Bombproof plod getting fizzy.

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1 October 2021
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Hi everyone

As the title states I've bought a bombproof plod 12yo cob a month ago. As his work has picked up, I've started increasing his feed, so he's gone onto a small amount of chaff and pony nuts and he's having a haynet per day, otherwise he's out on grass. He has been having the feed for just 9 days.

Since I've introduced the feed he's gradually becoming spookier. Today he spooked at the yard dog who he sees every day, lifting all four feet off the ground in a mini bronc type motion. He would not have batted an eyelid before. Luckily I sat it but if he had have ditched me on the road it would be a different story. Not just this there were other things that were winding him up that we have walked past before.

When I bought him I was told he doesn't have feed. So I guess what I'm asking is can something as simple as chaff and a handful of pony nuts make such a difference? Am I feeding him too much hay if he's on grass 24/7? (The grass is very sparse in the field).

Please be kind, I am a novice to these things and I just want to do the best for us.
 
Joined
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Thank you.

He is doing 2 x 5k hacks per week and 1 longish hack (10k 2hrs) so not loads. I started feeding on my yard owners advice as she saw him come back from a long hack very sweaty.
 

Red-1

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Thank you.

He is doing 2 x 5k hacks per week and 1 longish hack (10k 2hrs) so not loads. I started feeding on my yard owners advice as she saw him come back from a long hack very sweaty.
He may need a belly clip to keep cool when working. Extra feed won't stop him sweating! In fact, if it also makes him fizzy, it could make the sweating worse. What a strange comment for the YO to make, I wonder if there were crossed wires?
 
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He may need a belly clip to keep cool when working. Extra feed won't stop him sweating! In fact, if it also makes him fizzy, it could make the sweating worse. What a strange comment for the YO to make, I wonder if there were crossed wires?
Yes she recommended clipping and introducing feed, which I did
 

Skib

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I shared a very steady old mare belonging to my RI. The only time she spooked, )(as a laundry van on the road) her food was cut to prevent it happening again.
And yes about the sweating being a separate issue. If the winter coat gets too thick for fast hacking in this mild weather the horses may be partly clipped. As my current share now is. But once they are clipped one has removed the natural hair so they may need a rug.
The relationship between rugs and feed could be that in cold climates the horses keep warm in winter using their own body heat metablism and thus the horses require higher calory input to provide for the warming.
 

Mrs Jingle

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Even if he is only on short grass do bear in mind it has been a relatively mild autumn and the grass has still been growing. Your cob will have been happily nibbling away at a lot of new growth that can be as high in sugar as fresh spring grass. Add into that the extra food you are giving against previous owners advice, then I am not surprised he is getting a bit fresh. Also a light work load for him too.

I would just do a bib clip to deal with the sweating and don,t be tempted to rug him. Just feed him adlib poor quality hay (not mouldy!) Or mix the hay with straw.

That will soon have him settling down again and not showing off his shapes the cheeky boyyo!

Pictures are compulsory by the way 😉
 
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What work was he doing before you bought him?
.
Yes this would be my question too.

There are several issues, namely:-

Work
Feed
Hay/lage
Turnout

Workload - is he having less work than he was when you bought him? I note his current workload with yourself which is actually pretty good considering the reduction of daylight hours!! Was he in a riding school before you had him?

Feed - you are feeding hard feed whereas he had none before and you were advised he didn't need it!! You are feeding "pony nuts" which as a "concentrate" can actually fizz-up a cobby type! I would drop this. Also what sort of "chaff" are you feeding?? Some of the "chaff's" can contain a lot of mollasses. If you are committed to "feeding" then I would suggest as a chaff you feed Top Spec Zero - this is what my vet suggested for my good-doer cob. Perhaps a tiny amount of Fast Fibre added to make the mixture palatable, but literally a SMALL handful with a bit of water to mix! And do bear in mind that feed companies are very helpful and will give you plenty of advice if you ask them!

