January 21, 2014
Proper nutrition during trailer travel is important to your horse’s health.
I have a couple questions regarding feeding horses while hauling them in a trailer. I have always provided hay, but have recently heard that is not a good idea. Most of the time, we have to feed our horses in a “raised” feeder, which does not allow them to lower their heads to blow out particles in their noses. They also do not have water available to help with the digestion. What are your thoughts? — Candy
To answer this question, we sought out Megan Connolly from AQHA Corporate Partner Nutrena.
Hi Candy, and thanks for the questions! You are correct: providing good-quality, clean hay during transport is helpful for horses to keep busy and keep their digestive tract moving during this stressful period. A slant-load or walk-through style trailer will provide the most opportunity to adjust the height of hay nets/bags, thereby providing more room for a horse to lower his head and clear his airway as needed. During a longer journey, try to stop every two to three hours to offer your horses water. If you have a horse who refuses to urinate in the trailer, find a quiet location, such as a pet area at a rest stop, to unload him and allow him to walk around. You can train your horse to drink water while traveling, too, which will help reduce the chances of digestive upset due to the stress of travel. Check out this article on the HorseFeedBlog.com for more info. Hope this helps, and safe travels! — Megan Connolly with AQHA Corporate Partner Nutrena