Feeding advice for ponies that live out for the winter

smallgirl

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26 August 2005
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162
I am looking for some advice on what/if anything I should be thinking about adding to my ponies diet. They are living out in Scotland, one native 2yr unrugged, the other 12yr old PBA (rugged) (who has had laminits in the past due to steroid injections) so have them both on a low sugar diet.

They currently have a feed in the morning and evening of hi-fi original, speedi beet and top spec balancer, are both well covered, I can just feel the ribs and they more than happy to stay out in the stinking weather so are not cold. I am keen not to have them lose condition this winter, they are living out and hopefully will stay this way for the winter (both much happier out than in).

If the weather is really bad (like today) they can stand in and have a haynet. Other than that they have their field (10 plus acres) that still has plenty of grass in it.

My first rule is that they can fill up on hay before I add much to their feeds, equally I don't want them losing condition when the weather turns colder if there is something I can add to their diets that will help them through the hard times and I'd love to know what other people use.

I have tried oil and alfa-a oil in the past with good results so can always revert back to that.

So what would you guys suggest or am I going along the right lines just now?
 

camilla4

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13 July 2009
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3,682
To be perfectly honest, if they are thriving on what you are already feeding them, I wouldn't change it. The key is to monitor them very carefully and note any changes. The most important factor in making sure they can get through harsh, cold weather is to ensure that they have ad lib hay. It it the digestion of forage that produces the heat they need and so this is vital. I would ensure they have this as a first priority.
 

TGM

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3 April 2003
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15,744
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South East
If they are getting a balancer, then all you really need to add is some hay if and when the grazing deteriorates to the point that they start to lose weight.
 

Archiepoo

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13 September 2011
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can you give them hay/haylage in the field so theve always got something nutritious to munch on ,cos the grass wont have much goodness now. everything else sounds great tho:D
 

smallgirl

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26 August 2005
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162
Thanks guys, I thought I was on the right lines but you know sometimes when you swither....well I had one of the times this mornnig.

They are looking just right just now and they can have hay in the field when the weather turns, our grass is still growing a little bit so no need to put hay in just now.
 

horserugsnot4u

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2 March 2011
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368
Location
midlands
I have two native ponies out 24/7 and at the moment they get a small cup of Topspec Balancer with a small amount of carrot or apple. No hay as yet as there is plenty of grass. Bear in mind if yours are carrying plenty of weight now (mine are) it is best if they lose some over the winter as nature intended. Coming into the spring they should be on the thinner side of normal weight, otherwise it's a battle the rest of the year to keep the weight off.
 
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