I spoil the horses. I admit it, they are spoiled rotten. If I had a barn, they would be pampered pony princesses. But I don’t. One day, but for now, they have a 12×14 shelter, and a thick stand of willows to hide from the elements. Most times, we find them out grazing, no matter what the weather is doing.
As it’s been getting colder, I have added warm mashes of soaked beet pulp to their diets. The main reason I added it was because our Sable didn’t seem to be getting her winter woolies in as thick(or as fast) as she did last year. Knowing that she had trouble with some of our super cold days last year and we had to purchase a blanket for her, I figured we’d get some extra energy going into her. And, in this herd, you can’t give to one, and not the other 3. Especially when the one who needs it most is the Omega.
Nutritionally, my Girls are doing very well, we have a high quality hay, fork fed twice a day (or more when it’s cold!), free choice mineral/salt blocks, and fresh clean water 24/7, so they really don’t need much of anything. Beet pulp was the best choice.
Beet pulp is what’s left after the sugar has been removed from sugar beets. It’s dried and compressed into these pellets, or flakes.
That’s 1 cup dried. It has to be soaked. I have read that it can be fed as is, but my Girls love a good sloppy beet mash!
I also splash in a 1/4 cup canola oil per bucket. I had tried giving Sable coconut oil, but she doesn’t care for it. The other 3 will eat it right off the spoon. Not Sable. I even tried sandwiching it between 2 gingerbread cookies (which she loves over all other horse treats!), but, no go. So, for that bit of extra fat, I add canola oil.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…if my girls are a little fat going into winter, I’m fine with that. They’re outside 24/7 and that extra pudge helps keep them warm. We work it off come spring time. 😉 Even our Ruby, fat girl that she is, worked hard this past summer and dropped her winter weight. Next summer, we’ll work at getting her back under saddle, so she’ll definitely slim down.
Takes at least an hour to get it to look like this. That’s using hot water. If I use cold water, I let it soak over night. Meh. It’s easier to boil the kettle and leave it soak until it cools down to room temperature. By easier, I mean, that way I don’t have to keep Daphne or the cats from eating it.
A diced carrot…some times it’s an apple, or last week I had a few pears that were too ripe. Mostly it’s just a single carrot, diced small, so it can be stirred through.
It’s really amazing that 1 cup of dried beet pulp, once soaked, turns into nearly half a pail of mash.
The second I step out the door with those bright pink pails, it turns into a happy horse fest. I hear murffles and calls and then, there’s the dancing. Oh how they dance for beet pulp!! When I get down to the back fence with the pails, I tell them, “Okay get in your spots!” and they line up, waiting for their pails.
And there you have it, happy horses, with happy tummies, and warm bodies.
B is for Beet Pulp.
Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.