NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.  (Read 30574 times)

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« on: June 24, 2011, 10:05:11 pm »
Hi all,

I'm now the proud owner of a 10 yr old Shetland pony mare called Rosie!  :) , but despite asking a few people how much I should allow her to eat (I've been scaring myself silly reading about Shetlands & laminitis), I'm still not clear on how I should be monitoring her weight.

The best suggestion so far is to measure her girth regularly but as she's already a bit fat I don't know what I'm aiming for except to keep it from increasing.

Also, I was thinking of walking her to keep her fit, but as she's not shod, I was wondering how much on-road walking she could do? - I suspect I might have to ask the farriers advice on that one though.

Any advice welcome.

thx

mab
Voss Electric Fence

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 10:14:52 pm »
mab without knowing her history this is all a bit stab in the dark - for instance has she had lami previously?  has she been a ridden pony? what about sweet itch (another common shettie problem)?

having said the above a few observations:
  • generally shettie have good feet so walking her out in hand is a VERY GOOD IDEA, built your relationship and also get her used to being out and about
  • she wont need anything other than grass and that should be restricted - particularly when the weather is being like it is - ie heavy rain then sun
and you want to be looking at the top of her neck - the bit where the mane joins it, if its wobbles then she is probably too fat and needs to be on a diet - not so short that she's starving though :(
[/list]
hope this starts you

also learn how to take a digital pulse (your farrier or experienced horsie person can show you) and teach her to let you ckeck it often - preferably daily

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 10:43:36 pm »
Thanks Egglady,

According to the lady I got her off; no she's not had laminitis previously, but then she hasn't owned Rosie all that long. She didn't mention sweetitch, but I didn't think to ask about that.

The history I've got:
Rosie and a couple of other mares were owned by another bloke and the lady acquired them all pregnant. Rosie's foal was dead (still born?) so the fat she'd been allowed to build up in preparation to feed the foal is still there.

She's over the pregnancy and her udders (not sure that's the word for a horse) have gone down.

Apparently she's been broken for riding & driving my an earlier owner, but recently she's been just a broodmare - as far as I know. Apparently the previous owner wasn't particularly good in regard to building a trust relationship with his horses - he used to catch them using a lasoo - so the lady has been building her trust up since then.

She seems fairly well behaved to me - she will let me put her headcollar on without difficulty, and she'll walk to heel better than my dog. So far I've taken her for a couple of walks in the paddock (well jog's actually - at that speed she can't stop to eat the long grass  ;D ). I'd like to take her up the road when I walk the dog, but wasn't sure how far she could go every day on tarmac without causing her problems.

At the moment she's in a very small paddock 24/7 with an open shelter and a tall hedge for protection from the elements, but I am not sure when to let her have more grazing.

mab

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 11:20:19 pm »
depending on when the foal was born you might need to check for things like mastitis.

the grass is growing quickly just now so dont be fooled a small paddock for one wee shettie is ok, better too little grass and some hay than too much grass and painful lami :(

check what the hedge is made of so its not anything poisonous.

have you had horses previously?

they do like a compnaion as they are herd animals.....are there other horses or ponies nearby to keep her company?

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2011, 12:23:22 am »
Quote
better too little grass and some hay than too much grass and painful lami
OK, though that begs the question how much hay do I give her?

Quote
check what the hedge is made of so its not anything poisonous.

it's mixed - hawthorn, wild rose, elder, sycamore, bramble and green Ivy to name the principal species; there's no ragwort - though I understand that's only a problem when dead & dried in hay anyway. I did ask the lady about poisonous plants and she thought that the pony would avoid them anyway.

Quote
have you had horses previously?
no.

Quote
they do like a compnaion as they are herd animals.....are there other horses or ponies nearby to keep her company?
Um, Well, I was originally told that a horse / pony would be perfectly happy with the sheep for company, and the lady I got her off thought she'd be OK with them (I did ask that question), though I have subsequently met someone who was dubious about a pony who's used to other ponies being happy with just sheep; As far as I can tell she seems happy, though of course, being new to horses I'm not sure what signs to look for.

Thanks again!

mab


shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2011, 09:01:10 am »
its much better to have at least two shetlands. you should not need to feed her anything at the moment. Shetlands put on a lot of podge during summer to take them through winter. if your shetland is thin at the end of the summer its not a good sign. if its fat at the end of winter thats not to good either. you don't want her on rich ground the rougher the glass the better. her feet need to be done every couple of months depending on her feet. this you can learn to do yourself. she will not need shoes if she is not being worked hard.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2011, 09:21:24 am »
I can only relate my experience with my Highland and Shetland. Both are unshod. Smokey was driven and longeined for at least an hour a day every day on tarmac and his feet were fine - they just grow faster. Start slow and increase amount every day. Get a foot trimmer and take their advice.

She'll prefer another pony for company - a sheep can't give the same social interaction such as mutual grooming.

You should be able to feel her ribs if you run the heel of your hand fairly firmly up her side. A pony needs at least 1% of its bodyweight in long fibre to maintain gut function. I'd also give her access to a salt lick and mineral lick, and water of course.

