Looking After your little horse
Food Shelter, Water, ,Pasture, Exercise and Attention!
All horses need shelter - whether they come in at night or stay out all day they will need at least a three-sided shelter. Either a tent or a shed will suffice with an open door to allow your horse to take shelter form storms, the sun or flies. We use tents - They are durable, movable and don't get destroyed by naughty horses!
Privide a constant supply of clean water, winter and summer.
Good pasture is vital for a growing horse. One acre of accessible roaming area is sufficient for each animal unless you intend stabling the horse at night, then you can probably half this.. The pasture must be grassy, pooh picked regularly or harrowed.
Provide Enough room to exercise and run. A miniature horse is a pet that requires room to roam. You must have a securely fenced field with either low electric fencing or if your are using post and rail fencing, at least 3 low rails. and have a freely available fresh supply of water.
For a horse with little or no access to good grass, quality hay should be the majority, if not all of their diet. In addition, grains or propriety mixtures can comprise up to 10% of their dietary needs and you can provide the occasional healthy snack as a treat. Miniature horses eat the exact same things a regular horse eats, just in smaller amounts. If you want to make any changes to your horse's feed, it is best to do so over a two-week period, and very gradually. You do not want to induce colic, even if the change in diet will be for the better.
Horses are natural foragers, and they are designed to food all day long. The ability to have food constantly available is best for the horse's mental state, as well as prevention of colic, ulcers, and other physical maladies. Also be sure to get the best quality hay you can find; make sure it is free of dust and mold primarily, as well as free of debris, dirt, and weeds.
At least 2 full hay nets should be fed to each miniature horse each day. I feed morning and evening if they are not out at grass..
In the winter I feed my hay in hay nets with reduced sized holes. They are much more expensive than normal hay nets and the holes are about 3cm across. If you fill one up it can take a horse all day to eat the contents which is much better for them, and very importantly the horses cannot get their feet stuck in the holes.
- The Woes of Winter!
We all have mud and bad weather, a lack of grass too but what can we do? - Make sure you have good quality hay readilly available all the time. We made this handy hay shelter out of some pallets and used a small holed strong fishing net to make a bag big enough to hold 5 bales of hay.
Sugar Beet pulp. Beet pulp is is available in both powder (safest), or pellets (less safe) and . with or without molasses added for palatability. Beet pulp is the by-product from sugar beets after the sugar has been extracted. What's left is the pulp, which is high in sugar, calcium, and fiber, as well as a protein thrown in. Because it expands a lot in water, it is must be soaked in water overnight in the case of the pellets and for at least half an hour in the case of powder, and kept in a very safe inaccessible place when stored. If a dog should find the pellets and eat some his stomach could easily swell and explode!. I usually say that for every 1 part of beet you should add 10 parts of water, maybe less for some brands but keep adding until you get the recipe right and the end result is like porridge. Be careful on warm days, as the high sugar content can ferment the beet pulp.
Each time the horses will get a grain feed just after their hay . My grain feed is mostly pure oats with a bit of beet pulp.
Groom often to form and reinforce a bond . On a weekly basis, inspect teeth and clean hooves. As with a larger horse, regular grooming, hoof and dental care is required to keep your pet healthy.
See a farrier every 6 to 8 weeks. Your miniature pony must have its hooves trimmed on a regular basis to prevent problems.
Vaccinate one a year before the expiry date of the last vaccinations. Tetanus and Equine horse flue are the ones to do but check with your vet in your area to see if there is anything else. Ask your vet to show you how to clean the sheath (if applicable) and how to administer worming treatments parasite control. This will save the cost of extra vet visits.