Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southcentral Kansas
I have been feeding shredded beet pulp for several years now. I do not like feeding grain as none of my horses really need that. I use about a cup dry with a bit of alfalfa pellets in it for my pastured horses, just to keep them happy when I am feeding my 30 yr old blind appy, who is losing his teeth.
He gets 2 large coffee cans(dry measure) of beet pulp, about 1/2 can of alfalfa pellets and 2# of Total Equine 2x a day. He also gets a flake or 2 of chopped(I chop it) prairie hay to keep him busy. I have soaked it in the past as well as rinsed the molasses off of it. Now I simply wet it well before feeding it so the supplements I add to his feed won't blow off. This also helps get a little extra water in him.
You do not need to soak it to prevent any gut health issues, it will not swell up in the stomache and cause any issues. Once a food hits the horses stomache it begins to be digested, it doesn't just sit there. You also do not need to soak it for hours. Actually this is dangerous as spoilage WILL cause illness in your horse. I have never needed to soak it for more than 30minutes tops when I was soaking. Some horses do bolt their feed and so they may well choke on any feed. While it is true that Beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, or simply pelleted concentrates are often feeds associated with choke, it isn't a given. I like to wet it, so I do.. I have fed it dry and they ate it fine either way.
You will need to start off slowly with the bp tho as many horses don't want it at first. Usually I start with a bit of dry with the alfalfa pellets. In a few days I may start putting in a bit of wet for several days.. As they develop an interest in it I start increasing the bp. All of my horses will mug me for it now and at least 3 of them used to stick up their noses at it.
Sorry this is so long, just wanted to add that for weight gain I would feed up to a gallon can dry measure once your horse likes it. She may well then eat less hay so you will want to find a balance that works. And a 40# bag goes farther than grain seems to. I am probably feeding 10# a day to my horses and that's fine with me as it is not a grain, but it is more than simply hay...