I do not feed pellets, but I believe the barrels the user is talking about (given the fact you live in California) are filled with what's called Stablemix. My dressage trainer feeds Stablemix, and her horses look superb. If I were feeding it personally, I would add beetpulp to get the added fiber and fat you are missing. Stablemix pellets are primarily made with oat hulls and alfalfa, and they are milled in Elk Grove, CA, right by where I live. It really is a good feed, so I do not recommend against feeding it. It is definitely the most affordable pellet I've seen and they do have mixes with added trace minerals.