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Cara

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Hi guys

so its 2 weeks before my first show this season, i just cliped china 2days ago, and i noticed she isnt as fit as i thought she was....... what sorta diets( grain, hay) do you put your horse(s) on? and what exercises do you do? china doesnt drive with a cart yet only ground driving...anyway any advice out there?????
 

disneyhorse

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It depends on the individual, what they are fed and how they are worked. Age, current state of fitness, health, and metabolism all play into what is done with the horse.

There is no "right way" just be sure to go slow and involve your veterinarian as needed.

Andrea
 

The Simple Life Farm

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Andrea is right. Each horse can be different. There is no set standard on a feeding program. If you ask 20 people this question, you will probably get 20 different answers. I have a 2yo mare that gets 4 cups of grain daily, and another 2yo mare that gets 2 cups of grain daily. It varies so much. You will be able to judge your horses needs as times goes on.
 

Cara

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okay, Chinas 20, right now she gets 2 flakes a day morning and nite, 1 scoop of beatpulp, and a small lil thing of equlizer
 

~Stacie~

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Hello, I would recommend getting a scale and actually weighing all of your feed every time that you feed. Scoops come in varying sizes it’s hard to tell how much a “scoop actually” is without weighing the contents. Also 1 scoop of sweetfeed weighs different than 1 scoop of say, oats. I also weigh out my hay for the same reason. There are some flakes that are more dense than others therefore sometimes the horses would get more of it on some days than others. Once you know how many pounds of feed your horse is eating then it is a lot easier to adjust your feeding program, according to body condition, amount of work load and metabolism of your animal. Another great thing about weighing out your feed is that if your horse seams off for any reason you will know exactly how much she normally eats and can reweigh the uneaten amount to see what she actually ate.
 

rabbitsfizz

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There is nothing that you can do in two weeks that will not affect the horse badly.

Just go with what you have, you will be surprised, I think.

With a 20 year old, I really feel she has earned the right to be treated with dignity, and I am sure you agree.

So nothing too drastic or earth shattering, she is well past middle age!!

(and I know just how she feels!!!
)
 

HGFarm

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You are going to find the older the horse, the longer it takes to get them back into shape. Does she longe? This is going to work her more than just ground driving. Maybe alternate every other day. My horses I am showing get the same diet as usual- maybe just a bit more if they are working harder. Have her teeth been checked? Regular worming and all too?

I too, dont know if you are meaning she is too fat, too thin or just needs toning. If just toning, it takes time and daily forced excercise. I've seen a lot of folks that are afraid to make their horses 'work'. Use sense in regards to what shape they are in to start with. If out of shape, of course they have to be built up slowly over weeks, but I think you will find her age is slowing things down a BIT, and she will probably never look like she did at half her age in her prime (and like Rabbits, I sure know how that feels)
 

DrivinTime

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Hi Cara,

I, too, have a 20-year-old (she doesn't act it, sometimes) and I've found that she has tended to be too skinny over the past couple of years. Her backbone starts to show, her butt gets hollow, her belly sags (hey, mine does too, and I only had 2 babies, compared to her 10 or so!), and her hip bones get visible...

If this sounds like your China, you might try increasing the protein in her diet. With Crystal, I've added alfalfa for protein, and switched her to a high-fat feed, and she's doing soooo much better. I think she actually had some ulcer issues, wouldn't "clean her plate," and was fussy about food. The alfalfa seems to help that a lot - I give her a double handful of chopped alfalfa morning and night with her grain (she also gets 1/2 pound of high-fat feed - Poulin's Pro Max 12 - twice a day and free-choice grass hay) and she's cleaning it all up now and has lots of energy.

The other thing to think about is exercise. We mostly just walk our guys, a couple miles up and down the road, and even that makes a difference in how they look and act. Ours are looking so good right now that I'm tempted to enter a local show or two... We do lunge some, also, but not more than 10 minutes at a time, mostly trotting.

Good luck!

Lori

PS: I agree with rabbitsfizz that you don't want to do anything too drastic! Make any changes slowly, over the course of a week or two, and see how she's doing then.
 

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