What to feed a skinny but very high energy pony!? Help?

elkiebean

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hi

I have a 14.2hh mare who lives out 24/7, shes dropped off so much over winter and really struggling as to what to feed her to get some condition back without sending her crazy.

At the moment she's on two feeds a day, large scoop of chaff and scoop of pony nuts. Also access to haylage in the field all the time.
She is in work to keep her ticking over but nothing much, bit of schooling and jumping, up to 4 times per week.

You can see all her ribs..... But she's still very very high energy.

Any ideas would be really appreciated!! Thanks!
 
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I feed calm and condition to mine. And I know a lot of others do too. You might want to check if the chaff you are using is high in sugars as a lot are.

I find that it works a lot better than sugar beer or anything like that. Also if your horse is getting a lot of food and haylage, a balancer might be a good think to look into too :)
 
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I would not let her drop off[!], with mine I started feeding in Sept maintained most weight till Feb then kept weight fixed so he was light when the grass started, having said that he was not a good doer, more normal, and I kept hacking in winter to maintain muscles.
Diet: lo sugar high fibre. Use oil for slow release energy. Micronised linseed is a really good feed, start with 100gms [coffee cup per day] and build up to 150 if still losing weight.
Most pony nuts, even chaff, and sugar beet nuts are high in sugars, so you need to cut them out.
Fast fibre [soak 15 mins] with micronised linseed might be the easiest feed now, it is rather like a thick green porridge, you may want to add NON molassed chaff, no alfa either to ensure she keeps calm.
Make sure the teeth are rasped every year as they need to chew all thier food.
It sounds as though she is fairly fit, so I suggest you take her out for a few hours every weekend and try to give her some cantering on hills to build muscles and get rid of excess energy, but she needs to walk as well. I don't really like trotting on flat roads or tracks, steady uphill work is required for fitness, and you are asking her for more effort, hope that makes sense.
You have to appreciate that some horses are quite forward going and need regular work, but not sugary foods.
If you want to stick with a few cubes next year, Spillers Hi fibre is quite good.
For now, I suggest you measure the girth every week, same day same time, this will tell you if the weight is gaining or losing over a 2-3 week period.
Is there a wormiing program, it is quite complex, you need to keep a record.
 
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elkiebean

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Thanks for replies!!
It's her first winter living out, obviously I diddnt mean for her to drop off like she did but it just happened really sudden.....
She was really chunky and looked great in summer.
I will have a look at the calm and condition! :)
 

TGM

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I'd recommend getting her teeth checked, as it is a bit concerning that you can see all her ribs despite being on ad lib haylage. It is possible that if her teeth need doing she is not able to chew haylage well enough to keep her weight on. What is your worming regime - do you worm count or give wormers? Has she been done for tapeworm recently (even if you worm count you should either worm for tapeworm or have a blood test for tape done, as worm counts don't show tapeworm burden and this can be a cause of poor condition).
 

nikkimariet

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Pending the response to worming/teeth checks...

What's the reason for her living out this winter?

My exracer is soooo highly strung but such a poor doer, and he drops weight as soon as the temperatures do. He's out 6.30-3/3.30 every day but in overnight with ad lib hay.



He's doing really well on a mix of winergy condition, micronised linseed, and soaked rolled oats (plus mollichaff calmer purely for extra non alfalfa fibre).
 

elkiebean

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thanks for the replies!!
got calm and condition plus hifi with no molasses. so far so good, no extra energy. give it a few weeks to see if theres any improvements
teeth done recently and worming all up to date.
shes completely wired even living out so in a stable she would just be dangerous to ride. i had her in when i first bought her and had to ride/lunge 2/3 times a day just to keep on top of it... she was out all day every day as well.
its also way to expensive... im a student aha
 

Pearlsasinger

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If you want to put weight on her, Hi-Fi is useless, it is a mix of straw and alfalfa. Some horses react badly to alfalfa - we have an Appaloosa mare who can't have any alfalfa without going completely loopy. If yours is fine with alfalfa, Alfa-A oil would be better for her weight than Hi-Fi. If she can't tolerate alfalfa, dried grass chaff such as Graze-on works well. I would give soaked grassnuts, Speedibeet and dried grass chaff with linseed oil or micronized linseed to a horse which has dropped weight and feed ad=lib hay, rather than haylage, which can also cause problems.
 

