Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Hanover, I've heard of horses who can't digest hay, but I've never heard of one who will cough it back up the esophagus.
Has the animal been diagnosed by a vet, or do the owners just think this is what's wrong? If she hasn't been seen by a vet, she needs to be.
The inability to get hay down the throat sounds to me like choke more than anything else. Since horses can't throw up, there's obviously an obstruction preventing the mare from actually swallowing the hay.
Regardless of the actual condition, if she's unable to eat hay her owner can buy hay pellets and soak them along with the beet pulp. As long as she's getting the roughage and nutrition she needs, it's fine if it's not in actual hay.
Many horses who no longer have teeth or who are IR can't eat hay, and they're maintained with soaked hay pellets and senior feed or beet pulp.