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Feeding recommendation please!

Hi all, new here! Looking for a feeding recommendation- I’ve had horses before but I’m in new territory with this girl!

She is a 12 year old mini, 34" tall, and naturally long&lean. She’s had about 5 years of real hardship that make her “seem” older, and coming to me she’s fairly underweight. She eats and drinks mostly fine (only a little picky, and just slow to eat), but for what it’s worth, we’re in California where it’s stupidly hot all summer (MANY days over 100).

She’s been on Equine Senior and free choice alfalfa mix for about 4 months while a friend was caring for her until I could get her here, and she’s still pretty thin.

Just an aside (if it can influence your recommendation)- Flake hay is difficult for me to feed as I’m allergic and have to get creative to feed it and keep contact minimal. I’ve used alfalfa cubes in the past to avoid the issue. Would they be appropriate here?

She will be an only horse and she’s she’s so little, cost isn’t really a factor. Also I’m a stay at home mom, so time/convenience etc are no object either.

So! What would you start her on for feed/beet pulp/hay/supplements?

Thanks in advance!!!

ps- I will be having her teeth done as soon as she arrives, just before anyone throws that out there lol.

Well, teeth are of course the first thing that comes to mind when a mini (notorious for being easy keepers) is not in good weight.

The next thing that comes to mind is parasites/worming history. Probably best to get a fecal, so you have a starting point for what to do.

Once those two factors are controlled for, you may have an easier keeper on your hands, which would be more typical for minis.

All horses, minis included, need their roughage–the equine digestive system is designed to handle a diet that is approximately 85% roughage. Roughage should be supplied in a quantity equal to 1.5% (for weight maintenance) or 2% (for weight gain) of bodyweight daily. In addition, salt and water should be made available at all times.

The type of roughage selected should be appropriate for the type of horse–a mini would not normally require alfalfa, a rich legume hay that is nutrient dense. There are other choices that might be more appropriate, and if you are allergic (I can sympathize, as I am too!) you might find bagged, chopped hay easier to handle (as well as easier to weigh). If you select beet pulp, you’d likely want to avoid the type with molasses. Beet pulp needs to be soaked for quite awhile before it can be fed–this is not very easy to deal with in hot climates–we store our soaked beet pulp in a fridge in our tack room in the summers.

For vitamins and minerals, a concentrated ration balancer will provide your mini with all the micronutrients necessary to maintain good health–just follow the recommendation on the package regarding how much to provide per 100/lbs of bodyweight, figuring 3-400lbs for a mini. Many minis benefit from an EXCEPTIONALLY super concentrated ration balancer; one suggestion: http://www.kerx.com/products/IRPELLET/

(If you order, use code MCL10 for 10% off).

I forgot about LMF, I will look into it. Thanks.

I don’t think we can get tribute feeds out here. It is one I specifically asked about but I will double check because I’ve heard so many good things.

Could someone else put hay in a slow feed net for you? Then your new mini could have free choice forage. At 34", you may be able to weigh her by walking in to your local vet with a lobby scale that accommodates large dogs. If she’s thin now, she may not be much over 100 pounds. It would be nice to know.

You’re on top of it with a dental scheduled and you can buy a mail-in fecal test from any of several catalog stores. If you’re soaking those alfalfa cubes ( a few are a good idea because alfalfa is high in lysine, which is the hardest amino acid to acquire in the diet), you can add loose salt to the water to ensure intake of that sodium, which is the mineral most likely to be deficient.