Fat minis and contradictory farrier advice

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Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2009
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He is in a way better home then the rescue. That place is great to be when being rescued and the rescue groups are awesome places for animals until they find a good loving home. Which is what your providing. So your 2nd guessing your feeding program.... So what! we all do. And we all have seen at least one of our animals where they looked off but only until we figured out how to fix it.

Don't think that he's better off cause he is where he belongs. Your a great horsey momma to learn and ask questions that may concern you. And that's what good horsey mommas do.

The only way he would need to go back is if you stopped caring.

Just figure out how to feed his needs and all will be good. It no different then for folks who have easy or hard keepers. Its a trial and error on a feed program until ya get it right.

Don't beat yourself up... You'll figure it out! I promise!

And again... We all have been there. We all learn as we go even if your a new be or 30 years into it.
Apr 20, 2005
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Southwest Oklahoma
You are doing fine! I am feeling some challenges right now also with my horses so I know what it's like to feel as though I'm going backward.

When I have problems with mine, I try to think about how much I'm learning. Every horse teaches me so much. Some lessons I hope I never need again!

Each horse reacts differently to feeding programs, and you are making careful choices and showing how much you care by learning all you can. Don't beat yourself up, you are doing fine, and to me the key is to give each new "feeding program" time to show how it is working. Start something, stay with it a while (unless there is an emergency problem) and then give it time to see how the horse reacts to the new program.

As was said, we have ALL been there....trying to meet the needs of each horse that comes into our care and do the best for them. Each one IS different, and will respond differently, and trial and error -- giving time to see results -- is IMHO the best way to go.

Good luck, and pat yourself on the back for being loving enough to care!


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Nov 27, 2009
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Cameron, NC
He looks good and he's a really cute little fella!

Honestly I think the last couple of years have been challenging to feed horses all over the US due to these wild weather patterns that have not been the norm. I know that we have struggled with it here in NC the last couple of years - have some that are finally almost overweight and a few that are still alittle under weight... I was just trying to point out that there could be changes in the current hay crops due to suddenly chaniging weather - so that if you weren't aware you are now. Yep, it's something else to think about. Not to worry - just to keep in the back of your mind and account for that, too.

It is better if you can keep with the same supplier with your hay. BUT I don't/can't! Just getting hay from the same supplier - I get different cuts and though he may cut at the same time - the field that's on this road may not have the same nutrients in it and thus hay growth as what the hay 2 miles away and 3 roads over had. I have seen hay from the same field be completely different - sometimes by the roadside is more weedy and a low spot may have some more tender clover. Here in NC, the humidity also affects the hay. And what is stored closest to the barn door will be more so than that that is deeper in the barn and in the stack. Again - it's knowledge to arm yourself with. You will find that you are constantly learning.

Be careful of 2nd guessing yourself. That sets up a negative loop for you - which I don't think you need right now. Small changes are good - now give them a chance to work. I must be getting old - I can never remember anymore how long a product needs to be used to see what the affect it has on your horses. And I agree with the others - being in a home where he is loved and with a caring/learning owner is better than remaining at the Rescue. Also, if he was rescued from a bad situation - a year may not have been enough time for all his systems to come out of shock and to become "what he is"...

Just in the past two days, when it's cooled down a lot at night (but been horribly humid thruout the day), ours have had tremendous hair growth and even my non-horsey hubby asked about it! He's now very worried about this winter... It feels like several snow storms just ended - I'm not at all ready for winter to come here this year. This is the first time that I can remember being worried about it!!

I bet the haynets you are now using will work well. The extra exercise will also make a difference - it will tighten and tone him up as you work together. You could use those leading/walking sessions as beginning training for driving. While I always recommend a mentor or an instructor for learning how to drive - i've seen people learn w/o lessons. There are good books and videos available these days for training. There are different styles.

Any more pics of your guy? Take a deep breath and enjoy some time with him.


Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2008
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Hi, there is always a learning curve... actually if you own horses you learn new ways of caring for each one all the time because they change from time to time. Just read this forum and you will see.. somebody learning to care for a sore eye, somebody learning how to care for a horse after founder, somebody learning how to use wormers... etc. It is what it is.

On feeding hay.. I buy "busy hay".. very clean, very fine grass hay. I pick up 9 bales at a time. I feed out of a modified goat feeder I had someone make for me. I don't scrimp on the hay. I do feed it in increments several times a day because if I put out a whole bale they would gobble it up. They are pasture piggies. They eat wood when I don't keep the hay going. I feed the quiescence, it helps plenty. I tried to get thrifty and when my horse store ran out of quiescence in the cheaper foil bags I just skipped for a month. Didn't take long for my boy to get fat pads and start getting fat again. I really realized just how well it was working when I stopped for a few weeks. The feed store gave me a discount on the smaller container to match the price of the bigger container and we are back in business on the quiescence.

On horses the beard is what they get. I don't trim the beard in the winter, and I let bridle paths grow out too because it helps to wick away moisture and keep them warm. As far as the comment about looking like he has a lot of hair, his body hair is heavier than a lot of our horses this time of year, but I have seen thicker hair on some horses that are totally white before, but I thought the same thing about his body hair, it does look thick for this time of year. It also looks like he just had a bath in the photo and those lines on him are from the shedder water scraper you used? Just guessing. Anyway, on a 3 year horse I would just make sure that your worming program is spot on, could also have your vet do a fecal analysis on a fresh poo for you too. Other things becides cushings can affect the hair on a horse.

Your horse isn't as fat as my one boy, I should post a photo to show you just how chubby my boy got when I ran out of quiescence. I could then post "after photos" later to show the difference of being on and off quiescence.

Also, these horses aren't built like biggies and unless they are in major conditioning and exercise, they can get a little "funny looking" with their weight and body shape at times, just look at humans in the spring when they try on bathing suits. LOL, same thing.

. I have seen many photos of non show minis that look like your horse and many where the horse is much chubbier. It is what it is. don't beat yourself up. Do your best and keep asking questions.

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Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2003
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Haven't read all the posts but just wanted to say I use the Himalayan salt 'rocks'. There are over 80 minerals in them, where a manufactored mineral salt has about 4. I dont think he looks that much overweight, but the first thing that comes to mind, due to personal experience, is low thyroid. They will also develope fat pockets and can become extremely obese. It can be tied in to iodine deficiency too. A simple blood test by your vet will tell if you fhat is the case.

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