Miniature Show Horse Feeding

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Nov 29, 2012
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I am new to the AMHR world and putting my miniatures on diets and want to know your opinion on a diet to get them to lose weight please.

Right now my 2 miniatures (1 is a 2002 mare & the other is a 2011 gelding) get for feeding:


AM: 1/2 cup Stradegy

PM: 1/2 cup Stradegy, 1 Tablespoon Loose Minerals(just started tonite) & 2 Tablespoons Flaxseed.

And 1/2 flake(1lb) of grass hay

Gelding: 1 cup of Stradegy AM/PM

PM he gets the same Loose Minerals & Flaxseed as the mare.

1/2 flake (1lb) grass hay

In the AM they are put together in a dirt paddock and I put 1 flake out there for them to share.

I am also showing my moms mini mare who is pastured with my aunts mini.

That mare gets...

AM: 1/2 cup Stradegy - outside with the other mare my mom puts 1 flake each for them so 2 flakes.

PM: 1/2 cup Stradegy with 1 Tablespoon Loose Minerals(started tonite) & 2 Tablespoons Flaxseed

*****I am wondering what your opinion is on feeding miniatures. The 2 mares I will be showing are A division horses (bay/dun & grey mares) and a B division gelding(ch. pinto).

The pics were pinto(July), bay/dun(Sept) & grey(Oct). **I am new at setting them up so I am not sure if I have them out too far or what..still learning.

What would you recommend for their diets? Grain change?




I'm not sure you're feeding enough. How much do you think they weigh? They should get 1.5% of their weight daily in feed, on average. My show horses are usually getting some sort of exercise daily and get more than 2% of their weight in feed.

When I fed Purina Strategy I was feeding a pound or two a day.

Also, exercise and conditioning plays a big part of their overall tone.

And lastly, so does exactly what type of "grass" you are feeding and its quality. Our grass here is usually premium and tests very high in protein and RFV.... So we can feed less and get less potbellies than a coarser, lower quality grass.... And we have availability of orchard, Timothy, or Bermuda here all testing a little different.
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Oh and the grey one is the only one who needs to "lose" weight.... The first one could use a little more and the last one might just need some tweaking, based on those photos but different angles might help us look at top line and such, too...
I agree with DH- I honestly cannot see the point of feeding half a cup of anything except a feed balancer if your horse is on grass/alfalfa. I would be feeding pretty much three times what you are giving up to and including the hay- well, hay I have always fed free choice, I put it out a bale at a time, and yes, these are show horses, and no, they do not over eat, not past the first three days, they just graze on the hay- I cannot see your horses, though, and you are looking at them, so this is just advice based on personal experience.
I agree totally with Disneyhorse about the weight... and yes, diet is one thing but they must be in some kind of shape too with some muscle tone.

I have never fed Strategy and to be honest, if my horses are not working hard daily, I dont really feed them any different than I do any other horse. Mine are on alfalfa hay as we only have very crappy bermuda hay here and timothy hay, if you can find it, is about $26 a bale last time I looked.

The gray horse is way too stretched out. The bays front legs are out too far- they should be straight up and down from the shoulder- not camped out. The horses are supposed to be standing squarely. If you go to AMHR site and look a the rule book on line, they advise the horse should be standing squarely to be judged at halter. (Make sure you are in the AMHR section, not some of the shetland sections) You can find what else is acceptable there too.
Thanks for the advice.

The hay is just grass hay..not sure how to call no alfalfa in it.

I thought when you show them for halter they had to be square but stretched out alittle. I did some pic searching and they looked square but alittle stretched.

Right now with the cold and winter I don't usually work them because we don't have a indoor. :/ I wish we did tho.
A lot of people stretch the front end but the legs have to be square, is what we are saying. You can sort of "pull" the neck out in front if you work at it, but the hind legs cannot be that far form the body.
The rule book does not say anything about stretching- it says the horse should be standing squarely. AMHA also has actual illistrations in their rule book, showing the difference between square and what is not allowed.
AMHR allows for some stretching--the wording says horse may be shown to it's best advantage. that means a bit of a stretched stance is allowed, but you don want too much. The judge can ask you to square the horse up.

If you stand your horse stretched you still want the front legs to be perpendicular together ground
If your grass hay has a low protein level, the young gelding isn't getting enough protein. You need to find out what type of grass it is and approximate protein. Horses under 4 really need more protein so that's what I'd look into.
Looks like the grey has a winter coat in the picture, and is probably a bit thinner than the picture lets on. Your not feeding nearly enough. You need to feed them until they are slightly chunky, then exercize it into muscle. You dont want to feed them to be lean. You cant put muscle on a thin horse, which is why you need to put the weight on before you work it off into muscle. Ive sold off a few horse over the past couple years, and am down to just two miniature show horses now.

My winter maitenance feed schedile is:

My 2011 gelding is eating a quart twice a day along with 1 flake of second cut timothy/alfalfa mix hay. When I start working him in the spring, I will up it to two quarts. This is a bigger B horse whos got some shetland hot headed blood and burns it off when worked.

My 2007 gelding is a very easy keeper, hes eating 2 cups twice a day with 1/2 flake of second cut timothy/alfalfa mix hay. When hes worked, he is fed a quart of grain twice daily.

Gro-strong minerals and loose salt are available in my paddocks free choice.

During show season, I use a supplement called Nu-Image for coats.
Thanks so much. When I register my bay dun mare and send in for my membership at AMHR I will ask for a rule book so I can look into the halter stuff.
Thanks. I did square her but then asked her to stretch her body forward to get her back I won't ask her as much..thanks for all the advice.

What brand of grain do you guys give your horses? We have them on Stradegy but with the prices going up for Purina we are thinking of changing grains.
Not all grass hay is created equal. I have learned that there are a few grasses that have as much or more protien than alfalfa. If you wish to be specific about what you are feeding you may need to have the hay tested--or at the very least, know what kind of grass is in the hay.
Strategy is a good feed for all ages of horses. Ill be honest, every other feed we use for a show feed is about $5 a bag more that strategy. If you get your grain from Tractor supply, they sell Dumor Equistages which is actually made by purina and labeled for Tractor supply (dumor is their store brand). It is very very similar to strategy and generally $2 a bag cheaper.

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