Most children will grow up wanting their very own pony. If one has the appropriate budget, you could invest in one for your kids. A popular domesticated species that is child-friendly is the Shetland pony. So what are some of the things that you need to consider when it comes to purchasing a Shetland pony?
Consider if you have appropriate living quarters
Before you settle on a particular pony that you will purchase, you need to make a thorough inventory of the living quarters that you would need to accommodate the pony or ponies if you decide to purchase more than one. You will have to ensure you have certain amenities such as a paddock that will be big enough for the pony to take its daily exercise as well as move around freely. You should also ensure that you get a strong fence which should have an electric outer fence due to the fact that these ponies are prone to escaping through spaces that normal horses would not be able to.
Consider if you have adequate grazing land
You need to examine the grazing potential of the land on which the pony will be living in. Always have an adequate supply of grass. These ponies do not need too much but you should also not underfeed them. To supplement their diet, you should put a mineral block in their paddock while also ensuring they have some drinking water at all times.
In addition to ensuring that your Shetland pony is well fed and has comfortable quarters, you would also have to care for it appropriately. Some of the maintenance involved includes:
Ensuring the pony is weighed routinely: This is the only way that you can keep track of whether it is developing accordingly or if it is suffering from malnutrition. To weight the pony, all you would have to do is pass weigh tape around the middle of the pony right behind the forelegs. Your veterinarian will inform you on what would be the healthiest weight range for your pony.
Keeping an eye out for the pony's grass intake: If left to its own devices, chances are it will overfeed itself. Thus you should turn it out on a grazing muzzle and this will restrict the amount of grass it eats without impeding on its water intake. In winter months, you could mix the hay the pony eats with some oat straw. This will reduce the number of calories in its diet.
Monitor the pony for any signs of laminitis: This disease is spotted on the feet of the ponies and its primary cause is obesity. If not discovered early it could prove to be fatal to the pony.