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Merogsrha

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Some of you may remember my post on here not to long ago about the two rescued mini's I took i, Rusty and Cookie. After a few weeks of working with them, I decided it was best (and safest) to find Rusty a more knowledgable owner to calm his "attitude". I have ran into difficulty working around him with threats of a kick (NOT a fearful reaction- definetly an "Im boss hoss here" reaction). Since my 3 yr old follows me to the barn daily, I had to keep her safety in mind. I contacted the two ladies who transported them (who, ironically, were interested in Rusty when I was selling him last year). A deal was struck, and Rusty went off to his new home this evening. I think this was best involved for all, including Cookie. She was being bullied away from the hay more than she was able to eat, and hasnt shown any progress weight wise. This was with 4 piles between the two of them. Now I can focus my time, love, and funds into Cookie, and getting her back to a healthy weight. She is great on the ground in all aspects, so now my little one will be able to ENJOY the horses rather than always watching from the other side of the fence. A few questions I have for those of you who have rescued before:

Cookie is/will be on pretty much free choice good hay (a few "empty" spots throughout the day, but 3-4 feedings per day), and will be starting on the Miniature Horse Feed (unless I get the greenlight to just use good sweet feed) this weekend- slowly of coarse.

Question - Should I consider blanketing her at night or during cold weather snaps? She does have a good winter coat- but I figure blanketing can't hurt her any when it comes to conserving energy to gain weight rather than keep warm. I dont mean a huge heavy duty arctic blanket, just a medium weight one likely.

Is it a better idea to stall her at night, or let her continue to have the run in/out of the stall and small winter paddock? This is more of a safety question I suppose - We do live in the "woods" of Northern NY.

And darnnit, I had more I thought of whilst in the barn, but lost my train of thought with the kiddos runnin around
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Ill add more in a future post or edit this one as I remember
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lucky seven

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Where in NY are you from? I'm in the Saratoga, Glens Falls area. I think I would stay with the mini feed, I've been told that sweet feed is a big no-no for minis. Good luck with Cookie.
 

Merogsrha

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Far Northern NY - Near the Cornwall Border
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That is what I was thinking I had been told with mini's, just wanted to re-verify I guess - Probably shoulda done a search of the forum first, but I was trying to get everything written while I was on track- which didnt last long ;)

Thanks! Cookie is going to be a VERY safe alternative for my kids to learn around - My oldest ( 3 1/2) LOVES her (and did Rusty too, even though he was "mean" she said ;) )
 

Merogsrha

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Am I correct in assuming that they lead to things such as founder more so than the mini feeds?
 

SMW

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I'll offer what I know to work from experience and hopefully it helps if an alternative is needed:

From experience Omolene 500 has been proven with the mini's i've worked with to be a safe feed, especially if paired with beet pulp (we use midagri brand.) An example of the feeding for a horse of her condition, we've given 3 cups of the Omolene, and 3 cups of beet pulp mixed. And if a show horse, a small handful of alfalfa with the grain. Also have used LS Sentinel from Blue Seal. Although, WARNING: if given to an already heavy horse it will cause founder! Given in moderation will be good for quick weight gain as well. An example of that is 2 cups of LS, a handful of alfalfa, and 2 cups beet pulp. If you have a horse that is already foundering, you can offer Quissence, as it is formulated for horses with cresty necks and to relieve founder issues. Gave 2 capfuls with the feed and in two weeks the changes were visible.

From what I know about founder, it's not so much the fat content that causes it - it's the sugar content. And if the horse is already heavy, giving it a high fat, high sugar feed is just asking for lamenitis and founder. Your best bet to avoid all chances of founder is to keep your horse on a low sugar, low starch feed. But this is for a horse that is known to founder.

To get a horse to gain weight, you'll need high protein and high fat, while at the same time keeping in mind you don't want a ton of fat in their diet. If I remember correctly off the top of my head, purina strategy has 12% fat and is a great all around feed and the Omolene 500 has 14% fat.

If you can keep her on the Mini feed, that is by far the best of the best you can give her. Just offering a little variety :)
 

Merogsrha

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Great Info SMW!! Nutritional rations and percentiles and that type of thing are NOT my strong suit, and your explanation may actually "stick" in my brain :) I would rate Cookie on the condition scale at about a 2-3 (She has some aspects of both from what I can feel). I will be getting a bag of the Mini Feed, and a bag of beet pulp for her.

