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Re: Eating while travelling

In a message dated 2/21/99 5:58:25 PM Pacific Standard Time,

<< Just saw your post about eating hay while travelling ... sorry to sound so
 dense on this one, but a vet a told us to never feed while hauling due to
 food getting hung and horse choking ... he had seen that happen.  I've been
 paranoid on this ever since, but arrive at check in with a A- or B on gut
 sounds.  I have just switched over from a stock type trailer to a Sundowner
 slant sload w/ feed bags to attach.  Would you suggest using the factory
 feed bags and keeping flakes of hay in there?? >>

There are certain pitfalls to feeding in the trailer.  In a trailer with feed
bunks, there is the danger of having "fines" collect which can cause the horse
to choke, so one must keep them cleaned out.  I also don't generally feed
concentrates in the trailer, as they are easier to wolf down and more likely
to cause a choke.  I stick with hay--they can eat their concentrates while
stopped, if the trip is so long that they need to.  With more open stock-type
trailers, one has to be careful to hang hay nets or hay bags up high enough so
that horses are unlikely to get a foot hung up in them.  The drawback to NOT
feeding in the trailer is that if the haul is a long one and the horse has to
do something athletic at the other end, he arrives with an empty gas tank if
you DON'T feed in the trailer!  I am much more leery of nets or bags with
young or inexperienced horses--only once have I had a problem with a hay net
with my more experienced horses, and that occurred when I hauled two stallions
together and my old reliable struck out and ran a leg through a hay net.
Never would have occurred if the hay net had been hung properly, either, but
the person with me who hung it was inexperienced with hay nets, and I didn't
double-check.  Mea culpa.  Could have been a lot worse--as it was, he had a
tender leg but was not lame, and it responded well to icing and a support wrap
overnight, and was completely normal after top tenning a 50 the next day.  No
matter WHAT you do, SOMETHING bad can happen if a horse does something he
shouldn't, but you weigh your odds, minimize the hazard, and do what you have
to do.


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