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Feeding During Horse Transportation

Alimentación en el transporte del caballo

When it comes to horse transportation, whether for sporting events, moves to new stables, or simply for recreational trips, it is essential to take into account a number of factors to ensure the health and welfare of these noble animals. One of the most critical aspects to consider is feeding.

Before the trip

The preparation of a horse’s feed for transportation should begin several days before the travel date. In general, it is advisable to reduce the amount of concentrate in the horse’s diet and increase the amount of forage. This is because fiber-rich foods, such as hay, can help minimize gastric stress and stimulate intestinal motility.

Some horses may experience a decrease in appetite due to the stress of travel. In these cases, it is crucial to ensure that the horse is well hydrated and has enough fiber intake in the days leading up to transportation.

During the trip

During transportation, it is recommended to offer water and forage to the horses regularly. Hydration is vital to avoid colic and other health complications. Just like with humans, travel stress can dehydrate horses, so rest breaks for drinking should be offered approximately every two hours.

Feeding horses with forage during transportation can be beneficial for several reasons. The forage, especially hay, has a calming effect and can help reduce the horse’s stress during the journey. Additionally, chewing hay can help produce saliva, which is a natural acid buffer in the horse’s stomach.

After the trip

Once the horse has arrived at its destination, it is advisable to allow it to rest and recover before reintroducing a full feeding regimen. The horse may not have an appetite immediately after the trip, so it is important not to force feeding. Instead, provide water and small amounts of forage until the horse regains its appetite.

In summary, feeding during horse transportation is a delicate matter that requires planning and attention. Ensuring that the horse is well hydrated and fed with a fiber-rich diet can help minimize travel stress and keep the horse healthy.