Am I correct in assuming she should be worked up slowly on the grain, starting with say a handful of each for a couple of days, working up to the "full" amount? I am assuming this because of the cardinal grass rule and figure grain etc is the same. As I mentioned in my intro post - Ive never been around the "proper feeding etticate" as far as grain goes - our horses growing up just got a scoop of sweet feed and oats along with their hay - mainly as a treat cause they sure didnt need it for weight gain ;)

I don't believe Cookie is foundering currently, but am going to ask the farrier about the condition of her hooves and see if he can tell if that may be an issue with her. Ive got a visit scheduled this week for her
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jandjmc

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Hi;

Be careful blanketing her. If she has a good coat, by putting a blanket on her you will smash it down, hurting the insulation of her hair coat. She may very well be colder with the blanket on! If the weather is not wet or windy, leave her out where she can move, provided with good hay and warm water. If it's wet or windy, I'd allow her access to a stall but able to go in and out, if that possible.

For her feed ration, you might consider adding a small amount of oil, start with a teaspoon or so. Corn, canola or soybean will work (Canola has more omega-3s but is more expensive). Oil will add calories and help her gain weight.

Best of luck with your girl! She sounds like a sweetie!
 

Merogsrha

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Hello! Thanks for the info : ) She does have a run in stall attached to her small winter paddock. Weather has been dry recently, so I have allowed her (and Rusty) to have in/out access all day/night. The door of the shed faces my carport and away from prevailing winds (thank goodness!) so I think she should be fine. I will definetly reconsider blanketing her after your post! She does have a nice winter coat (making her look like she is at a healthy weight- cant tell there is anything wrong until you touch her)

I will also use your tip on the oil - thanks for specifying which ones to use. You said to start with a teaspoon or two - what would I be working up to as a "max" dose? She is about 36" tall from eyballing her - will try to get a more accurate measurment today
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Thanks! She is a sweetheart - a little shy with quick or unexpected motions (Thanks Rusty ;) ) but she will get over it quickly - She loves her treats
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Ashley

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I too would skip the blanket. I only ever blanketed my very old big horse. Sweet feed can work but I would consider something else for weight gain. I think you might even want something other then the mini feed for that. My horses are on that now and are in great shape except for one who needs to actually gain weigh.
 

rabbitsfizz

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You absolutely did the right thing in re-homing Rusty- your child and her welfare have to come first, so, especially as you vetted the home, I think that was the right move.

I would not blanket- if you have the option of a stall at night I would use it more for your peace of mind than anything else, but if you put a blanket on him you will ruin his chances of having a waterproof/weatherproof coat.
 

SMW

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Great Info SMW!! Nutritional rations and percentiles and that type of thing are NOT my strong suit, and your explanation may actually "stick" in my brain :) I would rate Cookie on the condition scale at about a 2-3 (She has some aspects of both from what I can feel). I will be getting a bag of the Mini Feed, and a bag of beet pulp for her.

Am I correct in assuming she should be worked up slowly on the grain, starting with say a handful of each for a couple of days, working up to the "full" amount? I am assuming this because of the cardinal grass rule and figure grain etc is the same. As I mentioned in my intro post - Ive never been around the "proper feeding etticate" as far as grain goes - our horses growing up just got a scoop of sweet feed and oats along with their hay - mainly as a treat cause they sure didnt need it for weight gain ;)

I don't believe Cookie is foundering currently, but am going to ask the farrier about the condition of her hooves and see if he can tell if that may be an issue with her. Ive got a visit scheduled this week for her
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It is always good to build up feed in moderation - this is good to prevent horses that like to "gulp and wolf down" their feed. I'd say, start off with two cups of both and see how she eats with that in the AM feed. If she's not eating it as fast as she can (like if she were starving) go ahead and up the PM feed to 3 cups, but at the same time watch her just in case. As long as she doesn't appear colicy, you're in the clear to keep on with that. If she still isn't gaining a lot of weight after four weeks, don't be discouraged, sometimes they'll surprise you with a "hay belly" out of nowhere. Adjust accordingly.

I'd also nix the blanket, the only time I ever use them are for horses with serious rib cage showing and little winter fur, and clipped horses. If she is shivering, however, you can get her a fleece blanket (which i believe comes attatched to a hood a lot of the time, depends on the brand.) That should help out just a little bit, but at the same time will allow the fur to "loft" like it's supposed to. I had an article sent to me about blanketing horses and I found it really informational, I'll send it your way if I find it again.

If your horse founders, believe me - you'll know it. Some hooves are effected with the toes curling upward, others will look like they're on platform shoes. Here is an informational website that helped me understand it better - http://miniaturehorses-cruzmountain.com/founder.html
 

jandjmc

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About adding oil, you can easily add 2-3 tablespoons but up the amount gradually, just so she doesn't get "loose". My horses don't like it if their food has too much oil, (I wouldn't like oily food either), so mixing it in with their grain helps.
 