You can calculate weight by multiplying girth x girth x length in cm and dividing by 11877 to give weight in kg. Length is from chest to point of hip.

Get a hold fo Jaime Jackson's book on natural horse boarding- Paddock Paradise. It's perfect for natives.

I'd recommend doing some reading on natural horsemanship - it will help you understand her behaviour and learn how to deal with issues that will inevitably arise in a constructive way for both of you. Remember, she's a horse not a dog or a human, and her needs are quite different.

Good luck and enjoy your new pony - once she gets to know you, she'll give you great joy.

Where are you?

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2011, 11:53:12 am »
was just about to ask the same question rosemary - whereabouts are you mab?

Antz

  • Joined May 2011
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2011, 07:18:35 pm »
Our rescue shetland is a porky little fella. Came to us in a horrendous state, could hardly walk with hooves so overgrown they had started pointing upwards at the toes. During the spring and summer when the grass is good he has to wear a muzzle otherwise he gets very fat and is very prone to laminitis. It's one of those things you have to watch closely.
Our lad is more than happy with sheep and Alpacas as company, we think he was kept on his own by the previous owners  for most his life so I guess its what they are used to. His best friend is Gravy, our suffolk sheep, they look quite cute together as he's a big boy and they are the same size!!

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2011, 07:31:04 pm »
Sorry, didn't get back to the PC 'til now - what a day!

I'm in east anglia - norfolk/suffolk border.

So it sounds like walking her up the lane will be OK - that's good.

I can't feel her ribs at all.

I'm I bit concerned though that the consensus of opinion here is that she needs equine company; I don't want her to be unhappy, but am dubious as to whether my plot will support two ponies. If she won't be happy with the sheep, perhaps I shouldn't be keeping her at all? I must admit that she and the sheep are not particularly keeping close yet - I was hoping that was just while they got used to each other.

Antz - I'm glad there's someone supporting the sheep company view  - I was beginning to think I'd imagined the people who said it's possible - But Rosie was with other ponies not sheep  :-\ .

Thx

mab

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2011, 08:14:44 pm »
hiya, hope you dont mind me just pointing out that ivy in a hedge is not so good, its poisonous.

I hope you have loads of fun with her i love my shetlands, my both have a very short grass paddock its surprising just how little they can live on, i measure there girths every week, right  round there tummies i just do it in inches, so i can keep an eye on any weight gains or losses,

both mine go for walks up the road, i have just bought a harness for them as i want to do driving with my filly next year and i am trying it out on her mum just at the moment to see how she likes it, she has only ever been used for riding before, but i thought it would be a good way to exercise her and me to do a bit of long reining.

All the very best with her,  :wave: :hshoe:

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2011, 08:31:25 pm »
Quote
hope you dont mind me just pointing out that ivy in a hedge is not so good, its poisonous.

I don't mind  :) but I am surprised - it's not poisonous to the sheep; they love it! That does explain why she hasn't eated the bits that are out of reach of the sheep.

M

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2011, 09:50:00 pm »
Re the sheep / horse comapny thing.

We have cattle and sheep together and sheep /ponies. While they graze side by side quite contentedly, there is no real interaction between the species, compared to pony with pony, where they play and groom together. I suspect sheep company for a pony is better than nothing but, in most cases, way short on equine company.

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2011, 10:21:45 pm »
Well, I've taken her for walks for two days now; she certainly seems to enjoy them, and she doesn't seem to be bothered by cars & tractors which is a bonus (had visions of being dragged off into the fields).

Also had the added bonus that as we walked past the gate of a 'horsey place' (stud? - forgot to ask what they do there) just up the road, the bloke poo-picking came over to the gate to say hello, and said I was welcome to come & ask for advice if I needed to  :) Always handy to have someone local, even if their expertise is with larger horses.

I'll post a picture of Rosie as soon as I can extract the pics from my old camera.

Tried to measure her girth today but for some reason she doesn't like the tape measure  :( - don't know why.

Mab

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: help: advice needed for keeping a Shetland pony.
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2011, 10:25:04 pm »
i think sometimes they think it is electric tape!  and if i thought you were going to electrocute ME, I'd be a bit reluctant to let you put it round my belly!!

just go easy with it and you'll get there.

find someone to help you long line her and you'll have lots of other avenues open to you :)

 

Shetland Pony wants a boyfriend..

Started by Snoopy

Replies: 11
Views: 4302
Last post November 13, 2009, 09:55:11 pm
by shetlandpaul
WANTED Shetland Pony

Started by Moobli

Replies: 9
Views: 2818
Last post August 13, 2014, 11:00:42 pm
by adamhfc
Shetland Pony Insurance

Started by MischieMoo

Replies: 11
Views: 4755
Last post December 16, 2015, 12:36:04 am
by honeyend
Shetland Pony Sale in Lerwick

Started by sabrina

Replies: 1
Views: 1824
Last post October 07, 2011, 09:32:28 pm
by RedsandStud
How high could a Shetland pony jump ?

Started by HappyHippy

Replies: 11
Views: 4483
Last post March 27, 2013, 07:58:29 am
by SallyintNorth

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Assist Animal Care Services Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS