Help me fit my mini! - How's my feed, exercise etc.?

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hsrascal

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Looking to get feedback on getting my 9 month old mini up to par. I've had him about two months and it's been a roller coaster getting him on a consistent program, due to moving barns etc.

His current condition - some belly (not sure if it's worms or hay belly, or both), you can feel his backbone some, but he seems to be carryng his weight alright otherwise.

What I'm doing - For the past two weeks he has gotten 1/4lb of a 12% protien with corn oil once a day and free choice straight alfalfa hay. The previous two weeks to that he was getting no grain and a flake of T/A twice a day. I gave him a 250lb dose of ivermectin last week.

I exercise him by leading at walk/trot and I work him in the ring for about 20 minutes, but only at a trot because the footing is deep. I do this about 4 days a week.

He does not have ideal turnout for exercise and unfortunately, I can't change that.

Can you give a power pac to minis? (5 days of worming safeguard or panacur in a row)

 

Am I over/under feeding the grain and hay?

Is that exercise enough help him?

 

How else do you fit up a mini?
 

rabbitsfizz

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You really cannot exercise a coming yearling- their bones will not take it. As you have no alternative to the turnout you have (and I am presuming that you are working on getting somewhere better...) I would just allow him turnout ion the arena , and maybe go in and play with him, but NO enforced exercise at all, sorry, but you will cause real damage if you continue. My babies have it perfect, two acres of grass and a shed- they do a lot of standing around, and then bursts pf fighting and running and playing- this is what you need to mimic, so use the arena just to let him play around from now on. I agree with Diane on the feeding programme- I could not tell you what mine eat as they, like hers, are eating pretty much all the time, even though they get a different sort of feed- I pack my feeds full of chaff and they take around 15 hours to much their way through it all- they have grass and they have hay, but they really only eat the hay when they come into the shed. I agree with the ad lib Alfalfa, but I would think you maybe need a calcium/phosphorous balancer if you are not already feeding one- a couple of firms make them for Alfalfa hay. He is a pretty boy, but you are still way ahead of yourself worrying about his tummy when you do not know yet if it is worms causing it. Panacur is so safe you would have to drown the horse in it to do him any harm, so go ahead and do that course. You should also worm him for tapeworms if you have not already done so- you will have to get a combo Ivermectin + Praziquantel wormer to do that, this is also safe for Minis- the only chemical that is proven to be hazardous is Moxidectin, which is in Pramox and Quest, so don't use this product.

Good luck and keep asking questions...
 

hsrascal

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Thanks for your replies.
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I will stop exercising him. I was using the full size ring (100 x 200 arena) not a round pen and pretty much just chasing him around, but it was "forced" so I'll just let him do what he pleases out there for now.

We don't have any mini-safe turn out areas because it is a big horse barn, so while he has a full size stall and paddock, that's about all he gets until I get there to put him in the ring for a few hours. The barn owner has been nice enough to let me keep him there for free so I don't want to push any buttons and demand pasture space when he is the only mini.

For feed I will find out what 16%'s we have around. My big horse doesn't do much so she gets the 12%, but I don't mind getting him his own food if that's better. I think I also need a feed scale - I was probably giving him more like a pound of food in retrospect, I was feeding him 1/4 of a 3 quart scoop - whatever that equals, but I need to measure so I know what I'm doing since they are so small. Do you think there would be issues with trying to introduce a creep feeder after he's gotten used to having feeding times?

My concern about the belly is just general, whether it's worms or some imblanace in his feed, I would like to address it. I'm not looking to show him necessarily, just trying to get him healthy. I'll go ahead and give him a 5 day of Safeguard and give him the Equimax in a week or so.

What do you think (training wise) a mini weanling should be able to do?

I have a decent training program as far as manners etc. goes I think - he leads from both sides well and has stop/stand/walk/trot/turn functions. He sort of squares up but I haven't been working him with that too much. He ties well for me to groom (minus occasional pawing), trailers well, and allows me to pick up his feet. He's a very respectful citizen.

How do you socialize your minis?

But what do you do for "fun"? I'm not huge on hand feeding treats. He isn't afraid of people at all, but he's not the kind who walks up to you either, he's in between and if possible I'd like to open him up a little.
 

rabbitsfizz

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I wonder if the BO would consider letting you mini proof an area with hot wire?
 

disneyhorse

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I've not heard of many feeding free choice alfalfa? Is it poor quality?

