Skinny pony.

(76 Posts)
MissBrown Thu 31-Jan-13 19:11:59

Hi all. Looking for a bit of advice. I have 2.5 yr old section B gelding who lives out. He has lost a bit of condition over the last couples of weeks, and I want to get his weight back up. He has been having approx 1kilo of nuts and a large handful of chaff every night and adlib haylage in his field.

However I have just changed his food to include barley rings but he won't eat them, he just sucks all the chaff off and spits them out! Cheeky monkey!

He was wormed a couple of months ago but I'm not sure what with as my friend did it with a bulk buy wormer she has.

I will be worming him tomorrow with a brand the saddler has recommended.

Any ideas to get my little man a little bit bigger!

Fredstheteds Thu 31-Jan-13 20:15:26

Be careful, with a native I would worry about lami. Up hay or hayledge and worm test so you know what to treat. The grass will come through and that will help but again careful. Why not try a balancer? Top Spec or blue chip. I feed Feedmark balancer. I would use some youngster mix/ cubes.

MissBrown Thu 31-Jan-13 20:28:17

Thanks for your reply Fredstheteds. My pony is called Ffredi! He has hayledge adlib in a feeder in the field so can't change that, but I will try a different feed. I've lots of good things about balancers so will try that along with some youngster mix. Can I get a worm tester from my local tack shop or is it an online thing? I am back to horses after a 8 yr break so lots of info forgotten! Ps. I've only had him for about 3 months. I 'ended up' with him after a friend picked him for £50 from the local sales as a present for my daughter! We love him though so he is not going anywhere.

My welshie drops weight at the drop of a hat. Worm counts need to be done by a vet or specialist company. They cost about £6 from our vets. Just drop off a few lumps of fresh poop & they give you a worm count. Do you know his worming history?

I feed happy hoof with a bit of sugar beet when its cold. Be very careful with this wet/ sunny weather the grass is coming through very rich already.

Is he rugged? I keep my girly wrapped up warm, helps keep condition on her.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 08:49:46

I will try to get the worm count sorted but he lives out so will need to follow him round with a bucket and wait till he goes!!

He was bred by a show breeder who had him till october and sent him to the sales because he didn't make the grade. I don't know his worming history as he came from a sales.

He is well rugged, he wears 2 high neck m/w turnout rugs when its really cold and 1 when it is warmer. He is always warm when I check.

I have only been at this field for a few months but the other owners there tell me that the grass is very good when it comes through.

Hopefully he'll pick up as soon as the grass comes.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 09:12:53

I wouldn't do anything! and my welshies live out wih no rugs or feed the grass is growing right now, and in a few weeks it will go mad. Going into spring with room for the spring grass is EXACTLY what a native needs, and it is quite natural and normal. If he's a youngster he is probably having a growth spurt.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 09:56:26

That really helps Saggy. I am just worrying as the other horses at the stables (natives) are all doing really well living out and have hardly dropped any weight, but they were carrying a lot of weight going into winter and Ffred wasn't. I hope he will grow upwards as well as outwards- he is still a teeny weeny! Won't be bi enough for my 7 yr as this rate!!

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 10:13:12

He will be fine! I've got a 2yo (may officially) who sounds exactly the same. He had a bad year last year anyway, had an abscess on his jaw which we didn't find for months, was a right poorly state for a while, he came back round, but he's not as fat as his mate this winter, or his older companions. Im not too worried though, hes still by no means skin and bone! Mine get nothing but grass, arent rugged and live out 24/7, are still chubby, and 2 of them are pregnant. Grass grows when temperatures hit around 4 degrees, so they are getting more than we think right now, especially as there's plenty of moisture about!
And don't be put off by his size. My mate has the weediest sec B going and hell still carry 8 stone!

Millie2013 Fri 01-Feb-13 16:05:33

Tbh, a wouldn't worry too much, if you have eliminated anything wormy, or otherwise obvious, as others have said, he will likely pick up coming into the spring and is probably going through a growth spurt. Mine looked awful coming out of the winter as a 2yo- gangly and lanky, but she soon picked up.

That said, there are chaff and nuts and "chaff and nuts", so maybe check out the formulations. I have had good success feeding my 30 native The Pure Feed Company "pure condition" which is a complete feed, with hefty amounts of speedibeet and supplemented with Simple Systems ready linseed for some extra calories

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 21:13:21

Hi everyone. Thanks for your replies. I took poor Ffredi's rug off tonight and he is a real poor sight. Ribs aren't visible but are easily felt. His long coat is flattened in all directions and he has been rubbing his neck on something. He has hair missing on either side of his neck. He is also very scurfy.

On the upside, he has been wormed now, and is very perky. He always comes to call and jogged from the field to where his feed was. He ate all his barley rings (soaked to a mass and with a bit of molasses) and was generally very bright.

