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QI want to take on a Highland Pony. Do you have any tips for feeding? Sophie Green, Peterborough
AIt’s great you’re considering his feed already. Being a native breed, Highland Ponies are generally good-doers, who maintain weight and condition well, but it’s important to consider your horse as an individual. Factors to consider are: What’s he currently being fed? How does he look in terms of his weight and condition? What workload will you do with him? Will he be stabled and/or turned out? Body condition scoring and weightaping are great to help you get an idea of where you’re starting from, as is gathering as much information as you can on his past diet. It’s also essential to know about any clinical issues he may have (such as being prone to laminitis) before you decide on what’s best. From here, you need to ensure his diet is balanced in essential vitamins, minerals and quality protein, with access to good quality fibre and forage sources. You can then adjust how many calories he needs depending on how much exercise he does.
Native breeds tend to be good-doers and maintain their weight well