08-30-2012, 12:20 AM
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Where you run into trouble is feeding too much too quickly after a heavy day's work. If a horse bolts his food when he's already dehydrated, then that can lead to an impaction. That's why I cool my horses out and make sure they get a big drink before they are allowed to eat after a day's work.
However, eating before going to work has never been a problem. Pretty much every single feedlot cowboy I know feeds his horse a bucket of grain/pellets/some kind of concentrated feed while they are tacking up first thing in the morning. They do that so the horses will have the energy needed to complete a full day's work that might be up to 15 hours under saddle. Never seen a single one that had issues related to that feeding method.