I think I will try a balancer for him, does anyone have any suggestions as to something that will help with his condition and his coat?

elastamum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:18:29

Try not to panic. If you cant see his ribs then he really isnt that thin. 2yr olds should be lanky rather than fat. If he was well covered now I would be seriously worried about excess weight gain and laminitis once the grass come through. Most native ponies are far too fat.

elastamum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:21:25

Also, feed lots of low carb fibre food rather than any high calorie conditioning stuff, which is totally unsuitable for a native

elastamum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:23:45

I have a large hanovarian who lives on hay (lots) pasture mix and hifi lite. All year round. Most people feed far too many carbs and too little fibre. Horses should have to eat 16 hours out of 24 to get their calories.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 21:32:50

Thanks again for your replies. I totally agree on the idea of feeding lots of fibre. I just panicked when I realised how poor he looked. I don't want him fat but I do want him healthy. Luckily my job as a teacher allows me lots of holidays so I can spend plenty of time with him soon. We are hoping to start breaking him in the summer (when he turns 3) so want him in ship shape buy then. He really is lovely, I am very lucky to have him! Ps he does belong to my daughter but with any young child it always ends up with mum doing the work, doesn't it?!

How often do you Remove his rugs ? He should have the,m removed daily to check him over and be groomed regularly. Sounds like you haven't seen him unruffled for a while to have sounded so surprised ?

He also shouldn't be scurfy. Why don't you know what he was wormed with ? Please get a worm count done and worm accordingly, it is so important

I wouldn't try to feed him up too much now as we are hurtling towards grass growing weather and native + grass+ feed = laminitis and obesity

However, for next year start feeding early ( October ish ) something high fibre / low starch and sugar. Fast fibre by allen and page is perfect. You can add a balancer to this to ensure a good range of vits and mins. You can also add a low sugar/ molasses free chaff to bulk it out. Be careful with the haylage, hay would be better to keep the sugar content of his diet down

Forgive me for saying but you don't sound very experienced - is there someone around you to off advice ? If not please keep posting here with any problems and we can help you x

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 21:38:28

Not wearing a rug would probably help! The flat coat, rubbed patches and scurf will all be down to it. He will also look skinnier because his coat isn't fluffed.
As a welsh, if you don't rug him next winter, he will grow fur so thick he will look like a fuzzy felt!
I'd try a rug bib for a start, then maybe try a rug change? I like rhino pony Wugs, they come with a half neck which floats nicely round the shoulders. If you can't see his ribs I wouldn't panic. Have a look at fat scoring, and reassess.
Fwiw, I don't like high neck rugs, they prevent the horses grooming each other socially, not good for herd interaction.
1kilo of nuts, chaff and barley loops is a huge amount of food for a small pony. Our 18hh warmblood isn't fed that! It's possible that in such an amount, the food is being pushed though his stomach too quickly and isn't being digested properly. Haylage gives all of ours the shits, so probably doesn't do anything to slow digestion either.
We use Biocare from Falcon if someone needs feeding, it's got the highest oil content we could find, is great for condition, and you need very little. Big horse gets 1/2 a scoop a day with a bit of chaff, and is gaining weight slowly but surely.
Also, don't forget, condition is also more about muscle than fat. All of mine lose top line in the winter. As natives, they tend to go into what we call 'stasis'. They spend a lot of the day bum to the weather dozing eat in bursts, then doze again. If they don't use muscle it shrinks.
I really wouldn't panic. The last thing you want to do is over feed a native.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 21:39:33

Can you post a picture of him without his rugs on please?

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 22:20:20

Just noticed my typo- by not buy! And I teach language and grammar!! God help us!

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 22:52:05

Korma. As I said in an earlier post I have had 8 yrs out, but previously owned horses including an elderly ex-riding pony, an enormous youngster and a welsh B just like little Ffredi. I would say I have forgotten a lot and that is why I am coming across as inexperienced.

I don't know what he was wormed with before because he came from the sales with very little info and my friend (who owns 9 horses) offered to worm him for me and I didn't make a note of what she did it with. Now ex-friend so not much chance of knowing now!

He can only have haylage as he shares a field with four others and the haylage is in the field for them. No stable so can't bring him in.

I take his rug off at the weekends and give him a groom so I have noticed he had lost condition, but I will try and do it every day now. He was scurfy when I first had him but seems awful at the moment.

How do you post a pic? I took some today so I could compare as the weeks went by.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 22:56:31

Go to your profile page, it's under 'my mumsnet' and you can add a photo. I find it easier to move the photo onto your desktop so that you can find the file when it asks for the location.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 23:06:24

Thank Saggy. I have posted a pic. Looking at it, what sticks out to me is his neck, it's thin. I'll try and get a pic from when we had him.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 23:12:56

You need to make your profile public.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 23:14:11

I'm getting good at this! Just put an earlier pic on. The one in the stable is from october.

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 23:17:30

Try that.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 23:28:59

Right. I'm not happy with those pictures. His belly looks larger in the skinny pic than in the other. He also looks all kind of scrunched up. He definitely has less neck, but I wouldn't put it past a show producer to 'improve' a neck with some unpleasant methods, which would wear off given time.
Tbh, it's not a great picture, but going on it, I'd say he really doesn't look like a happy pony. I think I'd be getting him vet checked if he was mine. Hope I'm not being to over dramatic, don mean to scare you, just saying what I see. Xx

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