What to feed child's pony?

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At the moment, our new pony is only having grass and hay, with the odd tiny treat from a bag of laminitic pony treats. He's currently slightly overweight and gains weight easily, so I don't want to feed him anything that will make him fatter. He's also a child's pony that is already forward-going, so don't want to make him fizzy as my daughter is hoping to show him. Can anyone tell me if you think our pony needs additional feed and what you would recommend? Also, would you recommend the mineral licks as I've seen these in the tack shop but have no experience with them?

Thank you in advance.
 

chestnut cob

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I wouldn't feed him anything other than grass and hay, and if he's overweight then you may need to consider soaking hay and limiting grass access to help him lose weight. I'd just give a salt lick (I like the Himalayan rock salt licks you hang up in the stable), nothing else, and definitely not those awful molasses based mineral licks. TBH I wouldn't give a child's pony treats either, unless you can guarantee the pony won't get nippy with the child.
 

paddi22

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i wouldn't fit anything but soaked hay and maybe a handful of low cal balancer.
I'd definitely stay away from licks and treats. I have a little mini and it lives in a world where it never sees treats, or else it would turn into a monster! Ponies live on fresh air and are better being fitter instead of chubby, so don't feel guilty about not feeding it bucket feed.
 

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Thank you for your advice.

I haven't fed him any extra feeds so far as I wasn't sure if he needed it and didn't want him to become fatter or fizzy. It was just because a friend on the same yard has recently bought a pony and is feeding it all sorts of extra things. She asked what we were feeding and suggested that grass and hay wouldn't provide all of the nutrients that our pony needed.

We are trying to tackle his weight by double netting his hay and he seems to be happy enough with this. I will remember what you said about soaking it though, if the weight doesn't shift.

The treats aren't given regularly and are always fed in a bucket as I'm also keen to ensure that he doesn't become a nipper.

Thank you for confirming what I was already thinking. I just saw everyone else giving extra feed and worried we were neglecting our little man.
 

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Thank you paddi22. Do you have any recommendations for a good balancer that won't make him fatter or fizzy? Does this need to be mixed with anything else, like chaff or can it be fed alone? Thank you.
 

chestnut cob

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Honestly, I wouldn't even feed a balancer. Horses evolved over millions of years to get nutrients from poor forage so your pony will be fine on grass and hay. Dont let the other livery guilt trip you. My horse (big native pony type) events, team chases, and does all sorts of fast, hard work, on just grass, hay and a salt lick!

The pony doesn't need anything. You said he's chubby so don't introduce anything extra to Hus diet. He needs work and less food so he loses weight.
 

TGM

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Agree with the other comments above. Stick to grass and hay and ignore the other livery! It would be more neglectful to give him extra feed and let him get fatter!
 

Pearlsasinger

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Honestly ponies can live off fresh air! They have evolved over centuries to make the most of very sparse grazing which they roam over miles of scrubland to find.
Your pony will do very well on hayand grass with an unmolassed salt lick. If he comes in at night, you could replace some of the hay with plain oat straw chaff - my mare lost weight on a similar regime and she was obese why I bought her!
 
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