HomePony Know HowPony Care TipsFeedingFeeding Rulz – give your pony the nutrients he needs!

Feeding Rulz – give your pony the nutrients he needs!

Posted in Feeding

Do you know the rules of feeding? Do you understand why they’re important? Well that’s what we’re here for!

1 Clean, fresh water must be available at all times

Why?

Ponies’ bodies are between 60-70% water! Dehydration (lack of water) to the point of 20% water body loss can prove fatal. Do not underestimate the amount of water a pony needs – between 27 and 54 litres a day is normal, and if the pony is eating a lot of dry food (such as hay), he will get thirsty quicker.

How?

A trough in the field, a bucket or two in the stable, or by automatic drinking machine, activated by the action of the pony drinking.

Remember! 

Water becomes stale quickly. Refresh water stable water supplies twice daily, and check field troughs for debris twice a day. Always water before feeding, not directly afterwards.

2 Feed little and often

Why?

A horse or pony has a  small stomach, (the size of a rugby ball), and cannot hold much feed.

How? 

Grazing is the perfect way for ponies to eat – it is called trickle-feeding, eating tiny amounts all day so that there is a steady, yet tiny, amount of food going through the digestive tract virtually all the time. Split concentrates into several small feeds rather than offering one large one.

Remember! 

Allow time for digestion (about an hour) before exercise.

3 Feed according to work, age, condition and temperament

Why? 

Adjust your pony’s diet according to his work. He will need more, for example, when he’s at Pony Club camp, than when you are at school all day, and he is only being ridden lightly.

Young and old ponies require different feeds. Youngsters need feed to help them grow and develop, old ponies may need a more easily-digested feed.

Some ponies carry too much condition (too fat), and others may need building up (too thin). Their diets will need to be very different.

Temperament plays a part in diet. Excitable ponies may be better on all-forage feeds. Slow ponies may benefit from some concentrates.

 

4 Feed plenty of roughage (forage)

Why?

A pony’s digestive system is designed to eat forage and stays healthy when this need  is fulfilled. horse eating hay

How? 

Forage feeds include grass, hay, haylage and chaff, and should make up at least two-thirds of a pony’s diet.

Remember! 

Digesting hay keeps ponies warm!

5 Feed at the same  time every day

Why? 

Just like us, ponies expect their meals at regular times. It’s easy to do – just feed at the same times every day!

6 Always introduce changes in  the diet gradually

Why?

Bacteria in the gut, which help the digestion process, can be easily upset and killed off by sudden diet changes. This can cause indigestion and even colic.

How?

Make any changes over several days, mixing with the old feed at first. This allows the digestive system to adjust.

7 Do not work immediately after a feed

Why?

A pony’s stomach, when full, will expand and may prevent the pony’s diaphragm and lungs from fully expanding. A pony’s digestive system is not efficient when he is working.

How? 

Wait at least an hour after feeding your pony before riding him.

Remember! 

Grass is a feed, too. Do not work your pony immediately after he comes in from the field.

8 Feed some-thing succulent every day

Why? 

This is important for stabled ponies who are not turned out in the field.

How?

By adding carrots and apples to a feed. You can also graze a stabled pony in hand for half-an-hour a day.

Remember!

Turning your pony out for a while every day will have the same effect, and be better for him.

 

Your Comments

Pre-order Pony the Annual 2020

Pony Mail

Sign up for all the goss and more

Sign up now
Pre-order PONY the Annual 2020
October PONY Magazine

October 2019

Latest Issue

Ponies For Sale