It’s important to keep your pony’s weight under control so he stays trim and healthy. Equine nutritionist, Katie Williams, shows you how
Katie Williams is Senior Nutritionist at Dengie Horse Feeds.
Deciding what to feed your pony might seem complicated because there are so many feeds and supplements to choose from, but it’s super-important to choose the right feed for him. We all want to show our ponies that we love them by treating them to a big bucket of tasty feed, but that’s probably not the best idea – especially if he’s prone to gaining weight.
Striking a balance
It’s easy to think of someone who has an underweight pony as uncaring and maybe even neglectful, but it’s unlikely that you’d think the same of someone who lets their pony get overweight. But actually, it’s important to realise that letting your pony get too fat could be doing just as much damage to his health as letting him get too thin. Find a good balance so your pony can stay fit and healthy.
How does he measure up?
It’s important that you know how much your pony weighs and check his weight regularly – once a week is ideal – to monitor any changes. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a weighbridge, these are the most accurate measures of your pony’s weight. However, weightapes give a good indication, too. To use one, measure around your pony’s body where his girth would sit. Take a record of his weight and compare it week-on-week.
If you don’t have a weightape, use a piece of string and mark it with a pen. You won’t be able to tell how much your pony weighs, but you’ll see whether he’s gaining or losing weight.
Read more about managing your pony’s weight in May PONY magazine, on sale now!