Help me feed Dolly

Ambers Echo

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Dolly is rising 5. She is 14.2 (or will be) and worked 5 times a week between 30 and 60 minutes (with breaks). She tires quite easily and Katie's RI said we are working her correctly but need to feed her more 'corn' as she is young and needs more energy to sustain her work-load and to build her up as she is pretty weedy looking!

She is currently on Pink Mash and Alfa A molasses free and a forage plus winter balancer. And ad lib haylage overnight/grass in the day. Her weight is fine. Should we just increase her current rations or add something like oats? RI also suggested a supplement called Propell Plus which I had never heard of to give her a bit of a boost. She is very calm in all situations including when competing. Thoughts?
 

be positive

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I would be reluctant to make any real changes at this time of year if she looks well enough in her weight because the grass will be coming through and that should be enough to give her the extra she requires, the only thing I would add is linseed and salt if she doesn't get it.
Propell plus is very high in iron and unless she is known to be lacking may do more harm than good, at her age she will get tired and as she does very little hacking, other thread, she will be missing out on one part of her exercise that can really help to build muscle and fitness, plenty of hillwork, it is easy to look for quick fixes but in my view they can be damaging to a young growing equine so see how she is in a month or two with some decent grass in her.
 

Ambers Echo

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Ok thanks. She does get salt and there is linseed in the Pink Mash so I'll leave things as they are for now. x
 

Ambers Echo

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With the clock change she can hack more now too as she can hack after school. My daughter is not such a coward as I am and is happy to take her out.
 
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I am no expert on feeding and learning myself, but I can say that adding corn to the diet seems to work brilliantly for my mare who is a poor doer. I bought her in December and she was slightly on the skinny side, but nothing drastic. Over the next 2 months she lost an alarming amount of condition despite receiving a lot of good quality hard food, vitamins, as much as she could eat hay. After through vet checks revealed nothing I contacted the seller to ask their advice, which was to replace part of her muesli with 'cornflakes'. In 6 weeks she is a different pony, nice round butt, regained her topline, looking super:)
 

Pearlsasinger

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I would be very wary of adding anything starchy into her feed tbh. If she is only rising 5, she is probably still growing and so possibly not yet fit enough for all that you are asking of her. I would stick to her current diet as the grass grows and try to work her differently to build up stamina and muscle, so probably more hill work at slower speeds
 

milliepops

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With the clock change she can hack more now too as she can hack after school. My daughter is not such a coward as I am and is happy to take her out.
sounds like a plan. I would agree with BP personally but you don't say how much you are feeding her of each thing currently? is it a token feed or the recommended amount, say?
If you get some decent grass and she does a bit more of the fitness building work you may well find that does the trick, sounds like it is stamina rather than sparkle that she is lacking?
If that isn't sufficient I am a fan of adding oats on working days, it works well for me because you can keep the basic ration the same and then just top them up when they are busy, rather than needing different mixes etc.
 

ester

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please don't feed propell or redcell, the last think most UK horses need is more iron.
I'm an oats fan too, but that's as the owner of an older, relatively lazy native :p

I'd want to know how much linseed I was feeding in the pink mash (not on their datasheet, just as third ingredient)as that would be my initial go to, micronised, preferably charnwoods due to their processing (but lots of resellers).
 

splashgirl45

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agree with BP, wrong time of year to up feed, i would wait for a while and see how she is with the new grass. plenty of hacking will be better for her mind as she is still young to keep schooling and it may be boredom rather than getting tired which hacking should help with...
 

Tiddlypom

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I would be very wary of adding anything starchy into her feed tbh. If she is only rising 5, she is probably still growing and so possibly not yet fit enough for all that you are asking of her. I would stick to her current diet as the grass grows and try to work her differently to build up stamina and muscle, so probably more hill work at slower speeds
This. It sounds more like she needs to be fitter, than to be given more feed. She seems to be expected to do a rather a lot for such a young pony. She is a lovely willing girl, but her foreleg conformation is not the best and IMHO she needs slow and steady building up if she is to have a long ridden career.
 

windand rain

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Never feed for energy it just results in a fatter lazier horse with all the risks of obesity. The only way forward is strength and fitness. The only horses that may need extra food in any form are those who are skinny or ill or both. Dolly really needs more exercise and more strength certainly not iron unless she has blood tested as anemic which I would be very surprised at
 

Leo Walker

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please don't feed propell or redcell, the last think most UK horses need is more iron.
I'm an oats fan too, but that's as the owner of an older, relatively lazy native :p

I'd want to know how much linseed I was feeding in the pink mash (not on their datasheet, just as third ingredient)as that would be my initial go to, micronised, preferably charnwoods due to their processing (but lots of resellers).
You beat me to it! Please dont feed redcell or procell etc. I think the levels of linseed are fairly low in Pink Mash. Not enough to make any of my fatties, fatter anyway. I'm another one who would leave well alone and up the hacking.

You can always look to add oats if she drops off later on in the year.
 

ester

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Never feed for energy it just results in a fatter lazier horse with all the risks of obesity. The only way forward is strength and fitness. The only horses that may need extra food in any form are those who are skinny or ill or both. Dolly really needs more exercise and more strength certainly not iron unless she has blood tested as anemic which I would be very surprised at
Certainly not the case for mine, he was much much better if fed for energy, no fatter as he put more effort into life ;). Doing all the fitness work in the world didn't result in the same and had done that for years.
 

milliepops

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Yup I have another exception then, mine definitely needs the oats to perform at her best but I did only add them when I knew she was as fit as I could get her without riding her legs off. Also Welsh, and also a horse that was originally very fat! 🤣
 

supsup

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I'd want to know how much linseed I was feeding in the pink mash (not on their datasheet, just as third ingredient)as that would be my initial go to, micronised, preferably charnwoods due to their processing (but lots of resellers).
I deduced that the pink mash has about 10% linseed in it. The analysis gives 3.5% oil, while pure Charnwood linseed has 35%. The other ingredients in the pink mash shouldn't have much oil content, so I'm guessing those 3.5% oil are likely all/mostly from the linseed.
 

tristar

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i up and down the oats according to the work, and add them to the same as you are using.

i always feed for energy with care
 
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