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Soaked Goodness For Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime!Soaked Goodness For Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime!

As more horse owners throughout the USA find their feeds to be “not what they seem”, they are turning to beet pulp to help their horses become well horses again. Equines are “trickle feeders” which means they need to eat high fiber diets, slowly throughout the day. Having beet pulp as a team player in your horse’s diet allows for a healthier gut, one with plenty of fiber to “sweep” the intestines clean and allow for proper fermentation.

Beet pulp may help horses recover from ulcers, will help keep them hydrated and low in non-structural carbohydrates. Horses that are insulin resistant are often recommended beet pulp and hay as their main diet.

If you are just trying to maintain weight beet pulp is great alone or with supplements. If you are trying to slow a horse down that “bolts’’ his feed, beet pulp can be fed wetter than normal. It can also be used in the morning, before turn out to let the horse feel full and potentially slow grazing down.

Contrary to popular belief beet pulp should be fed WET, not dry. This is especially true if your horse is insulin resistant. Beet pulp has far too many advantages to being fed wet, that the only time it is seen dry (in the equine industry) is when it is added to a grain. Beet pulp comes in two main forms, flakes/shreds and pellets. Pellets usually take 24 hours to soak water up (which is the longest you would want to soak beet pulp or it may spoil). There is molassed and unmolassed beet pulp offered and usually available in 40-50 pound bags.

This all sounds great right!? So why don’t more horse owners use beet pulp? Let’s just say most beet pulp is not very user friendly, or all that appealing either. Soaking beet pulp, draining beet pulp and protecting the soaked beet pulp (from wild life) will get your neighbors wondering if you are an amateur scientist. Beet pulp is dirty and a by-product from another industry, this means it is cheap to buy, but also just plain CHEAP. There are reports of debris being found in bags and the inconsistency of the shreds could lead to choke. The palatability of the product even after it has been soaked and drained may still leave much to be desired, especially if you have been feeding your horse sweets or grain.

There are solutions to these problems so that you may reap the benefits of the former and not the headache of the latter. Premium Beet Pulps are out there and if your feed store doesn’t offer one, you should ask. You wouldn’t feed your horse hay only suitable for a cow, so don’t feed him low end, cruddy beet pulp either. Some beet pulps take up to 24 hours to soak and claim “no molasses added,” giving the buyer a false impression. Others beet pulp products like Speedi-Beet need only 10 minutes to soak and the sugar is EXTRACTED making it 95% sugar free.

For owners with horses that are IR take special note: Just because you are using UNMOLASSED beet pulp this does not mean it is sugar free or even low in sugar for that matter. Unmolassed means there is no sugar ADDED to the product. Unmolassed beet pulp may have up to 12% sugar in it.

This tip was brought to you by Emerald Valley Natural Health and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE monthly webinars and weekly tips. Go to www.kamanimalservices.com  to register for the next webinar or sign-up to be notified when a new tip comes out.