Feeding the pony

Show pony in perfect conditionThere are many factors to consider when feeding ponies,  It’s a fine balance between fitness and fatness, whilst keeping them sane and safe to ride by younger jockeys.

Native breeds such as the Shetland, Welsh Section A’s and B’s and their derivatives dominate the show rings. Due to the ‘good-doing’ nature of these hardy, reliable ponies, it’s highly important to consider their diet. Crucially, they need to be fed to satisfy both our and their needs.

Firstly, it’s vital to match the level of work that the pony is into the diet.  This helps prevent excessive weight gain and excitability and to reduce the risk of developing conditions such as laminitis. Ponies are highly prone to many issues when their diet isn’t effectively managed.

Fibre should always make up the bulk of a pony’s feeding regime. Providing greater benefit, this can be low-calorie chaff or hay which you can easily control the feeding of. Rich grazing should be restricted or eliminated if there are metabolic issues.

Restricting grass access

Some pony owners worry that grass restrictions means the correct quota of nutrients needed for good health won’t be met. However, this can be easily rectified by feeding a low calorie, diet feed balancer such as Fibregenix Lami Low-Cal. This is specifically developed to provide all the essential nutrients required daily in a low starch and low sugar formulation. It’s the perfect solution to ensure optimum health and well-being when trying to help your pony shed the pounds.

Promoting a healthy digestive system is equally important.  A diet feed balancer that incorporates a live probiotic and prebiotics into its formulation is helpful.  These can help to increase intestinal motility and to balance the gut bacteria  These digestive aids also assist in increasing the efficiency of nutrient absorption.  This allows your pony to maximize nutrient uptake from his feed and assist in stabilizing the gut PH.  When undigested starch and sugar migrate into the hindgut, fermentation can cause digestive upsets and contribute to the development of laminitis.  Small ponies are very susceptible to this disease when fed incorrectly.

Seasonal changes

A low starch and sugar diet can also prove beneficial from a behavioural perspective. Seasonal changes in weather and new grass pasture can leave ponies feeling fresh and sometimes difficult to ride and handle. Reduce or eliminate quick-release energy sources from high starch/sugar hard feeds and replace with slow-release fibre. This will mean a pony with a calmer outlook on life.  This allows them to utilise their energy intake throughout the day, rather than being overloaded with it all at once.

Another option would be to introduce a calmer into your pony’s diet such as Fibregenix Liquid Karma.  Karma is formulated with naturally calming ingredients such as magnesium and L-tryptophan.  It can help your pony keep a cool head throughout seasonal changes. Furthermore, it will keep him focused, sane and most importantly safe.

In summary, the main factors to consider when providing a diet for ponies are ensuring slow-release energy sources exceed starches and sugars.  This will create a healthy gut whilst helping to reduce the incidence of weight gain and laminitis. Additionally, feeding a low calorie, diet feed balancer such as Lami Low-Cal can be highly beneficial when you want to keep your pony in optimum health. It supports healthy, steady weight loss and keeps him happy and well throughout the summer months that lie ahead.

The Diet feed balancer for feeding ponies

Fibregenix Lami Low-Cal is a Diet feed balancer that provides all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients with your pony needs on a daily basis. It maintains optimum health and well-being with its whole-cereal and molasses free formulation that is naturally low in starches and sugars. , Lami Low-Cal suits all types of horses and ponies.  It promotes the development and maintenance of a healthy digestive environment by incorporating a MOS and FOS prebiotic gut health supplement. Its live yeast probiotic works in synergy with Nucleotides to achieve a healthy bacterial balance within the gut.  This helps increase nutrient absorption, enabling your horse or pony to get more nutritional benefits from his diet.

The 100% natural formulation combines biotin, methionine, lysine and zinc-based hoof supplement with MSM.  These nutrients promote the growth of strong, healthy hooves.  The specifically tailored levels of zinc, copper and omega oils help achieve a glossy, gleaming coat, promoting head to hoof health!

If you’d like a diet consultation to discuss your pony’s diet, please click on the following link  DIET AUDIT BUTTON

Reviewed and updated February 2020

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