I do have beet pulp on hand for another senior, but I think the calorie content is higher in TC Senior than the beet pulp? Not sure why I would start feeding it, due to that.
Agree with the poster above - beet pulp is extra calories that are low starch/sugar. I would feed TC Senior AND soaked beet pulp (not instead of TC Senior), and/or add in some BOSS or you could add the Empower if you need more calories than that.
I'd start with maybe 3lbs TC Senior AM and PM and add to it a cup or two (dry measure) of beet pulp that has been soaked...and if you need more calories maybe add 1/4 cup of BOSS or 1/2 cup of Boost.
I have an older horse who has always been a hard keeper. Now that he has lush pasture (even this time of year), this is by far the best his weight has ever been heading into winter. However sounds like that's not an option for you.
What did work for us was soaked alfalfa pellets, also the Standlee compressed soft premium alf hay (he has worn down back teeth and it's the only hay he can chew). And Legends Omega Plus - best calories per pound that I could find (1800 cals per pound!) flax/rice bran based, smells great and easy to feed. He also gets about 9-10 lbs of TC senior split into 3 meals.
We tried beet pulp. I found it to be messy, a pain to soak and he eventually stopped eating it. Would rather do 1 lb. of the Legends Omega Plus than all that volume, since he was getting so much volume in the TC senior and alf pellets.
Also, if there is any way you can feed a 3rd meal or lunch, it's a great help. Good luck!
I swear by EndurExtra from KPP. It is 50% fat from rice bran and flax. I only feed 1/2 pound per day. It has natural vitamin E too which is very important for horses that are not eating fresh grass. We have used it on rescues and older horses. Works like a charm and they love it.
I use about 2-4 cups of this per day for my TB/Trak in the winter... I use it year round at the same amount for the green TB. Works like a charm. I am just using it to add a little fat so that we don't have to overload on grain.
My older guy is becoming a seasonally harder keeper as he gets older. This stuff does the trick.
Thanks everyone for the replies!
I picked up some Empower Boost and Cocosoya oil from Tractor Supply, so I'm going to be introducing those slowly to his diet. Right now I'm planning 1 cup of Boost am and pm which is approximately 1/2#, and '2 pumps' (around 2 oz) of Cocosoya oil a day. I'm going to eventually increase the Boost to 1# a day if he eats it well enough. The stuff smells amazing though, I wanted to take a bite.
If that doesn't work out I would highly recommend Buckeye Eq8. I was having a really hard time getting any weight on my young filly but once I put her on Eq8 I saw a difference very quickly. When I was researching the feed many people used it to put weight on TBs. It has a live probiotic in it which is wonderful for their digestive systems!
Don't know if this is useful to you or not, and I have no idea what the pricing is going to be like, but I saw this stuff: http://www.nepurinadealer.com/upload...tion%20Hay.pdf at Fair Hill yesterday. It would have been perfect for my old guy, if only it had been available last winter. It seemed pretty nice - less longstem fiber than soaked alfalfa cubes, but a little more fibrous than soaked pellets. It smelled pretty good and apparently only takes 10 minutes to soak thoroughly.
I think you should be able to find Buckeye products pretty easily in your area - I have a couple of sources for it down here on the Eastern Shore, and I'd think it would be easier to find in a more horse-y area. (Oh, and the Ultimate Finish smells like vanilla cookies and Grow N Win smells apple-y if palatability is an issue.)
Before you pull your hair out, try adding another 2 pounds of TC Senior broken up between feedings. You are just barely feeding the minimum for horses that eat hay. For my Sr. TB's I feed the correct amount of TC Senior, plus Rice Bran pellets in the winter.
Since adding the Empower and Cocosoya oil my TB has definitely put on some weight. He's definitely not in the "I'm worried" stage anymore.
I did have the dentist out a few days ago and she said he had some bite issues that could have been making him not chew properly, so I'm wondering if that was a factor after all.
Of course now we're battling another lymphangitis flare up, it's one thing after another with this horse...but his weight is better anyway!
FYI his current diet is:
Am: 2.5 lb TC Senior, 1 cup Empower, 1 cup whole flax
Pm: 4 lb TC Senior, 3/4 lb Empower, 1/2 lb dry bp (really just to add extra absorbency to his feed as I soak it), 4 pumps Cocosoya (probably 2 1/2-3 oz) and SmartFlex Senior Herb-Free.
Forage wise he gets free choice 2nd cutting orchard grass, which he basically ignores in the field, but eats well in his stall, so he's probably eating 10-15 lb of that total, plus 12 hours of grazing on overgrazed pasture. He also gets a heavy (5 lb) flake of compressed Standlee alfalfa at night in his stall which he absolutely loves.
He looks great now and I think he has more energy!
It wasn't until I started using a 30% protein ration balancer along with soaked alfalfa pellets and enough TC Senior to make it taste yummy that he actually put on and kept his weight with fewer pounds of feed.
I wish I had realized that upping his protein would have made such a difference. It would have saved me SOOOOOO much time and money.
I'm glad he's putting on weight. Maybe I'll try some Empower or Amplify or the TC version. I have 2 hard keeping TBs. Daily they get 7 lb of TC Senior and free choice hay.
By the way, he's lovely. Looks a lot like my own special boy, Eightyfive Union.
So far I am REALLY liking what the Empower Boost is doing for my TB. He is on about 1 lb (probably a little over), and he is filling out through his topline and ribs nicely. It has been less than a month and I've seen dramatic improvement in his butt.
Thank you! He's such a fun horse, like a big puppy.