View Full Version : Feeding time before trailering to an event

Jun. 11, 2011, 11:06 PM
Need some collective wisdom of the forum.....

How much time do you allow between feeding and loading to trailer to an event two hours away if your ride time is 9am and you want to be there at 8am?

Lisa Cook
Jun. 11, 2011, 11:10 PM
I would give my horses about 30 minutes. But neither of my horses get particularly copious amounts of grain, either, so that's another factor to consider.

Jun. 11, 2011, 11:15 PM
My gal gets 1lb ration balancer and I usually feed her, wrap her legs and tail, finish any last minute packing etc. and load her up...

My guy gets 4lbs, so I split his feed and give him 2lbs in the morning, wrap, last minute stuff and go. He gets his other 2lbs for dinner.

Jun. 11, 2011, 11:16 PM
Eat, then right on the trailer. My quirky horse did just fine with this and the horses I have been riding recently have been fine with this also.

Jun. 11, 2011, 11:20 PM
I don't interrupt feeding time for shipping. If necessary, they eat on the trailer. :)

Jun. 11, 2011, 11:34 PM
Take advantage of the after feeding dozey "I'm full mmmmmmm - sleepy now" state of being, for a quiet trailer trip.

Jun. 12, 2011, 11:26 AM
I usually get to the barn about an hour before I want to leave. Feed him, groom him, get the ridiculous number of stains out of his socks, re-braid his entire mane because he rubbed all his braids out, wrap his legs and tail, then load. I only do this because I need that long to get him pretty again after I had him all nice the day before :)

If I had to just wrap, load, and go, it wouldn't matter, it could be 15 minutes before, right before, or on the trailer as deltawave said. :)

Jun. 12, 2011, 11:54 AM
Does your horse get overly stressed when shipping? Is he/she prone to colic or other related issues? I might adjust my plan accordingly.

I usually give some time between when horse is finished eating and loading up, 30-45 min if possible, but it often doesn't work out to be that long. My current horse knows as soon as I arrive at the barn extra early driving the truck that its show day, and won't eat much of the grain anyway. I usually bring it along if its not finished, and feed whenever its appropriate and/or relaxed.

If the event was 2 hours away, I would not worry about when I gave the grain, providing it would be finished with enough time before riding, unless I had a very stressed and/or colic prone horse.

Jun. 12, 2011, 04:40 PM
Shipping is stress. It is similar in effort to walking, based on studies they've done of horses rigged with heart monitors. So I think it depends on how much grain, how much the horse can be trusted to drink while traveling, the normal eating habits, fitness level, how rough the road is, how hot or cold the ride is, etc. I have a horse who is not a good drinker away from home; I am very cautious about a full grain feed before I put him in the trailer because I could easily cause a full blown colic, because he's not going to hydrate himself til he gets home. I've always tried to feed them as early as I could on shipping days, and sometimes will wait until they get a good big drink out of the water bucket in their stall before I load up.

Jun. 13, 2011, 12:50 PM
My horse is on a diet of 100% beetpulp and cocasoya oil with supplements to round out nutrition. It is actually a great diet for ulcers and some other things...

With that said, she is an awesome eater except when she knows she's going to a show, event, or hunting. So, I have to play games and trick her that nothing is changing that day so she will eat.

Get there an hour (at least) early. Let her eat quietly and then begin the "going to an event" ritual. Whatever is left (depends on how my games worked), I bring it with me and hang it up in the trailer when parked. Sometimes she'll finish it. If not, it comes home with her and she eats it in her paddock.

She's been great to trailer for over a year and I've never had a bad result.

Fairview Horse Center
Jun. 13, 2011, 01:49 PM
I always treat shipping the same as a workout - feed so they can be done eating at least 60 minutes before loading or riding to digest. I may use a handful or two if needed for loading. If I can't give them an hour, I feed when I get there, or skip the meal totally.

I don't like colic, and they can eat hay on the trailer, so they won't be hungry. Missing a meal won't hurt them, but shipping on undigested food may.