Hay/lage - what sort of amount are you feeding?? And what sort of hay is it? Or is this haylage? Ryegrass hay or haylage can be like feeding rocket-fuel, so check out what you are feeding. I suspect you are over-feeding! It is easy to do. I would suggest you get a weigh-tape and start recording your cob's weight - I do mine on a weekly basis. You will need to know the ideal weight for your cob to do this! Ask someone experienced and/or your vet if you're not sure, because the other thing you'll need to watch with these good-doer types is laminitis. Beware especially of turning out onto frosty grass on a bright sunny morning as that can be risky due to the fructan levels in the grass being raised by the action of sunlight (photosynthesis). Re. feed/hay quantity - you need to feed your horse between 1.5% - 2% of bodyweight to maintain current weight without gaining any. If you are unsure about correct weight then don't feel embarrassed about asking your vet; they'd rather come out and give you some advice as well as assess and do a weight-check at an early stage then have to come out as an emergency if something develops laminitis.

Turnout - what sort of turnout are you on?? What may seem rather meagre grazing and very little to your eyes might actually be the best thing for your pony. These types do not need rich grass!! Are you on a strip-grazing system?

Re. clipping, yes I agree with others that your pony may benefit from a little bib-clip perhaps. With these heavy-coated types they do get very hot after exercise and this helps. But please I would urge you not to over-rug! It is the worst thing you can do. Even if you see your pony shivering that isn't a sign that you should rug!! Unless the shivering occurs all the time and/or your pony has obviously been cold and miserable for a considerable time. With my pony-cob last winter, there were a few mornings when she came up to the gate shivering! Did I rug her? Nope, I gave her a feed and later on chucked some hay in her direction, and she walked around her pasture (Track system) and thus warmed herself up! What this meant that she was using her own internal metabolism to keep herself warm and therefore stayed at the correct weight without getting obese!

Hope this is helpful. If you are unsure I would ask your vet rather than your YO TBH as I rather disagree with her advice re. feeding because your pony was sweating......... that isn't a good reason to give feed if not already doing so! Rather odd that I feel.

I would see how things go for a bit; however if your pony's behaviour is still bothering you in a few weeks time then I would suggest you get some professional advice; someone who can come along and stand back and see what is happening, and work with the pair of you to offer solutions and management suggestions. I know from my own experience that this kind of intervention and mentoring at an early stage and before longstanding issues can develop is absolutely invaluable.

Good luck!
 
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What work was he doing before you bought him?
.
He was in a riding school pre covid. Then out of work through lockdowns and bought back into work on a sales livery yard.

I wasn't advised as such regarding feed, they just said he didn't have anything.

He's clipped now.

He's out in a herd field 24/7 with the exception of the few hours I bring him in for some hay because they aren't putting any out for them yet. He doesn't like being in so this suits him.

I'm sorry I've tried to upload a pic but it says the file size is too big!!
 

Pearlsasinger

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OP, it would be very useful for you to read a bit more around the subject of feeding horses and ponies. There may still be a free course online about feeding equines produced by Edinburgh University, which it would be worth you taking.
If you feel that your horse genuinely needs more food than he was getting when you bought him (I doubt it), give him grass-based feed, so hay/lage, grass chaff, grass nuts, rather than 'pony nuts', which tend to be high starch/high sugar and are not good for equines, especially good-doers. Horses digestive systems have evolved to cope well with forage (grass), rather than cereals, which can have a bad effect on them. Digesting forage helps the horse to keep warm, so if he gets enough of the right kind of food (grass-based), he won't need a rug for a bib-clip.

Don't worry about not knowing everything about horses, we all had to start somewhere! Your YO could ahve explained better though!
 

Shoei

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I echo what others have said and cut back on feed. I'd always lean towards forage and a ballancer rather than a mixed feed and only introduce that if really needed.

You would be amazed at how many can work well on this diet.
 
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