Originally Posted by charlicata
I was always told to never let them eat unless they were told to. But then I started doing a little trail riding with an endurance rider a couple of months ago. He told me that if they wanted to grab a couple of bites of leaves off of trees, as long as they kept up the pace, that it was ok. He said that they draw a little water from them, and helps to keep them hydrated.
Actually - it's to keep the gut working. The amount of water they can get from leaves or grass by snatching a mouthful is negligible.
I let my horses grab a bite but the rule is they keep walking. As far as drinking - as much as they want.