I said 95% of the horse population in those areas were fed the cubes or pellet version instead of hay.
Oh, I thought you said 95% didn't have any problems & they all lived solely on alfalfa.
Yeah, I think the cubes are similar to feeding chaff - they do provide some 'chew', but perhaps not as much as long stems(don't know about the effective difference there). Perhaps 'pellets' mean something different where you are, but over here, I only know of lucerne pellets that are similar in size to the pellets in commercial feeds, for eg. I'm not sure they are straight, or at least quality lucerne - more likely the sweepings, that they can't sell as more expensive hay/chaff and they don't take much chewing either - add a bit of water & you've got a mush. There is often no quality standard feed manufacturers have to work to, often it's about cheap byproducts, so it's not like compressing dirty laundry at all... You wouldn't want to 'wear' the uncompressed versions either!
Think it was Nutrina & Purina(are they both the same 'rose' by other names??) senior food that I looked into(don't quote me on that) & found one of the main ingredients in both is peanut hulls, for eg!
But anyway, it was not the pellets that concerned me so much, as horses being fed 2 square meals a day & going hungry for the rest of the time. They're not predators & not built for 'feast or famine' eating.