Although an acre would suffice for a Shetland pony to have his space, some cannot provide such enormous space for them. Getting a 1/4 acre or 1/2 acre of land is also alright, even a space not less than 30 by 30 feet.
There are no set parameters that are legal about the area you should provide when you have a horse or a pony. You should ensure that your pony will have a grass area where they can graze and an area without grass where he can wander around.
You also have to secure that there’s enough room for your pony to exercise cause they cannot live in a space where they are just standing up the whole day, even if you ply them with all the water and food they need, this is not at all ideal for them.
What other things to consider apart from the space when caring for a Shetland pony?
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Table of Contents
Does A Shetland Pony Require A Special Diet?
They will feed on grass, grain, hay, including leaves, twigs, vines, and shrubs.
Shetlands are also not a picky eater and will feed on what is available to them, most of the time. They can put on weight and become obese when left to feed, as much as they like.
It would be best to feed them hay or grass so they will not gain too much weight. You should also consider their age and give them the right diet.
Their water source must always be available as well.
You will know when you are feeding them right cause you cannot feel their ribs, but their body will not appear round, and if it has so much fat with too much feeding.
How Much Exercise And Training Does A Shetland Pony Need?
They need to have a routine, and they must be trained and be used to handling it. A Shetland pony without the required exercise may not live long because they will become obese, and obesity creeps into different health issues.
One is their difficulty with movement brought about by Equine Laminitis. It is an inflammation of the soft tissue near their hooves and will create structural damage to the coffin bone, giving the pony excruciating pain.
When they are well-cared for, they can live for decades, where some pony can live for over 20 years.
How To Provide Good Shelter For Shetland ponies
Your pony will need a shade for different weather, most especially during extreme weather conditions. You can provide them some trees to provide them shade from the sun and have a ready stable. It is not enough that they have a sizeable space to wander and graze on, but there should be a shelter to keep them safe.
Their stable should also be designed to accommodate your pony and must not be cramped.
Do not place few ponies in a stable where only one pony can fit.
Ponies will thrive more if they have a companion they can grow with. They will be more friendly with children as they will have a better temperament if they have a companion instead of letting them live alone.
Shetland is known to be friendly and intelligent. They make friends with children, especially when you treat them properly.
How To Care For Your Pony
It is not just food and clean water they need, but you need to check them for any wounds, bruises, or cuts in any part of their body. You need a first aid kit ready to treat for any unusual scrapes or cuts. Be observant for any sounds of coughing or wheezing, as well as runny nose, as this may need a vet check-up.
Cleaning their stable and their surroundings is vital as well cause you to need to remove urine and manure that may cause bacteria and microorganisms to thrive and can pose a health risk for your pony, eventually.
Prepare to have scheduled care for your pony, not just daily care, but also weekly, monthly, or so.
Grooming And Yearly Vet Check-Up
They have grooming requirements as well, and this will include washing, brushing, combing, and keeping the coat smooth, and healthy. You will also notice if anything is amiss when there are changes to the overall appearance of their mane. Check their ears, hooves, and eyes cause these are parts of the pony that sometimes acquire an infection or wound.
They will need a vaccine and deworm, so you need to have them checked by the vet every year or as required by the vet. If there are also prevailing diseases in your area that involve horses, it would be best to ask the advice of the vet, so you’ll know what steps to take on next.
Their teeth will also need checking and floating, and the vet will be the one to do this, or if there is an equine dentist available, they are your go-to person.
For any issues you may have about your pony, your vet will be the best person to talk to about it.
Some issues that arise include ponies not feeding well or feeding too much, grazing problem, aggressive behavior, skin issues, unhealthy mane, problems with their hooves, among others.
How Do I Keep My Shetland Pony Healthy And Happy?
Since your pony will spend time indoors during winter especially. But you need to balance their indoor and outdoor time, so your horse will not get stressed.
When weather permits, let them have their time outdoors, cause they are happier that way since they are not locked and will not feel caged all the time.
You can check the overall health of your pony and if they require more time outdoors cause some horses will have telling signs when they want to go out and when they would rather stay inside the stable.
When you need to keep them in the stall, make sure that it is clean and there is no smell of urine, and there are no feces around that can also affect their health. If they are not getting their pasture time because of the weather, make sure that they have all they need inside the stable or you are facing a pony that is temperamental, aggressive, moody, and is not friendly.