Like most people with native ponies this spring, I have been very careful about Diva’s (Melland Queen of Scots) access to grass during the very lush growing period we have been experiencing.
The mild wet spring has seen grass growth rocket and begin earlier than expected. This has caught quite a few people out. Diva’s waistline is also a little larger than I would like.
To help with weight loss, I have been restricting the amount of grass Diva has access to and soaking her hay to take the sugars out of it. There is a lot on social media about how long the hay should be soaked for and this does vary depending on the individual horse or pony’s need, so the best advice you would get would really be from your vet especially if your equine has active laminitis. The one thing that you do need to do is try to keep the container where you soak the hay in the shade to prevent fermentation and to change the water every time.
I have been lunging Diva every day to burn a few calories. She is such a funny pony and has a great work ethic. When I lunge her, she always sets off with a buck and a squeak and bombs around at full pelt for several circuits before settling down. I have increased the amount of time she is lunged as her fitness levels improved. I think she would now be fit enough to compete in the Shetland Pony Grand National!
Unfortunately, we no longer have the horse walker at the yard as that was Diva’s very favourite thing and a great way to keep her active and muscled up. So, I certainly advocate the use of walkers even for the small ponies as an aid to battle the bulge.
At the end of my previous blog, I was trying to decide whether to enter Diva or Flora the dog for the local agricultural show as their classes would be at the same time. In the end it was the weather that decided for me, as with temperatures in the 30s, I opted for a lazy day at home in the shade!