In this issue Equerry Horse Feeds Senior Nutritionist, Louise Jones provides advice for a Pony Club mum looking for advice on feeding her daughter’s pony.
Q: I own a 13.2hh jumping pony that my daughter rides at Pony Club rallies and at local shows. He is in good condition but I want to make sure he has enough energy for the summer season can you help?
Feeding a child’s pony can be quite a balancing act. You need them to have enough energy for the work they are being asked to do, but at the same time don’t want them to be too fizzy or excitable for their young rider.
As your 13.2hh pony’s workload increases over the summer months so will his calorie (energy) requirements. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to start feeding him a high calorie feed. Bear in mind that during the spring and summer the quality of the grazing will improve, plus your pony may spend more time at grass. The increased calories (energy) provided by good grazing is often sufficient to meet the extra demands of increased work. In this case, as long as your pony’s hard-feed is providing him with a fully balanced diet and he’s maintaining ideal condition, there is no need to change his feed. However, if you find that as your pony’s workload increases he is a little ‘flat at rallies and shows, I suggest you switch to a slightly higher energy mix or cube.
Equerry Horse & Pony Cubes or Equerry Horse & Pony Mix would be ideal. These feed have been specifically formulated for horses in light-medium work. They provide a medium energy level and are perfect for ponies that are doing a little bit more work over the summer months. The high fibre formula provides gradual-releasing energy and helps to support a healthy digestive system. Plus they contain added oil to help support healthy skin and a glossy, shiny coat. Equerry Horse & Pony Cubes and Equerry Horse & Pony Mix contain added vitamins, minerals and magnesium to support your pony’s all round, long-term health and performance. Assuming he weighs around 300-350kg he will need approximately 1 Stubbs scoop of Equerry Horse & Pony Mix each day (i.e. 1.5-1.75kg/ day) and this should be divided into at least two feeds.
Finally, it’s also important to ensure that your pony remains well hydrated during the warm summer months as dehydration will affect his energy levels. To keep your pony well hydrated you should always ensure that he has a plentiful supply of fresh, clean water and has access to, and uses, a salt-lick.
For practical, friendly advice on feed your horse or pony over the summer months call the Equerry Feedline for 01845 565640.