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New miniature horse owner and I need help

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Hi. I have had horses for years and I 'just got my first mini and she is great. I bought her from a mini farm and she has had very little if any grooming done or any training. I live in KY and my full size horses have already shed their winter coats and are all shiny. My mini still has her winter coat and I have been brushing her alot, but not much is coming off. She is 2 years old, so will she shed off this coat? Also, what should I feed her as far as grain goes? I feed my horses Triple Crown low starch feed because I have a horse who is insulin resistent and is high risk for laminitis. I have started feeding my mini the same thing and she loves it. I feed her a small coffee can full 2 times a day and also a flake of hay 2 times a day. Is this the proper amount of feed that she needs? On some websites people say no grain, others say sweet feed. I am concerned because she is overweight and appears to be an easy keeper which can lead to insulin resistance and laminitis. Also, can I lunge her for exercise? I want to make sure that she gets the proper nutrition and care. So, I would appreciate any help or suggestions. Thanks, Linda
 

txminipinto

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Linda,

Minis are just like big horses and should be fed according to their individual needs. It sounds like you're feeding 2lbs of feed a day. Depending on the horse and grain, I feed 1/2lb - 1.5lb twice a day. If she's over weight, slowly cut her back on her grain. As far as hay, if she's not a show horse, then she can have all the hay she wants (grass). Lounging them is an acceptable form of exercise!

Congratulations and good luck!
 

targetsmom

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Could you find out what she was eating at the mini farm and how much? That is the best place to start. You may got lots of different sugestions here, and all horses are different (and I swear minis are even more so!) but I think a low starch feed for minis is a good idea. Minis do tend to gain weight easily and many are prone to founder. That sounds to me like a lot of grain for a mini, but it is hard to tell without knowing a lot more information (e.g. size, body condition, amount of exercise). All our minis are under 34" and I start with 2 household measuring cups of grain, twice a day. I KNOW you are supposed to weight the grain, but it works for me. Then I adjust up or down for the individual.

Minis don't shed at the same times as big horses. My big horse is almost shed out, and our minis are in various stages of nakedness, with one still looking like a Steiff Teddy Bear. They should shed out eventually, but the Teddy Bear will get clipped for a show soon, so I won't really know!

We do lots of things to exercise our minis, including taking them for walks, which they love! The older ones (3 and older) get trained to drive and jump. Free longing is good exercise.

Welcome to the wonderful world of minis!
 

Keri

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I feed mine anywhere from 2-4 cups of a 4-way grain and 1/2 flake to a flake every morning and night. You may think she's overweight, but she may not be for her body structure. Is she up on her worming too?? If she's an easy keeper type mini, make sure you cut back time in the pasture.

I lunge mine over trot poles. Its a bit more exercise and teaches them to pick up their feet. Go for walks too. I think walking is great becuase it teaches them that things jumping out on the road or sewer grates aren't so scary if you work with them. Makes them bomb proof. And you get exercise too!


I have one mini that is horrible at shedding out. None of mine right now are shedded out either. I generally shave all of mine just to help them out. Their coats are so thick.
 

chandab

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Welcome to the wonderful world of minis.

I checked out the TC Low Starch product, as it is a complete feed you should be fine feeding the amount you are. Although, you may wish to weigh what your scoop holds to be sure you are feeding the correct amount. You'll also want to get a good weight estimate on your mini; the weight tapes really aren't that accurate for minis, but there are a couple formulas to calculate a pretty good weight estimate for minis on the LB information pages, here's a link: http://www.lilbeginnings.com/info/misc/ The weight calculations are about half way down the page.

And here is the link to the information pages: http://www.lilbeginnings.com/links/info/ Lots of good information on minis.
 
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