Are feeders in 2 horse straight load trailers safe?
I am looking for a 2 horse straight load horse trailer (or a stock) bumper pull. I have found a couple that have feeders in the stalls. I was told that the horse could potentially get injured by them. Some opinions please?
I guess it is a risk you will have to weigh up. Personally I have known a horse who has choked to death while eating in a moving trailer and I have heard numerous other cases through the grapevine. I don't think there is much of a need for the feeders. If you are going on a trip long enough that the horses need something to eat then you really should be pulling over anyway and letting them stretch their legs, eat and drink.
Are the feeders removable?
I have heard horror stories myself about horses chocking, but I had a bumper pull straight loader for a while and moved my horses a lot in it... and had no problem. One of my horses likes to dance in the trailer, but if you give him hay he'll be quiet. So I was a HUGE fan of the feeder trays!!
In some trailers straight and slant load, there is a feed bunker in the front of the horse that is chest high and made of metal that's welded in. If the horse is large and can't back up away from the bunker to put its head down, there is a danger of respiratory problems on long hauls. Our first trailer was built this way. We never had a problem going for short hauls. We never put hay in the bunker. Now that we are venturing further from home and some trips over 5-6 hours we got a trailer that is totally open except for chest and butt bars. We do put hay in a corner in a hay bag. The horses don't have their faces stuck in the hay the whole way. They can put their heads down and snort to clear their air ways at will. Horses have to do this, I'm sure the BLM do long hauls so they need to be able to put their heads down.