As you've probably noted....grain is not one of the items frequently given as something to feed (thank goodness). Forget grain...forever when it comes to feeding your horse. It creates problems. The equine digestive system is not designed for grain..
As one person pointed out, Timothy is rich, but then so is alfalfa and most of the hays (and pellets made from it) that you'll find promoted in the "horsey world"
. Horse feed and hay that you'll find in the store is, for the most part, geared to give more energy than most horses will need.
I'm sorry to say that I know of no "feed" that I would recommend which is low enough in nutrition that I'd feel comfortable feeding my easier keeper "regular" servings. There are some really great feeds out there like beet pulp and copra. They are easily digested and good for the horse from a nutritional point of view. However, they are great feeds for hard keepers or horses that are worked hard (needing the calories), but not good for easy keepers UNLESS you are going to really work the horse to burn off the calories.
The best think I can suggest is to look at hays that are good nutritionally, but not seen in the "horse section" anymore
. We've grazed on bahaigrass all my life and I still like using it for hay. It's healthy without being too rich which is important with my easy keepers. So if you can find a good moderate hay or even a lower hay (not poor quality now....just lower nutritionally) I'd go with that. You can supplement for any minerals and amino acids, etc... that might be lacking.
Of course you can feed things like beet pulp and copra, but you'll have to do it in very small amounts.
And contrary to what many people believe
neither beet pulp or copra has to be soaked and they won't cause colic (I'd have killed a lot of horses if it was the case
). If your horse sucks down it's feed like it's in an eating contest then there can be risk of choke with any dry feed (including beet pulp and copra), but so long as a horse eats like a normal horse
, has access to water and is well hydrated I've never had or seen a problem with feeding it dry.
Now, that being said, most beet pulp comes with molasses added. There's no sugar left in the pulp after it's been processed (they really do extract it), but the feed industry likes to add molasses to it (you might be able to find some that doesn't). In that case you'll want to soak it and then drain it to remove as much of the molasses as you can. Copra and beet pulp are my feeds of choice even to my very easy keeper. She just get's significantly less then my other still easy keeper (about 1/3 as much as the 1/2 ration the other gets
). I wouldn't even bother to feed it to them, except that it's the feed I like for long distance riding so I like to keep them use to it for those times (and on those trips they will need a few more calories anyway).
Good luck. You don't have an easy situation with an easy keeper that has already foundered.