After touching on winter feeding and routines in the previous blog, it was a real coincidence that the yard owner had arranged for Baileys Horse Feed area manager, Sarah Rutter, to visit the stables. She arrived armed with a portable weighbridge and I couldn’t resist getting an accurate weight for both Diva and Julius.

Diva was up first, and as usual she was completely unfazed by stepping on the artificial grass covered surface of the weighbridge. She then stood stock still whilst Sarah recorded Diva’s weight and we discussed her dietary requirements. Diva weighed in at 250kg which Sarah felt was fine for a standard Shetland pony and it was a little less than I thought she might be. I would ideally like her to be a couple of kilograms lighter by the time the spring grass makes its return. Shetland ponies are not the easiest to feed as too much can cause serious problems like laminitis. Sarah asked what Diva’s exercise and turnout regime was – both important factors when calculating what feed is required. I explained that at the moment it is generally out during the day and in at night, with good sessions on the horse-walker at least four or five times per week. Sarah recommended Baileys No 14 Lo-Cal balancer with some Fibre-Beet.

Diva being weighed

Then it was Julius’s turn. He wasn’t so confident about the weighbridge but he stood nicely even though he did look a little worried. He is 14hh and has plenty of bone, which obviously is a factor in his weight. I thought he looked in good body condition and it surprised me a little when his weight was revealed as 502kg. I would have estimated his weight quite a bit less than this so this was good to know, especially for when it is time to worm him. Sarah was happy with his weight for his type and as again, he is a good doer, she recommended the Lo-Cal balancer.

Horse being weighed

Feeding Lo-Cal balancer will ensure that both ponies get all the vitamins and minerals they need without putting them at risk of getting overweight or suffering from laminitis. I will still keep a very careful eye on Diva’s feet and digital pulses as I am super nervous of her succumbing to laminitis. Exercise is also essential to keep your good doers fit and healthy.

It was very interesting to see what all the different horses weighed and we had a chuckle when Bam Bam the yard cat sat on the scales weighing in at a mighty 4kg!

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