I have traveled both ways, with hay to snack on and without. When I went on the trail ride with my BO on saturday, she said they never trailer with hay bags because the horses can die easily of choking. She told me a detailed story about how she had a horse a long time ago, or knew someone that did, I can't remember lol, that was eating on a trip and then started coughing up blood and choking and the vet said it was eating while traveling and nervous. So what we did was load, and then after our ride let them picnic if you will in and eat the hay from the bags. I didn't like this because I didn't like my horse eating RIGHT AFTER a couple hour long trail ride. He was fine though. My horse likes it better to travel with food obviously, but didn't get upset traveling without either. Comments??
I always travel with hay bags. Mostly because my mare gets pretty bored, and when she has nothing else to do, she'll pick on the horse next to her, or stomp her feet. And she gets nervous sometimes, and it helps calm her down a bit. I know that probably sounds weird, and completely contradicts what you said.. but it does help her. Lol
I've never heard of a horse choking on hay while being trailerd though.
Im also wondering what others have to say about this!!!
I give mine hay in the trailer and when tied to it at a show/ride.
I have heard stories of horses choking, but have never had that issue with mine. I also think it was feed that was causing choke and it was more common back when most trailers had the trough,so the horse couldn't lower it's head. Nowa days the trailers are either slant with no trough or roomier so that a horse can move around more.....back up a little and stretch it's neck.
Choke in a horse is different than in most animals, it usually occurs down in their "chest" where the esophagus curves before it goes to the stomach. It is below the opening of the wind pipe, so horses still get air. But they can "regurgitate" water if they try to drink and they are blocked. At that point they will drop their head and saliva, water, and bits of food with slime its way out of the mouth and nostrils when they cough. They can get in big trouble if they can't get their head down.
Hubby and I have a commercial hauling company and we always have hay bags in the trailer. What we don't do is tie the horse's, unless someone is being a problem child. By not tying them they are able to get their heads down and clear their airways.
We also have the hay bags that have a small opening, makes them work for the hay.
We have had a couple of horses choke, but when you consider we haul a couple thousand horse's a year it's pretty rare. We have video display in the truck as well, so things don't have a chance of getting out of control.