For horses that brave the winter outside, what would be best to keep weight on (horses get unlimited hay, and two feedings of ration balancer and grain) They are thoroughbreds, but do tend to hold weight well normally, but would like to ensure they keep their weight up over the winter.
Last year they were on soaked hay cubes, the year before they were on beet pulp...
I've found that the hay cubes are messier for me to soak as they are tough to get to break up, but I have fed soaked hay pellets when beet pulp was scarce.
I usually feed beet pulp, soaked with warm water & oil, to my crew to keep their weight up in the winter. My old mare won't have anything to do with soaked cubes, has been known to refuse the soaked hay pellets, but loves her beet pulp . . .the boys will eat any of them without problem.
~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard
It's kind of six of one, half dozen of another, but I would give the slight edge to hay cubes. If you soak them in hot water, they should fluff up beautifully. My experience is that they will turn into a gorgeous oatmeal consistency, given hot water and a bit of time. (Or cold water and A LOT of time.)
I've fed plenty of beet pulp, too, but hay cubes are closer to grass. And grass is, as we all know, the foundation of horse nutrition. So, all other things being equal, I prefer hay cubes.
If, however, the horses in question were insulin resistant, I'd go with un-molassed beet pulp instead. But I doubt that's the case with these two, being TB's.