Please can someone help. I have a new miniature and am unsure what to feed. At the moment he is getting a small handfull of molasses and 2 of bran with a half an apple and two carrots morning and evening. I am not sure how much to put into his hay net for the night, and how much lucern to feed, which I give to my other horses last thiong at night. The big horses get 2kgs of hay in a net and then I top up with either a wee bit more hay or teff when I put their light out at about 9.00 and they then get a "wedge 'of lucern each. I dont want the miniature to get too fat as he is just a pet so other than walks with the dogs he has no other exercise. Thanks.
The most common problem with miniatures is that they tend to be overfed. Most miniatures do well on hay and pasture and never need anything more than that. Care should also be taken as to the lushness of the pasture, as they are prone to laminitis if turned out onto lush green pasture to graze at will.
A miniature’s nutritional requirements are the same as their larger counterparts, however taking into consideration the fact that the average miniature is not often used for work or breeding, they can easily get by with less food.
I would start with feeding just eragrostis or teff hay for a few weeks, along with the handful of molasses and fresh treats (just so he does not feel ‘out’ at feeding time) but I would skip the bran. Bran has about the same amount of fibre as the equivalent amount of oats, so is not significantly higher in fibre at all. It also can cause a Calcium and Phospherous imbalance in the horse because it is so high in Phospherous, it causes a serious imbalance in the ratio and can lead to a host of problems. Feeding a small amount of Lucerne will provide the extra calcium needed, however by leaving it out you are avoiding the problem to start with. If he is maintaining weight on the hay then I would stick to just that and leave out the Lucerne, or alternatively give him a big handful of Lucerne as a feed in the evening. A breeder noted that he fed about two bales of hay to his mini per month, if that is an indication to you of how much he can get, but I would fill ½ a teff net for him in the evening and see how it lasts him at night. If he finishes it and seems hungry for more, then by all means, add a bit more!
The most important thing is to monitor his weight and if he seems to be losing weight then add more hay, or add some Lucerne to the evening net. If he seems to be gaining then cut down on any Lucerne or re-evaluate your pasture situation.
I hope that helps!