I live in California, where alfalfa is the cheapest hay. No one feeds it free fed to horses. Many of us pay double to import orchard or Timothy which CAN be free fed.
 

muffntuf

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1/4 lb. grain 12% is a start. I would try to find some Jr. Equine grain - like Purina Jr. Equine or ADM Jr. Glo, at least 14% protein, and up his grain to 1/2 lb. three times a day if possible. Free choice hay - especially alfalfa is good for right now - when he gains some more weight - I would give him some grass so his tummy gets used to digesting it. On the corn oil - I am guessing you are adding corn oil because he is underweight - when you move him to a higher protein grain and more of it - you can slack off the oil.

Thanks so much for sharing!!! I guess its the little guy in your pic?

On exercise - when he gets a little more weight on - he will move around all by himself - he will have energy and then be a pistol!
 
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wingnut

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I would up his feed to a 16% protein. When I did that with my weanlings, that belly went away. I too used Omolene 300 that first year. At one point, I forgot to take into consideration how much they had grown and gained weight. I didn't change their feed amount accordingly and that belly came back. Once I adjusted it to better suit their current size, the belly went away again.

Feeding by weight is also something that I learned and found to be a good thing to do. I bought a plastic measuring cup that measures in terms of pounds for both sweet feed and pellet feeds. I used a scale to confirm it was accurate for the feeds I was using. It's so much easier than having to weigh every time you feed. http://www.smartpakequine.com/surescoop-5899p.aspx

I've always fed my horses on a schedule (from a bucket) even when my weanlings came to me at 10 months and 4-5 months, respectively. I didn't know what "creeper feeding" even was at that point! LOL!

As far as socializing, we simply spent time with them as much as possible. Just grooming, walking, talking to them working around their stalls, etc. I would take a chair and a book and sit in the paddock. My husband would just sit on the ground. I can't tell you how many times he had a weanling laying his lap! Good long walks are a great source of exercise and bonding time. If you want to encourage to him to play during his arena time, maybe see if you can get your hands on a jumbo ball that he can push around/chase:



I'm not one to do much in the way of treats either. I save those for "rewards" at grooming time. For me it stems from the same approach I take with my dogs, they don't get much in the way of treats either.
 
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JMS Miniatures

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I agree that he isn't getting a good grain. I personally like the ADM JuniorGLO, and they actually recommend keeping them on it til they are a full 4 years old. I had a 3 year old mare this past year on it and she looked great. 1/4 lb of grain a day is not near enough for these guys. For the JuniorGLO they recommend .5% to 1% of body weight. Free choice hay is great but I would also find a nice grass mix, free choice Alfalfa to me is a lil much but at all honesty it's probably helping him right now due to the lack of grain he is getting. He may not be wormy but could have a belly due to lack of protein in his diet. I wouldn't hesitate doing a Power Dose of SafeGuard for him.

http://www.admani.com/horse/Products/Horse%20JuniorGlo%20Feed.htm

Here is my mare when she was on the JuniorGLO

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As far as exercise I wouldn't let him run around like that for that long of time for so many days. It's ok to "teach" him how to work in the round pen or lounging but for exercise for a young horse for that long is too much. I know people will say I'm crazy and not to listen to me but teaching them in moderation IMO is not going to hurt them, your only teaching them, your not trying to do it for exercise. Now letting him just run around and play, and get off some extra energy thats different. Throw in some toys in his stall. Just working on like obstacle stuff to just get his brain working is good. Don't think of it as your exercising him, think of it as your trying to educate him, he is at the age right now that he can learn all this stuff. And just sitting with him and grooming him, go for walks.
 

hsrascal

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I've not heard of many feeding free choice alfalfa? Is it poor quality?

I live in California, where alfalfa is the cheapest hay. No one feeds it free fed to horses. Many of us pay double to import orchard or Timothy which CAN be free fed.
WOW! I wish alfalfa was the cheapest! Here it is the most expensive by far - I pay $25 for a 50lb bale. Timothy/Alfalfa is about $17 and oat/alf. is about $15.

We also have coastal here but it is pretty course for mini's I would think. It's $7 a bale.

1/4 lb. grain 12% is a start. I would try to find some Jr. Equine grain - like Purina Jr. Equine or ADM Jr. Glo, at least 14% protein, and up his grain to 1/2 lb. three times a day if possible. Free choice hay - especially alfalfa is good for right now - when he gains some more weight - I would give him some grass so his tummy gets used to digesting it. On the corn oil - I am guessing you are adding corn oil because he is underweight - when you move him to a higher protein grain and more of it - you can slack off the oil.

Thanks so much for sharing!!! I guess its the little guy in your pic?

