Originally Posted by LoveMyDrummerBoy
Thanks for the responses guys.
I do understand the nutritional difference, and I think that my question was somewhat poorly stated. The hay at the place I board is really great quality and he has access to salt and minerals 24/7, so as far as nutritional value is concerned, I think that I have covered my bases. My question is more is it worth feeding SafeChoice as a means of keeping weight, or is that a waste of money, and BP will be sufficient?
Unless he has access to fresh grass, he will still need additional nutritional support (and even with fresh grass there are often still holes there due to regional or local deficiencies; selenium is a big one in a lot of areas). I have yet to see any scientific evidence that horses will self-regulate any minerals other than salt, so while it's nice that he has access to a mineral block, I wouldn't count on that to cover his mineral needs. On top of that, vitamins are missing from this picture. Fresh grass has plenty of vitamins A & E, but these break down very quickly when it's processed into hay. Horses that are fed on hay (particularly year round) really need to have these vitamins supplemented, and I'm a big fan of supplementing omega-3's when fresh grass isn't available as well.
Back to your original question, with Safe Choice you would likely be filling those nutritional holes as well as helping keep weight on. I like to avoid sugary/starchy feeds, though, so it wouldn't be my first choice (Safe Choice Special Care is a lower NSC option if you decide to go that route, though). Unmolassed beet pulp combined with a ration balancer or multi-vitamin would be a healthier choice, IMO.