JDee

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Avoid anything that's got added molasses or any sort of syrup and avoid high starch feeds. Stick with high fibre, high oil content. Sugar beet that's got no added molasses is good for weight gain. You can mix that with grass nuts, a good ration balancer and chaff
Get your haylage analysed as that could be really high in sugar.
You don't mention if your horse is rugged up - wet weather is a real drain on horses that live out 24/7 and they need a bit extra help keeping warm
You could try her on a magnesium based supplement for a while - see if that calms her down any which would also help her weight gain if she's working it off faster than she puts it on
 

elkiebean

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the lady i talked to in the shop recommened the hifi as its got no molasses... avoiding the sugar.
she has a medium weight turnout with a heavyweight on top...
we are just about to try a magnesium calmer! :)
only just started this feed so will see what happens.
shes on a very strict no jumping flatwork only until we can get her to calm down... im not exaggerating in the slightest when i say how wired she is..... a pelham does not stop her in the school when she jumps atm..... so there is definitely no energy loss with the weight loss aha :-/ still wonder why i bought her haha

thanks again!!! :)
 

splashgirl45

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my horse is also very high energy and I have to be very careful how much haylage I feed. I use mainly hay and also use fast fibre if she needs extra weight....I did try calm and condition and it sent her loopy, also carrots do as well..i think its trial and error for each individual horse as they all seem to react differently.

mine is also much better now she is turned out with another horse in the same field, she was in an individual paddock before and she is also calmer to handle...
 
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twiggy2

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feed hay instead of haylage-haylage can upset the gut and cause ulcers in ulcer prone horses (often those that are stressy) lots of horse cannot cope with the protein levels in haylage either-it has taken me 5 months and refusing to ride one at work before they had the vet out just over a week ago, vets advice stop the haylage and see what he is like-within 48hrs he is a different horse. he has also gained weight not sure if it is due to being more relaxed or that his gut is more settled but it is working
 

elkiebean

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she is in a mixed herd and they get haylage as some of them wont eat the hay :-/
when she comes in she gets hay not hayalge....
she loves being out and in her little herd :) hates living in....
 
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Oil worked really well for my horse that had a similar problem, because it is good for them and makes them put on weight but dosent make them fizzy
 

twiggy2

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she is in a mixed herd and they get haylage as some of them wont eat the hay :-/
when she comes in she gets hay not hayalge....
she loves being out and in her little herd :) hates living in....
that is a real pain as seriously the problem with the fizzy badly behaved little horse at work was the haylage, he stopped biting, kicking walls, and generally being fizzy and grumpy within 36-48hrs of haylage being stopped, he now stands still to be tacked up, has stopped calling all the time for the others when he is being ridden and is generally far more relaxed. stopping haylage is the only change we have made
 

xgemmax

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the lady i talked to in the shop recommened the hifi as its got no molasses... avoiding the sugar.
she has a medium weight turnout with a heavyweight on top...
we are just about to try a magnesium calmer! :)
only just started this feed so will see what happens.
shes on a very strict no jumping flatwork only until we can get her to calm down... im not exaggerating in the slightest when i say how wired she is..... a pelham does not stop her in the school when she jumps atm..... so there is definitely no energy loss with the weight loss aha :-/ still wonder why i bought her haha

thanks again!!! :)
Could she be too hot? That's a lot of weight rugs that she'll have to carry around and it's not that cold at the moment?
 

elkiebean

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shes not to hot, never comes in sweaty and is nicely toasty under them... shes also clipped... was getting far to sweaty being ridden so had to get it off.
shes perfectly fine on the ground, manners not so much (working on that aha) but its only when you get on that this crazy little pony appears. shes a dope on a rope on the ground....
 

tashcat

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Calm and condition by allen and page. Does what it says:)

What type is the chaff? I think that should be fine to keep.

And some sprinkle of nuts in too is fine!
 

Theocat

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It's possible for something to be too hot without actually starting to sweat - a horse has to be mega overrugged to sweat; as the poster above I'd also check she isn't too well rugged - despite being clipped she might not need all that.

If she's really light I'd stop work for a couple of weeks to let her use the calories for weight gain - do some ground work instead :)
 
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