How to Safely Feed Hay in Your Horse Float

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You’ve looked at horse floats for sale, have found the perfect float, and are ready to begin transporting your horse. Before you load up your horse float with hay for your first trip, be sure to review these important tips on how to safely feed hay in your horse float.

Use a Slow Feed Hay Net

Horses can eat large volumes of hay quickly, and horses may be more inclined to gulp large mouthfuls of hay when they are stressed due to being on a float. Using a slow feed hay new is a safer option which helps to slow down your horse’s eating while still keeping him entertained and fed.

When you tie the net, make sure that you secure it up and well out of the way where your horse cannot get a leg caught in the net. Try to anchor the net from multiple points so that it doesn’t swing and knock your horse in the head during transport.

Soak Hay Before Feeding

Hay is naturally dusty, and dust and particles from the hay can fly into your horse’s eyes and nose as he eats in the float. Because of this, it’s a good idea to soak the hay before you feed it. To make soaking easy, use a large (clean) muck bucket or wheelbarrow. Place the hay as close to the horse float as possible before adding water (the hay will be heavy afterward). This soaked hay is less dusty and is less likely to fly around during travel.

Even if you soak your horse’s hay, it’s still important to give him a way to lower his head periodically during the trip. Unloading your horse and letting him lower his head down gives him a chance to clear his airway of any debris that may be irritating it. This simple step can help to reduce your horse’s chances of developing shipping fever.

Provide Plenty of Water

Eating hay can increase a horse’s thirst, and you don’t want to run the risk of causing an impaction colic or other digestive issue. It’s important to provide your horse with a chance to drink water at least every four hours during transportation. It can be helpful to bring water from home, since some horses don’t like the taste of strange water.

Consider Hay Cubes

Instead of feeding from a hay bag, some horse owners prefer to feed soaked hay cubes during transport. This method naturally keeps your horse hydrated, but some horses can eat large amounts of cubes quite quickly. It’s up to you to decide whether this method works for your horse.

These tips can help you to keep your horse healthy and safe during a trip on your horse float. Have a great trip!

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