Decrying Patially Hydrogenated vegetable oil in an equine diet sounds very hip and chic, but ANY feed additive has it's drawbacks. These drawbacks are not reported in the human health news and often go overlooked. Rice Bran and the Performance Horse - Susan Evans Garlinghouse
However, before feeding more than a pound or two of rice bran, horse owners should understand the primary drawback, (as well as the one most commonly overlooked) which is its inherent mineral imbalance. Rice bran contains 0.02% calcium and 1.50 - 1.70% phosphorus, the highest organic source available. Calcium and phosphorus are only two of the many minerals which share an interrelationship in nutrition. While excess calcium in the diet has relatively little affect on the absorption of phosphorus, excess phosphorus in the diet will bind and prevent absorption of calcium. Thus, even though the diet may contain sufficient calcium, if adequate amounts are not absorbed, the results are as if the diet were deficient in calcium to begin with. A ration which contains more phosphorus than calcium is referred to as being "inverted" and may have serious effects on health.
For example, a horse eating 18 pounds of bermuda hay is being provided with approximately 25 grams of calcium and 16 grams of phosphorus, or a ratio of 1.56 (1.56 grams of dietary calcium for every 1 gram of phosphorus) which is a very good balance. Equine nutritionists recommend an ideal calcium-phosphorus ratio of between 1.2 - 2. Any ratio less than 1 is considered inverted and a serious imbalance in the equine ration.
Now add to this above ration five pounds of corn and the ratio drops to 1.1 and 0.5 percent 8---just a touch below the recommended level, but still acceptable. But what if we add just two pounds of rice bran? Now the ratio drops to .74---inverted and absolutely unacceptable. This means that for every day that this ration is fed, a significant calcium deficiency exists, despite apparently adequate amounts being supplied in the diet. In order to make up for the deficiency, the body will compensate by mobilizing calcium from storage depots in the bone. Over the lifetime and career of the horse, this may contribute to a decrease in bone density, as well as decreased calcium availability for muscular contraction during exercise. In a young, growing horse, an inverted ratio may also contribute to developmental orthopedic diseases. www.equisearch.com/horses
However, beet pulp is not high calorie–it has only slightly more calories than good quality hay and less than an equivalent weight of oats. Beet pulp does contain about 10 percent protein, 0.8 percent calcium
and 0.5 percent
beet pulp does help with digestion, hence the weight gain in some horses, but the increase in protein can make a horse "hot". this should be a consideration to the owner and what they expect from this food additive.
for me personally, worrying that my horse is eating something known to be detrimental to HUMANS is not more important than trying to balance my horse's rice bran ration to prevent blood chemical issues that can have KNOWN and serious health consequences to HORSES.