking on his back for a week or two--start off with like 5 minutes of walking then slowly add time until your doing about 30 minutes of walking. Then slowly add in some trotting and work up from there. Its going to take a while and if at any point the pony acts sore or sour I would go back to just turnout and let him rest.

                                        I wouldn't clip him right away--just curry a lot and groom everyday. Taking away the pony's hair might be a little too much shock at first. Once spring hits and he is closer to a normal weight then you can clip if he hasn't already shed out.