If you read my blog you know that I have gone through several nutritional stages with the ponies. From balancing their hay analysis carefully to feeding as simply as possible in the last year. And I'll be honest. Sky and Zorro have never looked as good as they do now! And my feed bill is much happier with this feed plan :)
Both ponies had a little scare this summer. They both had their blood tested so we could have a good solid base level and found that BOTH of them had elevated liver enzymes. I lost Bonnie to liver failure after 2 years of battling her IR, so I am especially sensitive to elevated numbers.
It was decided that both ponies were too fat and this was putting stress on their livers. So they went on a very strict diet paired with a vigorous exercise program.
No more than 5 pounds of hay and pellets each day per pony. They were very grumpy, hungry ponies. It's so hard to balance physical well being with mental. I couldn't possibly exercise them more than I was, driving them 5 days a week no less than 4-5 miles a drive. Taking them for walks on their days off from driving. I was getting so worn out keeping them moving! And tired of watching them be hungry. If anyone mentioned that Zorro shouldn't put any more weight on I wanted to scratch their eyes out. It was getting so so stressful.
Then winter came. We were still driving but I wasn't weighing their feed any longer and they aren't getting any pellets and soybean meal during these cold months. Only hay! They don't have food 24/7, I still dole it out in hay nets, but they aren't as crabby as they were.
These last 3 weeks they have both had a much needed break from driving and working. I think we all needed a break.
So my feed program right now is about 10-12 pounds of hay a day, fresh warm water, and Himalayan salt. They are a bit plum and a lot sassy and seem quite happy! I plan on feeding the soybean meal when it starts to warm up and they are working on blowing their winter coat for their summer coat. But for now we will keep it simple!
Here are a few before and after collages:
I think they both looked very good in September. They definitely lost quite a lot of weight and both were full of sass and energy!
What do you feed your ponies or horses? Do you have your hay analyzed? Do you feel it's important to balance the vitamins and minerals? Is your area low on anything that you know of?