Most ponies love food and would happily spend all day and night munching. But if your fave pony’s allowed to eat too much he could put on weight, which is really unhealthy for him. So, it’s super-important that you keep a close eye on what he eats, especially in spring and summer when there’s loads of lush grass around.
To work out your pony’s weight and assess his body condition you can use…
- a weightape, which you place around his girth area to estimate how much he weighs
- a weighbridge, which is a giant set of scales that’s big enough for your pony to stand on and is more accurate than a weightape
- condition scoring,which involves feeling your pony’s body for signs of excess fat
A weighty question
The ideal weight for your pony will depend on his height, type and build. The best person to ask is your vet, so why not book them to come out and give your pony a spring health check and weight assessment?
How to condition score
Tie your pony up on the yard so you can see him properly and he’s standing square, then feel the areas of his body where excess fat accumulates. These are…
- his neck and shouldersHis neck should be a smooth, gentle curve without any creases or bulges. His shoulders should also be smooth, without any spongy pads of fat
- his ribs and mid-sectionYou should be able to feel his ribs if you apply a small amount of pressure with your fingertips – any extra padding is excess fat
- his quartersIf there’s a gutter along his back and you can’t see his hip bones, he’s overweight
Pick up a copy of May PONY, on sale 10 April, to find out more about managing your pony’s weight.