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shaepony

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I just got a 10yr old 28.5" stallion that came from an uneducated home. His teeth have never been floated and he was at the point where you can start to easily see ribs. They were feeding him 1/2 a flake of regular grass hay AM and 1cup of cob PM. I have had this little guy for 1 1/2 weeks now; I free feed orchard grass and have him up to 1cup of senior horse grain AM/PM, he also gets turned out on the clover pasture(all our pastures grew up in clover this year) 30min AM/PM.

I am used to dealing with full sized horses and am worried about giving the little guy too much rich food and making him sick, but I really need to put weight on him. I don't want to over do the protien and cause stones but I also need to put some weight on him. Does any body who has had experience useing senior horse know how much is okay to give a 175lb(thats using a weight tape)mini to put the weight back on? and how much time can I possibly work him up to on grazing clover? Will he be okay if I just keep increasing grazing time as long as his manure doesn't get softer or is the clover way too rich? I may just be worrying too much and talking my mind but I thought it wouldn't hurt to get some extra oppinions.
 

Marty

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I was hoping that someone that knew more about this would respond by now because I am not the nutrition expert here at all. But I'll try a little bit.

The first thing I would say is not to hurry up and get this guy fattened up or it will backfire on you. It took him a while to look so poor, it's going to take a while to gain some weight. If you try to push it, you'll run the risk of making him sick. So be patient and tread slowly.

I've got one that size too. I feed her 1 cup of grain am and pm. She's a blimp.

I do not give her free choice hay because for her, she would just blow up like a balloon more than she already is. It doesn't take long and once they are that fat, it's really hard to get it back off. So I do limit her hay intake.

About that clover field: now that one would bother me. I would not put my horse in a clover field, that is if that field is really full of clover. There's red and white clover too and one of those will cause your horse to slobber un-mercibly. The problem with that is that constant slobbering could cause de-hydration if your horse doesn't drink enough water. The clover also over here, don't know about there is so rich, I'd worry about founder, so would not put my horses on it. If he is holding at 30 minutes a day on clover, that would seem to me to be more than enough and I would not increase that time. Maybe in the fall when it quits growing so rapidly I might, but not now.

As for senior feed, I put my older quarter horse on it. Now that is very rich stuff so you do have to watch it there too. Again, not knowing all about any of this, I would just venture to say that I would leave him on 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup at night and see how he does. It will take him some time to stablize on this. He's already gaining weight on the inside, but you can't see it yet so give him plenty of time and eventually you will see a huge difference on the outside.

Again this is just a stab in the dark here and I hope you get some other opinions that would be a lot better than mine.
 

hhpminis

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I too was holding back but here goes my op9nion. What I do want you to remember is that few of us are experts (not me) and the rest are giving advice on what has worked for us, so that being said...

I would put him on alfalfa, in a research that I read many moons ago, it said that an underweight horse should be fed alfalfa rather than grass hay. Now I would gradually switch him over but I would get some alfalfa.

If the senior feed you are referring to is Purina, it is a complete feed with a very balanced ratio of minerals, protien etc. He could eat just that and nothing else and be fine. But I would still give hay.

I have fed a 30" stallion as much as 6 cups of senior feed AM PM when he was in peak performance. He is a hard keeper and still even though he is not performing much he still gets more hay than any other horse on my place and 4 cups of Strategy AM/PM.

One thing I would add to your boys diet is beet pulp. It does wonders in putting weight on. I soak mine and give as much as 4 cups to horses that need to gain or are performing.

Now besides feed you mentioned teeth. Get them floated, and get him wormed. I would start with a mild wormer, like Panacur or Strngid and work up to Zimectrin. Worm him monthly or put him on Stongid C.

These are suggestions and you can take them or leave them but these are things I would try.

About the clover, moderation!
 

justaboutgeese

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Listen to Marty she has some sound advice. Two more points, Vet check the animal for heath reasons, worms, teeth, hyper activity etc. Second make plans to replant your pastures. You will need to spray with rooundup or 2-4-d or another spray to kill the clover then replant with a suitable pasture mix. If all that came back this year is clover thats all you will have next year. The 2-4-d might do it all on its own since it will not harm the grasses just the broadleaf plants. There might be enough grass left to come back without replanting.
 

Miniv

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Marty and Annette have given excellent advice......

As Marty stated, grazing on clover should be done cautiously. And if your little guy isn't used to grazing on it, you need to watch him carefully. He will be needing plenty of extra water.

Annette's post regarding floating, worming, and the senior feed plus giving him some added hay, I ditto completely.

MA
 

susanne

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My equine nutritional experience is very limited, so I will only say that beet pulp has worked wonders with my hard-keeper gelding. Since adding it to his diet, he began a gradual, steady weight gain and now is pleasantly plump.

You've gotten responses from very knowledgeable members already, and now I would recommend searching this forum for Robin C's previous posts...she is a virtual font of knowledge regarding nutrition for minis. Hopefully she'll see your post and give her opinion.
 

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