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Author Topic: Miniature Horse Article...  (Read 189 times)

Chanda

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Miniature Horse Article...
« on: February 28, 2017, 10:24:10 AM »

Someone posted this link to FB, so thought I'd share it here.  It's an article on Miniature Horses from UC Davis.

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh/local_resources/pdfs/pubs-Dec2012-sec.pdf

The only section I'm not impressed with is the weight and feeding section, as a flake of hay wouldn't feed 6 minis around here, and I have plenty that weigh more than 250# without being overweight (have several that would be downright emaciated at that weight).   Good info on the trials of breeding minis and some of their special health concerns.
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Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

dcwolcott

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Re: Miniature Horse Article...
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 04:54:49 PM »

Oh boy, oh boy....let me count the ways I don't agree.....

ONE flake of hay is good for 6 meals for a mini ????  What does she want to do...STARVE them??  And small amounts of Alfalfa should only be given during breeding season or for exercising or showing?? 

Sounds like she needs to read up on miniatures -- or better yet actually have "hands-on" raising them.  My minis got a minimum of a flake or two of pure Alfalfa in the morning, and one at night -- so they could chew all night.  And NEVER, I repeat NEVER did I ever have an over-weight miniature.  I also fed a high protein grain to all -- no less than 2 cups per horse, and generally 4-8 cups for mares in foal, or lactating.  Again, no one overweight.  Now, here in Florida my horses were on dry-lots, so their total nutrition came from whatever I fed them.  I'm sure "pasture" would have made a difference, but I'm still shocked at what she says about these special little ones.

And I disagree about the protein requirement.  I think the higher protein diets are better for the horses, so less hay bloat/swollen bellies in foals and underweight horses.  It's why I always fed a high protein -- mid range fat grain with Alfalfa.  That extra boost of protein in alfalfa helped with tummy soothing too, so only had one case of colic in all the years I bred horses -- and it was in a mare here for breeding.

And in the dental section....I just give up!  Prone to teeth problems because they have the same number "and size" teeth as a large horse?  Really?  A large horse would starve to death if it had to eat with the smaller teeth a mini has.  Certainly a bad statement, since I'm quite sure a draft horse has bigger teeth -- hence a bigger mouth -- than a mini.  They'd be pretty funny looking horses if their mouths were as big as a full size horse's. I only had 1 horse retain a baby tooth (cap) and my show horses would have been thrown out if their mouths were full of "over-crowded teeth".  Can you imagine the bite they'd have. Not to say there are not bad bites out there, but careful breeding and selection of horses for breeding can play a great part in breeding a proper mouth.

I do believe in good dental care in the minis, as they too get hooks on their teeth and need filing down appropriately, so we had yearly dental check ups for all the horses.  Generally, only a few out of 45 horses actually needed work done, but it was worth it's weight in gold to have a professional equine dentist look at them.

I do like that she has explained the importance of monitoring the little mommas as they near delivery.  But there are comments I don't agree with.... of course!  LOL

Sand is a major factor in health here in Florida, and I fed Psyllium granules one week a month to all horses year round.  I could get a generic psyllium from the local Purina store that was considerably cheaper than the Sand Blast or Sand Clear that is advertised.

And saying they have a life span of 30 years or more seems a bit much.  Yes, some horses can live into their 30's, but my experience with minis is that even with good care most of mine went before they reached 30.  I know Falabellas have lived into their 30's and a few into their 40's, but they have a different physiology than the American miniature -- less ribs, a heart the size of a full-size horse not a smaller version, and other physiological differences that can give them a longer life span.

Well, thanks for posting this Chanda.  I'm sure I got tooooo blunt with my comments, but I think this Vet would do better if she actually raised miniatures herself and could actually experience things.  I think she'd find that they are generally a healthy bunch, and require as much love and attention as any horse no matter of the size.  The only thing I agree with pretty much in total, is knowing how important it is for someone to be in attendance at the delivery of these precious little ones, as they can have problems during delivery -- even if they've delivered several babies by themselves over the years.  Sometimes, just a quick "adjustment" during labor/delivery can save the life of a newborn.  It's worth the sleepless nights to get these little ones safely to the ground.

Okay, off my soapbox!  :-X   But, I'm happy to stand corrected if you disagree.   ;)
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Ryan

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Re: Miniature Horse Article...
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 05:47:22 PM »

I agree 100% with you Diane. Six meals out of one flake would have to be one of the most ridiculous things Ive ever read. Surely its a typo ?? LOL

The section on teeth is HILARIOUS , nearly spat my coffee onto the keyboard in laughter.

 
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dcwolcott

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Re: Miniature Horse Article...
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 06:15:16 PM »

Glad I'm not the only one.  Sometimes I get so irate and say more than I should, probably, so thanks for the positive response!
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Chanda

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Re: Miniature Horse Article...
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 06:50:38 PM »

I've heard from more than one source that minis have more tooth issues, and I've had several myself that have held onto their caps for awhile, so I can see it, but still in general good information there (at least if people are aware that a mini might have more trouble, they'll have a vet check things regularly).
Still one of the better articles about minis that I've seen, except that weight and feeding section.  No wonder some minis end up skinny rather than fat.
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Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

dcwolcott

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Re: Miniature Horse Article...
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 06:11:18 AM »

Yes, you're right Chanda.  There was some good information in there, too.  Sorry I "took off" on it!  Hope I don't discourage anyone from speaking their mind about the good things. 
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Chanda

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Re: Miniature Horse Article...
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 09:47:46 AM »

That's why we like our group, we can express ourselves like adults.
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Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

Holly

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Re: Miniature Horse Article...
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 10:10:41 AM »

I agree completely with higher protein levels. It makes a huge difference in mares holding toplines during lactation.  I can't imagine giving a mini one flake a day much less divided into six meals. Course I am also limited on pasture.
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paintponylvr

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Re: Miniature Horse Article...
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2017, 11:58:41 AM »

The article itself is interesting and I haven't finished reading it.

RE: feeding - I think that the comment on 1 flake for 6 minis or 6 meals for 1 needed to be struck out by the editor (but that means the editor needs to be more educated than the vet who wrote the article).  Personally, the whole concept on feeding needs to be changed somewhat - they should stick w/ the weight/%s and then go with it depends on activity levels and pasture as to how the mini is maintained after that.  I've run into too many problems on property just a couple of miles apart where they couldn't be fed the same, LOL.

The age, condition and use/exercise didn't really get addressed IMO...  well, in passing I guess it did.

The teeth - yep, made me laugh too.  BUT, I have had more issues lately with younger shetlands (ha - in all of our smaller ones!) in the dental department since starting to breed again.  Most of these are sired by the same stallion and I wonder if that ties into the equation?  I have had retained caps that caused issues with eating, teeth breaking off into the sides of the cheeks and embedding there (3 out of different mares), some overcrowding issues when baby teeth didn't get pushed out by adult teeth at all.  Also, wolf teeth erupting years earlier than on larger ponies or horses that we've owned and becoming immediate problems.  But no, their teeth ARE NOT the same size as a full size equid - at least not in ours...  :)

I wonder if the same vet that wrote that article 5 years ago would write it the same way now?  I'll read the rest later and let you know more of my thoughts.

I did download that PDF - thanks for the link!



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