On exercise - when he gets a little more weight on - he will move around all himself - he will have energy and then be a pistol!
Yes that's him in the picture! Thanks for the advice. I bought the Omelene 300 16% and started the switch last night though there is no possibility of 3x a day
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. I figured the alfalfa and corn oil would help put some weight on his back. He has plenty of energy now, would hate to see how much of a firecraker he'd be if he food change will give him more... LOL

I would up his feed to a 16% protein. When I did that with my weanlings, that belly went away. I too used Omolene 300 that first year. At one point, I forgot to take into consideration how much they had grown and gained weight. I didn't change their feed amount accordingly and that belly came back. Once I adjusted it to better suit their current size, the belly went away again.

Feeding by weight is also something that I learned and found to be a good thing to do. I bought a plastic measuring cup that measures in terms of pounds for both sweet feed and pellet feeds. I used a scale to confirm it was accurate for the feeds I was using. It's so much easier than having to weigh every time you feed. http://www.smartpake...coop-5899p.aspx

I've always fed my horses on a schedule (from a bucket) even when my weanlings came to me at 10 months and 4-5 months, respectively. I didn't know what "creeper feeding" even was at that point! LOL!

As far as socializing, we simply spent time with them as much as possible. Just grooming, walking, talking to them working around their stalls, etc. I would take a chair and a book and sit in the paddock. My husband would just sit on the ground. I can't tell you how many times he had a weanling laying his lap! Good long walks are a great source of exercise and bonding time. If you want to encourage to him to play during his arena time, maybe see if you can get your hands on a jumbo ball that he can push around/chase:
Thanks for the info! I bought Safeguard and gave him a powerdose. I will keep turning him out so he can move if he wants to but not "exercising" him.

BTW your grey is BEAUTIFUL!
 

mizbeth

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Hmm not sure 1/4 lb of grain is quite right. That would be somewhere around 4 oz, 1/2 cup? You need to read the directions on the bag of feed, but if you showing your horse he should be fed two times a day at least and 3 times if possible. I too WOULD NEVER FEED free choice alfala, it is too rich, they can colic or worse yet founder.

I always use Purina feed and have for 17 years. Either one brand of it or the other, but Purina. If you buy good feed you do not need suppliments, unless you need to add beet pulp for a specific reason. Beet pulp is already in the good feeds, and so are vitamins, minerals etc...all of them, protein and fat in the correct proportions.

I also feed a good coastal hay. So they get their grain, a handful of alfalfa, and big arm full of coastal hay, two times a day. When it gets closer to show time, I cut the coastal hay back/out, and only feed the other two. Coastal tends to bloat them, in my opinion, as does grazing in a pasture.

I feed mine 2 - 4 cups of feed, two times a day - depends on how much exercise they are getting, how they look overall - you do need to reevalute your feed at least once a week, look at the horse and see how he is doing weight wise.

Good luck.............
 

Casey0Lee

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If you're feeding only alfalfa to your baby, you have to watch your Calcium to Phos ratio. An imbalance can cause a lot of issues.

My yearling is on 1c of Triple Crown Lite (.355lb) and 1c of oats 1x day. The feeding directions on the bag say 1lb per 500lbs body weight for a mini or pony. He is under 150. I feed mixed grass hay.

He is not in any work bc... well... he's a baby. He gets at least 10hrs of daily turn out in a 2 acre pasture if the weather is OK
 
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whitney

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As far as the exercising if your youngun is heading toward becoming a driving horse all my babies get walked for miles out on the roads. They are all fast car, tractor pulling noisy implements, back fires, siren safe before they even get hooked for the first time. It is time WELL SPENT and straight walking can't hurt a young horse.
 

Marty

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I like you. You're on it and want to do right by your horse by asking these questions. Just my humble opinion here. Once my are weaned, they are put on a feed schedule like everyone else. I don't creep feed. I also think free choice alfalfa is a bit much. I like the stuff, its good, but I'd mix it with some good grassy hay that is not coarse.

As far as the belly, the 5 days in a row Safeguard might deflate that. I'd also treat for ulcers which is a culprit usually after weaning and it can present in a large belly also. It doesn't hurt to cover the bases and I also do a round of probios. Don't forget your salt block.

I'm sure your barn person wouldn't want to hear this but please do something to the stall if its too high, so the little one can see out easily without straining. If he can't see out, that's confinement and can lead to all sorts of bad stuff. Best wishes you to both.
 

Tab

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Let me offer an opposing view on exercise. Weanlings and yearlings NEED it. I think you are doing absolutely right by exercising him in the deep-footed arena, especially since turnout isn't an option. They need it for mental and physical health, for muscle build, for bone density, and for assimilation of nutrients. It's like telling my 6-year-old not to run because it will harm his development. Liberty is also a superior way of training a horse to run and play but to always come to his owner.
 

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