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DonnaL

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I would appreciate it greatly if someone could give me some tips on weight control for my little mare. She is 8 years old, 28 inches tall and very fined boned. She is on pasture durning the day and stalled at night. She eats 1 cup of Sweet Grain, (mixture of oats and sweet feed) once a day. She is so fat in the summer time that I am worried about her legs carrying her. I do not breed her because she is so tiny. I am sure that it is the grass making her so fat but I hate to keep her stalled so much. Any suggestions?? Thanks, Donna
 

Brandi*

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I am going through the same thing with Miss Melody. Lucky for us she has a nice size paddock that she can stay in while she loses the weight. There is still grass but it's short and there isn't so much. She isn't happy about not being turned out into the big pasture though
I have cut her down from all day to about 2 hours a day. I hope to see some results soon. Do you have a smaller area you can keep her in for most of the day. I wouldn't want to keep her locked in a stall all day either
 
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DrivinTime

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It is hard to slim down those easy keepers. I have a 4-year-old gelding who could practically live on air. I've cut out all grain except a ration balancer (Milk Plus, but switching over to Gro n Win) with some alfalfa pellets, chopped alfalfa (Alfa Supreme) and grass hay. Oh, and a few minutes grazing a day, otherwise he'd hate me forever (at least, that's what he says
)...

So, he's 36" last I measured, around 350 pounds, and I've been giving him, twice a day:

1/2 cup Milk Plus

1 cup alfalfa pellets

1 cup chopped alfalfa

... and he's STILL FAT! (Less than before, so we're getting there, but slowly.) Now I'm cutting everything in half except the hay and grazing.

I do think that minis need more protein than the big guys, and processed feeds give them vitamins and minerals their hay might not have enough of, so I don't want to put him on just hay (plus he'd have a fit every time I gave grain to my 20-year-old hard keeper) so I'm hoping he'll be okay on the smaller amounts. I used to give him small amounts of regular grain, but the ration balancers give him lots of protein, vitamins, etc. but less sugar and starch. He looks good, no big belly, but still too much body fat.

Oh, and he looks much better after just a couple weeks of walking, say a mile or so per day. He got chubby again over the past few weeks because I was working late and didn't have time to walk him.

Anyway, thought my notes might help you with your girl, or at least let you know that you are not alone...

Good luck!
 

dali1111

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First off get a good grazing muzzle..they aren't very expensive and that way she can still be turned out and drink. I love mine..I think they are made by glover. Start off by slowly lessening the amount of time she can graze for you don't want to just all of a sudden stop her grazing her body needs time to adjust. Then decide how long she should get to graze per day. And I would not want to feed her oats. You could give her some sort of complete feed instead. Also it might be a good idea to get her some sort of minerals as well. Also..this isn't a feed change but what sort of excercise is she getting? It may be a good idea to teach her to lunge and take her for walks. The walks are good excercise for the handler too.
 
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Jill

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You may want to have her thyroid checked -- it is an inexpensive test.

Also, you could make a dry lot for her. Just fence off a small area. If she is your only mini, just like 40x50 or so would be fine. If you have another you want to keep her company in the dry lot, you could make it bigger.

You can make one "fast and easy" using t-posts and cattle panels. Just fence off an area (grassy now I'm sure) and in no time after she's in it, you will have your dry lot.

Dry lots are great for controlling the weight. You may let her out a couple hours a day, or not at all and feed her hay instead (or a combination of both).

Good luck!
 
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rabbitsfizz

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Why would you give a horse that is fat and in good health grain???

That is not a snipe, it is aimed at all the people who say this, and is an honest question.

None of my broodmares are given any grain or feed or balancer....zilch, Nada.

The two stallions are fed well.

The stallions are the slimmest of the lot, the mares are fat and sleek and very well indeed!!

I do put out mineral/salt licks, but that is all.

Personally I hate muzzles of any kind, and I would lean towards using a hotwire to graze your paddock down..horses are discriminate eaters and this is the most economic use of grass.

I have five mares up on my barn yard at the moment, it is about half an acre and was in good grass, I have just extended it to include a bit more pasture as they have grazed it down all over to lawn level


It really looks nice now, and all for the cost of picking up the poo every day, suits me fine!

They get no grain/pellets/whatever at all and have come down from what I would consider "grossly fat" to "elegantly in shape" in about five weeks, which I think is about right.

And, just on a side note, Rabbit is 28" and middleweight as far as bone goes.

Last time he was weighed he was 90kgs = 198lbs........and he is not fat, he is in correct body.

Of course Rabbit gives a whole new meaning to the word "active".

Perhaps what your mare needs is a more active lifestyle, and not so much weight loss as weight conversion???
 

Jill

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I want to chime in about muzzles (which I also do not "like"). Two things:

  • Just because a horse "can" drink with one on, does not mean it will drink with one on. It's very important they drink, and drink enough, or you can end up with an impaction colic (which of course can be fatal).
  • Muzzles, if they are not the breakaway kind, or attached to a breakaway halter, can cost you a mini if they get caught on something.
 
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DonnaL

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Thanks so much for all of the suggestions, I think I am going to try to keep her in pasture for only 2 hours and then pick her up and dry lot her for the rest of the day. She is on a mineral block, I think I will try and look into the weight control feed for Mini's. I feel like she needs some type of feed. Has anyone tried that feed?? Donna
 

Marty

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I'm with Jill on the muzzle thing; they are dangerous. I had one on a little mare here that is a pig and it was the kind to breakaway with velcro tabs and it did not breakaway when it should have and she got herself hung up when she decided to itch it off. If I wasn't right there watching she could have broken her neck.

She's small too and for her dry lotting is a must part of the day and then I just throw her some hay in the dry lot and it makes a huge difference being able to control her foraging without removing it. I also think sweet feed is evil and just ads to the problem of obesity on some horses
 

whitney

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For my 200-250lb minis 1/2 flake of grass hay and 1 cup of alfalfa pellets 1 TB flaxseed twice a day with mineral/salt block they are on dry lot all day with 1/2 hr pasture at night still PLUMP!
 

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