I've had horses before and they were a breeze to take care of. So, how hard could it be to take care of a tiny little miniature? Turns out, it can be pretty stinkin' hard.
First of all, she came to us as fat as a butterball and within two weeks, she was on the verge of foundering, so says the farrier. "Don't feed her any grain, just let her eat the grass, she's too fat." he says. I was only giving her a handful of sweetfeed a day anyway, but I cut out the sweetfeed entirely. Still she munched, still she got fat, then she started limping and was reluctant to get up and walk on her sore feet.
So, I called the vet. He said, "She's eating too much lush grass and clover, take her out of the pasture and give her only dry hay." So, into the barn she went. In the stall, she paced round and round and stirred up all kinds of dust, then she started coughing. So, I had Tom mow the pasture short and put her back outside.
She gained some of the weight back, but was not limping any more. Now she was coughing. I thought putting her back outside would clear up the cough.
OK, to the vet we go. Vet told me she was, as I thought, coughing because of the dust and now her airways were irritated so he gave her some antibiotics and a bottle of medicine for me to give her a shot twice a day. Then he said, "I'm not worried about her feet, I'm worried about her weight. I see at least two horses a week foundering because this season our pastures are so lush that the horses are eating themselves sick. Put her in a dry lot and give her only hay." "I don't have a dry lot." I say. Every inch of our pastures is lush green.
My solution was to put her in the smallest pasture and to keep the grass cut very short.
She is lonely and longing to get out and run with the donkeys. BUT, so far it seems to be working. She is no longer coughing, she is not limping, and she looks to be a reasonable weight.