Merogsrha

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Thanks Everyone on the additional information! I have decided against blanketing Cookie for now, unless she shows signs of shivering or cold. She seems to be hangin tough though with no problems
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I have been stalling her at night in the last week, since our weather has been unpredictable between rain, sleet, and snow. I know she would go in if she wanted to, but I prefer to know she is in, and dry at night :)

Will be getting the mini feed and beet pulp today- had vehicle trouble all week and couldnt make it to town for extras. She does seem like she has gained a small amount on just free choice hay - her sternum does not feel as pronounced as it was a week ago.. B ut I know she will love (and flourish) with some good grain and extra boost
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In other news - it looks like i may be getting two more "rescues" in - pregnant mares at that... I could take a stud (there is three) but I am not set up for a stud atthe moment (He'd be gelded as soon as I had the funds anyways- but no place for him in the meantime lol) Stay tuned for lots more questions and info on them hehe
 

Marty

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You won't find any sweet feed on my place either. I use Purina Miniature feed for everyone across the board. I used to feed Strategy, but I think that added to the fat problem around here, but its good stuff also. An as said, if you have a founder problem, you'd know it. Your horse would be showing signs of lameness.

I don't blanket at all. I do have them in case of some emergency but I don't use them. Keep her out of the wind and wet and she should do just fine. I do stall mine at night and in all bad weather and keep hay provided. You sound like you are on the right track in so many ways. I like you already. Merry Christmas.
 

Merogsrha

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Hello Everyone! I was going to start a new thread, but figured I would update this one with my new question
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Cookie is now on free choice hay, two cups of miniature horse & pony fee 2X day (with semi warm H20 added to make sure she is consuming some at least), and is stalled on the cooler or snowy nights. We are now dipping towards 20 below this evening (zero last night), and I have seen Cookie shivering both last night and tonight. Last night I tried to rig up a quick blanket, but it wasnt where I left it this morning (which was ON her lol). No blanket tonight, but I DID rig up a heat lamp (no it wont give her any "night" time, but at the very least she can stand under it when the temps get brutal tonight if she wants to. Plan is to get a blanket either made or bought ASAP for these brutal nights. Dont need her shivering off any weight she may have gained. I also hung a nice thick wool blanket over the barn door to help keep out some cold and some heat in. The "barn" is really just a metal storage shed with partially wooded walls and a sliding door. Not the greatest heat keeper, I know - but I just need to get through this year and get the REAL barn built this coming spring.

I know I can get a pattern from Suitability, but was wondering if anyone here had a sample pattern they would be willing to share? I am NOT an artistic person and can't seem to get the shape right when I try on paper, even though I SWEAR I can see it in my head :) Any other tips for helping her through these brutally cold nights?
 

Rhondaalaska

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Good work . The heat lamp will help if safe. My mare has a light on in her barn 24/7 because she is actually afraid of the dark lol.

I wouldn't worry about the light bothering her. Mine sleeps just fine with hers on. Amazon and eBay had some mini blankets for sale.

Make sure you measure her so you know what size she needs.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Hello Everyone! I was going to start a new thread, but figured I would update this one with my new question
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Cookie is now on free choice hay, two cups of miniature horse & pony fee 2X day (with semi warm H20 added to make sure she is consuming some at least), and is stalled on the cooler or snowy nights. We are now dipping towards 20 below this evening (zero last night), and I have seen Cookie shivering both last night and tonight. Last night I tried to rig up a quick blanket, but it wasnt where I left it this morning (which was ON her lol). No blanket tonight, but I DID rig up a heat lamp (no it wont give her any "night" time, but at the very least she can stand under it when the temps get brutal tonight if she wants to. Plan is to get a blanket either made or bought ASAP for these brutal nights. Dont need her shivering off any weight she may have gained. I also hung a nice thick wool blanket over the barn door to help keep out some cold and some heat in. The "barn" is really just a metal storage shed with partially wooded walls and a sliding door. Not the greatest heat keeper, I know - but I just need to get through this year and get the REAL barn built this coming spring.

I know I can get a pattern from Suitability, but was wondering if anyone here had a sample pattern they would be willing to share? I am NOT an artistic person and can't seem to get the shape right when I try on paper, even though I SWEAR I can see it in my head :) Any other tips for helping her through these brutally cold nights?
You can use any blanket, like an army blanket or large throw. Use duct tape to tape it on her. I've used that in a pinch and it works just fine. Run the tape all the way around the belly, then across the chest. (Dont' put the tape on her hair, just on the fabric.)
 

wingnut

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ETA: I just read where you said it would be 20 below. OOh then forget what I said! LOL!

I would only blanket her if you find she needs it. You'll be able to tell, trust me! Even my hard keeper, who has far less fat (none actually!) than my other 3 horses has been able to keep her temperature regulated without the need for a blanket. The only time I bring out a blanket for her is when it's very wet and blow cold so that her hair can't keep "lofted" which is how they stay warm. When the temps dip to freezing and blow, I up the hay amounts I give everyone. As much as double the normal amount.
 
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