Ponies love going out in the field so they can munch on some grass, stretch their legs and hang out with their friends. Many are perfectly happy living out all day every day, whatever the weather or time of year. Here’s how to keep your fave pony in great condition if he lives out 24/7…
- Make sure he has enough to eat: When the temperature drops, grass will stop growing, plus in winter grazing’s usually less nutritious than at other times of year. This means he may need some extra forage, such as hay or haylage, in the field. Don’t forget to put out more piles of hay than there are ponies, to stop them arguing over it.
- Keep water buckets and troughs topped up: It’s important your pony has plenty to drink, even though the weather’s colder, otherwise he could be at risk of colic. Always remove ice from his water as soon as you can on a frosty morning, so he doesn’t go thirsty.
- Check him over carefully: A pony who lives out still needs to be visited at least twice a day to make sure he has food and water and isn’t sick or injured. Take a torch with you if you know it’s going to be dark.
- Pick out his feet: Help avoid him suffering from thrush, and make sure there are no stones trapped in his hooves, by picking them out every day.
A head torch is really handy for winter as it allows you to see in the dark while leaving your hands free to do the chores!
For more tips on caring for ponies who live out, see the February 2021 issue of PONY mag, which is on sale now!