So, in a moment of weakness, I decided that ....

(27 Posts)

..... what I needed in my life was a 12'2" hairy Dartmoor pony who rides (but obviously not me - I mean I'd squash the poor beast) and drives.

So reader, I brought it home, and it is a sweet little thing, but because of a story too long and predictable to repeat, it is 1) covered in lice 2) full of worms and 3) is very, very gaunt underneath all the hair with protruding hip bones.

I've deloused, and wormed, but wondered if anyone had any words of wisdom on returning it to decent condition without turning it into a barrel on stubby legs.

gondolo Sun 16-Dec-12 21:00:01

I would take a vets advice. Something like dengie 'healthy hoof' (not too laminitis-inducing)? Blue Chip seems to be good - expensive though!
Good Luck!

Annewilkinson Sun 16-Dec-12 21:14:12

I don't have any expertise to pass on but just wanted to say good luck grin

Fast fibre, top chop lite chaff in decent quantities and a baileys LP cal balancer

Soon see him right on that lot
It's molasses free and high in fibre so safe as houses

lidlqueen Sun 16-Dec-12 21:16:40

just non-stop forage really, ad lib hay or haylage.....

Thank you all - he has been stuffing his poor little face on haylage so far, good job I bought a load in.

Eve Mon 17-Dec-12 10:40:35

fast fibre is excellent as is calm and condition from Allen and page.

I've been adding linseed to my veteran's feed this year and he's in really good shape this winter with a lovely coat and a nice covering.

Callisto Mon 17-Dec-12 11:02:06

Make sure he has access to a mineral lick too.

And why can't you ride him? Dartmoors were originally bred to carry big fat farmers around, they are very strong.

cq Mon 17-Dec-12 11:07:57

Awwww what a lucky pony. He's having the best Christmas ever! I bet he'll turn out to be a little smasher. If you're in the south Oxon/Berks area and need a groom once you start driving, I'm home all week grin

I cannot recommend Alpha A oil more for conditioning!

And I ride my shetland - why can't you hop on!

Bet you'd look a damn sight less stupid than I do with my feet 5 inches of the floor! grin

Booboostoo Mon 17-Dec-12 12:00:21

Talk to a rescue centre, they should be able to advise on building him up safely.

Good luck with him, he sounds lucky to have found a good home!

aamia Mon 17-Dec-12 12:30:40

Lots and lots of forage is the key. Good luck!

CMOTDibbler Mon 17-Dec-12 12:58:05

So, will we see you offering carriage rides locally? I saw someone on Preloved selling a little cart recently

Be wary of the sugar in haylage - it may be too much. I'm using D&H Safe & Sound which is well balanced, but it's probably worth having a chat to the vet about building him up slowly and not overloading his system. Hat's off to you for rescuing him!

rogersmellyonthetelly Mon 17-Dec-12 16:38:50

Agree with others, forage based feeds, avoid sugar (would go for good quality ad lib hay for now rather than haylage, it might be too rich given he's not had much in the way of grub prior to coming to you)
Speedi beet rather than molassed beet, a chop with oil in it for condition and possibly some nuts but as low cereal as you can get it for now. See how he goes on that and increase/decrease as required. You want to be heading into spring on the thin side of good condition or you will end up with a tub of lard by may (and possibly a laminitic one at that)
Check his feet for rings to see if there's any sign of previous laminitis attacks too, just so you know in advance if hes prone to it.
Slow and steady weight gain is better than piling a load of weight on all at once.

Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom!

I'll give the vet a call tomorrow. So this evening he had a quite small haylage net (about a third of a medium sized net) but stuffed quite compactly and 2/3 scoop of Happy Hoof. He has been cutting the grass for us grazing on the lawn during the day.

I was a bit worried about slight colic post worming, with such a high worm burden, and he's not quite as frantic to graze as he was on Sunday, but he still seemed to manage his Happy Hoof and carrot batons OK.

Feet look clear and very neat, and he has lovely clean little legs.

CMOT and cq - I will own up to looking on the British Driving Society website and a little daydream about a smart little equipage and a lovely hat....................

CMOTDibbler Mon 17-Dec-12 19:33:50

Obv not the priority right now, but this looks nice. And you would so suit the hat grin

50BalesOfHay Mon 17-Dec-12 20:20:40

Our skinny but laminitis prone old pony keeps really good condition on Equi Jewel, it's fantastic, high fibre, high oil, low sugar and starch and very dense so you only really need a mugful a day to make a difference.

I love darties, can't wait to see some pics

CMOT, just for interest, we've decided to call him "Binky" {snurk} - apparently he was originally Derek (Derek - I ask you) then Boycie (which is slightly better, but DDs hated).

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Mon 17-Dec-12 22:19:47

I'd just turn him out to grass. If he is in at night, just hay. You dont want him to suddenly rocket. And you dont want to suddenly start feeding hard feed and shock his system. If you must feed, just a little chaff and a few nuts. Once he is a little better, get him doing some exercise to help build muscle. Muscle is better than fat.
Hard as it is, don't let him get too heavy before spring.

CMOTDibbler Tue 18-Dec-12 07:44:49

grin grin grin I love Binky as a name grin

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Tue 18-Dec-12 09:19:08

You do know that Binky is the Grim Reapers horse in Terry Pratchett!he was a real horse be ause the flaming skeleton horse kept burning down the stable! grin

ponymaloney Tue 18-Dec-12 10:46:51

I second alfa oil and it's good for laminitis, in fact sunflower oil is almost as good and no sugar or starch but lots of calories

cq Tue 18-Dec-12 17:44:16

itsthawooluff - I have a trap that's gathering dust in my garage that you can have if you're interested. It was built for my shetland but was a bit too big for him. Never kept the harness though.

CQ - thank you very much for the kind offer. Would you be able to PM me with a photo (and how much you would like for it) please?

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