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Bricker Performance Ponies

"Feeding and Care of your Performance Pony"


Welcome to Bricker Performance Ponies - Our stock changes frequently!   


Please ensure that you visit us regularly to view new ponies.

 If you don't see your dream pony we may still be able to acquire it.


Ponies are just like horses in many ways but they also have some distinct differences.


What to feed?

Two main types of feed make up the bulk of a ponies diet:

Forage/roughage (e.g., hay and grass). Bricker Performance Ponies feeds Bermuda/grass hay.

Each pony is an individual and has slightly different requirements, but there are some basic guidelines to follow and the diet can be adjusted to suit the individual, depending on how he looks and behaves.


Resting horses and most ponies



Light work
(Hacks/evenings and weekends)

Medium work


Ponies will do very well on either seed or meadow hay, but it must be of good quality. If you can only give one type of extra food, good, clean sweet-smelling hay will keep most cobs and ponies in good condition throughout the winter.

When to Feed

Hay should be fed in the morning and again late in the afternoon, at the same time each day. Ponies are creatures of habit and will be waiting at the gate.
How much extra food you give will depend on a number of factors:

• The quality and quantity of grass in the field
• The type of work the pony is doing
• The time of year

How Much to Feed

If you are unsure of how much to feed your pony, it is always better to start with a high fiber (grass/hay) and low concentrate (pony nuts) diet. Then if the pony behaves well and maintains his weight, and is not too lively or too sluggish, then the balance of feed is correct.

If the pony becomes silly and too energetic then the concentrate ration should be reduced and more hay fed; however, if the pony is sluggish, then he needs a little more concentrate. Always use a low-energy feed for light work i.e. pony nuts or a light non-heating coarse mix.

How to Test Your Ponie's Hay

Bad hay is more than just unappetizing for your pony. Moldy, dusty or spoiled roughage can trigger respiratory allergies or colic in horses. Buying your hay from a reputable supplier reduces your chances of getting an unacceptable lot, but an occasional bad bale can slip into any shipment.

To screen out potentially harmful hay, give each bale you feed the following five tests. Failing any one of these test means the bale is moldy or otherwise spoiled and needs to go straight to the compost heap.

The bounce test: Drop the bale from waist level or higher. Acceptable hay has some spring and bounces when it hits the ground.

The bend test: Pick up the bale by the twine. A good bale has some flexibility and sags a bit when you lift it. The degree of sag depends upon how tightly pressed the hay was during baling.

The "poof" test:
When you release the twine, good-quality hay "poofs" out and expands because of its springiness.

The color test: Any shade of green is a hallmark of good hay. Yellow or brown hay is sunburned and, while generally safe, probably has lost some nutrients along with the color change. Gray or black coloring is grounds for immediate rejection.

The sniff test: Take a close-up whiff. Good hay smells sweet and grassy, without the slightest hint of breath-catching mold or dust.

What are the basic needs of a Pony?

At the very least a pony needs:

    • Pasture free from hazards such as holes, rusty farm machinery and loose wire fences.
    • Safe fencing such as wooden, plastic, or vinyl rails, or mesh wire fencing.
    • Grass for grazing or equivalent amount of good quality hay.
    • Unlimited supply of fresh clean water, heated if necessary in sub-freezing temperatures.
    • Unlimited access to minerals and salt.
    • Shelter from wet or wintry weather and shade in summer.
    • A dry clean area to lie down.
    • Daily monitoring for injury or illness.
    • Companionship, either with another pony, or another animal such as a sheep or goat.

How to Safely Feed Treats to Your Pony

Most of us feed our ponies treats as a reward, or just because we love them. Treats that are close to a ponie’s natural foods are healthiest but a very small amount of almost any food item is safe to feed as a treat.

Safe pony treats include:

• Pitted Dates
• Raisins
• Sugar cubes
• Hay cubes
• Apple pieces
• Carrot pieces
• Sunflower seeds (with or without shells)
• Peppermints

You'll find ponies have different tastes, too. Some may love peppermints or sugar cubes, some prefer carrots or hay cubes.

If you often carry treats in your pockets and feed from your hands you might teach your pony a bad habit. He might decide that all pockets or fingers contain treats and nip at your clothes and fingers. A pony that is pushy about getting treats can be dangerous.

The safest way to feed treats is to put them in a bucket or feeder.

Some treats can be a choking hazard. Apples and carrots are best cut into pieces. Only feed a very small amount of any hard foods like mints and hay cubes. A greedy pony may not chew the treat completely and bolt a treat down. The food can then become lodged in the ponie’s throat, causing him to choke.

Some things are not good for treats:

• Lawn, hedge or garden clippings.
• Cabbage, including broccoli, cauliflower etc….
• Potatoes
• Tomatoes
• Acorns
• Chocolate, if you are competing, this can cause a positive drug test.

Don't feed treats to a strange pony. The pony could have a medical condition that disallows certain types of food. Some owners don't believe in feeding treats at all. Dispose of all food wrappings out of reach of your pony. A bag smelling of sticky peppermints could be ingested and cause a blockage that could be deadly.


Our Guarantee

We give the highest guarantee in the horse business. Bricker Performance Ponies - If for any reason you are not completely happy, return the pony in the same condition the pony was delivered to you, within 14 days of delivery and we will replace the pony with a pony of equal or greater value.

Bricker Performance Ponies will replace a pony before leaving the ranch with a new pony. If it is determined, by a veterinarian that a pony has any soundness problems that would preclude it from doing it's performance or any health conditions.




Bricker Performance Ponies

Laurie and Donnie Bricker

36925 Avenida Madera

Temecula, CA 92592


Barn:    (951) 302-6742

Cell:      (951) 719-6298



Email: lauriebricker@hotmail.com


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