What can i feed my shetland pony?

Lizzie is a nutritionist with Saracen Horse Feeds and answers your feed-related queries
Yasmin and chico
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What can i feed my shetland pony?

Postby Yasmin and chico » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:20 pm

i am stuck what feed can i give my shetland pony?

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Re: What can i feed my shetland pony?

Postby anna_banana* » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:27 pm

Like most horses, it depends on how much work your pony is doing, his/her weight, age etc. I have two mini shetlands as pets, who live purely on grass and hay, but if your riding your pony they may need a little more energy and nutrients. I have a friend with a riding shetland, and she uses a low calorie feed balancer ( I think she uses baileys) because he puts on weight very easily, like most shetlands, and she also uses Laminaze as he's prone to laminitis (again, like most shetlands!) You could try phoning or emailing a feed company as they can recommend their products - of course this isn't the easiest way to get the best value for money feed, because other companies may be more economical.
Shetlands will eat just about anything (mine tried to eat their shavings bedding :S). A friend told me her horse really likes to eat satsumas as a treat - I gave my riding pony a bit and she liked it (but then she really will try to eat anything, including grooming brushes, gloves, yoghurt, tea and tomato soup) so i think it'll go down well with the shetlands!

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Re: What can i feed my shetland pony?

Postby Kaliska » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:06 pm

Try phoning a feed company for advice. Shetlands can be prone to laminitis so you don't want too much fat or sugar in his diet.

Fresh vegetables so sprouts, celery, cabbage, carrots, apples, etc are great treats to use.

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Re: What can i feed my shetland pony?

Postby Expert_LizzieDrury » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:28 am


Most shetland ponies tend to be very good doers and have evolved to survive on sparse pastures, so with todays improved quality grazing land and huge array of different feeds and supplements it can be very easy to overfeed shetlands, leading to obesity and the potentially life threatening disease of laminitis.

However, grass or hay alone may not provide all of the nutrients that your shetland requires with respect to quality protein sources and vitamins and minerals and so you really need to consider looking at ways in which to provide these but without the unwanted calories that traditional coarse mixes and cubes will provide.

An easy way to do this is to use a low calorie feedbalancer, such as Saracen Bio-Life 2000 or even Saracen Shape Up. These are nutrient dense with respect to the levels of micronutrients that they provide but are low in calories that may increase the chances of unwanted weight gain. They are also able to be fed in very low quanitites so can literally be given in a handful when you are doing you daily well being check or perhaps mixed with a little bit of low calorie chaff in a bucket. Typically you would be feeding between 200-330 grams per day, alongside access to grazing or forage alternatives such as hay.

Body condition scoring is a very useful way of monitoring your shetlands energy balance and when it is done by the same person on a fortnightly basis it can be very accurate and allow you to make any feed changes before you find yourself in a situation with a shetland that is too fat or even too thin!! If you would like a condition scoring chart then have a look at Saracen Horse Feeds website and request one on there through the info e-mail address.

I hope that this is of help to.

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Re: What can i feed my shetland pony?

Postby hannah » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:46 pm

Get in touch with FreeStep Superfix, they specialise in Laminitis EMS and Cushings they're research is funded by the World Health Org and have fantastic feeding advice.. www.freestepsuperfix.co.uk

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