General Care
from LB Forums

Coat Condition - Shine - Can anyone please give me some advice on how to get the best out of your minis coat. Especially chestnuts. Thanx.

  • Something you can do is to add small amounts of corn oil or veg. oil to your horses diet. I also feed a sweet feed with a higher than normal fat content. You should also keep you horses out of the sun and at all times keep a sheet or blanket on him/her. You will do more damage allowing the sun to bleach the coat and mane and you cannot fix it once it happens until the following year when they shed out again....good luck!
  • If you are asking how to get your mini's coat to shine, I have only one word of advice. Brush. My mare's coat is as soft and shiny as silk by summer. The only secret is brushing. I would also be safe in adding good nutrition, clean fresh water, exercise, clean pen and lots of elbow grease.
  • I began feeding Source to my horses on the advice of my farrier- I also use the dog variety- Source Plus- for my dogs and all have great coats, utilization of feed, etc. It is made of micronutrients from the sea and adds back to our animals what we cook out in the feed!
  • I add a little (handfull according to size) of linseed oilcake to the grain, and it really helps keep a beatiful coat on all our horses.
  • Well, to begin with, shine comes from within...I know that sounds like an advertisement, but it's true. You must start from the beginning and eliminate any nutrition or health causes. (i.e., are your minis wormed on a comprehensive schedule, as well as fed a diet with the proper ratio of fats in it, etc.) The sun can also rob a coat of its shine. You don't mention where you live, but if you live in a harsh climate, you might think about having your horses spend the part of the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in their barns or a shaded paddock. Sometimes you can get full body suits that will cover the hair and protect from ultraviolet fading. A buildup of grooming sprays and sweat, dust, dander, etc., can also make a coat that is really healthy look dull. If regular grooming isn't cutting it, try a bath with lukewarm water, and a good quality shampoo. I use MicroTek on mine, or QuicSilver. I feed my show horse a feed supplement supposed to help with a shiny coat, Super 14 from Farnam. It's pretty inexpensive, comes in the form of a heart shaped treat, and so far, I have no complaints! Her coat gleams when it's clean and groomed. Regular grooming also is important, to help distribute the oils on the hair coat, and loosen the scurf and dandruff. I suppose a lot of these things you may have known already, I just told you what I do, what I would do in your case. Start with the most basic, and having eliminated that, move on until you find the culprit, it does take a good while to grow out a dull coat, so be patient.

Cold Weather & Minis - I just was wondering if I should watch out for frostbite on my little guy. I live in Ohio and have already noticed he has taken a liking to the white stuff. He isn't cut/shaven, he wears his jacket, and isn't out for a long time. It's just that he rolls around and with the wind chill, it gets mighty cold! Anything I should worry about? Or am I just a paranoid person? I just wanted to ask you all! Thanks a bunch!

  • I wouldn't worry about your little guy. We're up here by Calgary, Canada, and our guys all winter out without blankets. Even at 40 below like it was last winter, they're fine as long as they have a place to get out of the wind. We were a little worried about them lst winter, but they all we extremely fat in the spring, so we figure it didn't bother them a lot!!
  • I wouldn't worry about your little guy. I put my babies out with no coats on and they love the snow also. I'm from Pennsylvania and we still have some snow on the ground, so I know what you mean about the cold weather. I have asked my vet in the past about the cold weather and horses and he said that you shouldn't put a horse outside if you can avoid it when the wind is blowing and it's 10 to 15 degrees below zero with the wind chill factor. If your horse has to stay outside (if you don't have a barn) make sure they have a 3-sided shed or something to get out of the wind. I hope this helped, good luck. These little guys are tougher than they look! :)

Trimming Hooves - I wanted to know if any of you trim your own horse's hooves. Is it difficult to do on your own?? I recently bought hoof nippers and thought I would try, but want to know if this is advisable. A friend said he would teach me how. What do you all think????

  • I have been trimming my minis for a few months now, still learning. Best advice is to get a good farrier out to help you and give you pointers the first few times. My farrier would much rather help me than make his back sore! I've watched & asked questions with my big horses for years, so I had the concept, but doing it is another matter! Just go easy with the nippers, rasp more often and less at a time, keep them level. Good luck!
  • We also do our own hoof trimming on our miniatures but I also agree with the other person that said to have a farrier show you how to do it. We learned from a farrier for a year before we did our own. The horses are much better for us than for the farrier because he always held their feet up too high and made them uncomfortable. Trimming has to be done correctly or you could do damage to the hoof. If you get too deep you can draw blood and could also lame the horse if you get it too short.
  • I do all my minis, however I have trimmed horses years ago before I got the minis. I am by no means an expert but when I first got the minis I had a farrier out for a few trims and watched everything he was doing. (and ask questions). I also still have the farrier out in the spring before the shows just to check angles on the show horses. My advice to you is have a good & willing farrier show you a few times, then get him/her out every other time to trim & recheck how your last trim was. If you have a horse that requires corrective trimming, I would let the farrier do that because you can hurt more that help a horse (especially a young horse) if you really do not know what you are doing. On top of all this, you will get more confidence as you go but be sure to look at how the horse stands and the way he walks and trots. Good luck!

Making horse drink water - Just discovered this AM a great way to get our horses to drink more water - I put a pile of carrots into the cuisinart, pureed it, then strained it into a big bucket with 2 gallons of luke-warm water. Horses went crazy! Seems like a good way to perk up the horses when they aren't drinking!

  • I never tried carrot juice but I do add Jello, makes the hoofs stronger and grow faster too. Great treatment for foundered horses also. It also helps if you have heated water. I have an old bathtub with a stock tank heater and they do drink more and have less digestion problems. I have heard of a horse colicing though after being given cold water when it was used to the warmer tank water.
  • I have been told that adding apple juice to the water makes them drink more!



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