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The Pros and Cons of transitioning BACK to Beet

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  • The Pros and Cons of transitioning BACK to Beet


    I have a sensitive gelding I have spent the past four months tweeking diet, working with two vets, and giving Traditional Chinese Medicine a try. Overall, he has made some great progress... enough to convince me to keep at it.

    As part of the change, my primary vet suggested switching from beet/alfalfa pellets to a complete pellet. He was on an 8 QT bucket of beet and alfalfa pellets twice a day to keep him thin... he just wasn't gaining and he was a basket case. He had moved home a few months prior and never settled, in fact he got worse. Anyway, he was maintaining on 3 QT twice a day of the complete pellet (Trotter by Blue Seal). I took it one step farther and switched him to Triple Crown Low Starch, with no alfalfa, molasses, or corn. He is maintaining on 2 QT twice a day.

    Is it wrong of me to want to switch him to just beet? We have good reason to believe alfalfa is an issue for him. He does not have ulcers and gets free choice grass hay 24/7. He is also on 24/7 turnout.

    I would really love to hear your feedback. I realize I will need to add a vit/min supp if I go back. He does not get ridden more than 1-3 days a week (when it hasn't rained for two months) and is a pleasure/trail horse only. It is nagging on me that he is on grain, but he is tough to keep weight on and has always been a sensitive keeper. BTW, he is 8 years old, Appaloosa, and I have known him/owned him for most of his life.
    Gone gaited....

  • #2
    If you want to go back to beet pulp and yet keep it simple while providing very good nutrition, I would recommend what LMH from here on COTH recommended to me about a year ago: Equipride

    Very low NSCs, no sugar, no soy - has pre & pro-biotics as well. I feed it along with a free-choice EquiLix available in the pasture. It has not just simplied my feeding program, but changed my horses for the MUCH better.

    Once a day, I just soak up some beet pulp, add 1 cup of Equipride and feed. Easy peasy.

    My Percheron does need extra fat, so I chuck in a cup of Cool Calories. You could do the same or add a cup of Canola Oil.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    • #3
      I too have one who cannot have 'falf. To complicate it, he can't have soy either.

      He is a working (usually--same here as you, 27 days of consecutive, measurable rain!) breeding stallion. His main diet is forage, and he also gets 2lbs beet pulp and 1c flax a day. When in work, he also gets whole oats and another serving of beep, usually 1lb (dry weight, soaked)

      I was using fancy supplements, but went back to good old Blue Seal Min-a-Vite and Min-a-Mix (varies with time of year) No soy, no 'falf, good amounts of Se, and palatable. I could wish for more copper and mag, and would add them if we were doing anything but being a pasture puff.

      He was on TC Low Starch for about a year. He did fine on it (though still had the chronic scratches because of the soy). He's doing far, far better on far less these days.

      Much of it depends on your forage. Mine is poor--comes in 8% protein on a good day, so I also supplement Lysine. Cheap and effective.

      In spring I will add some Rice Bran or BOSS, as availble. In winter I add 1c of oil for safe calories and extra fat... Simply anecdotal but I feel like it helps prevent colic too.

      The rest of the herd also gets alfalfa--growing young horses and broodmares...

      I'm pretty sold that more horses than we know don't do all that well on soy. At least the forms of soy we tend to feed them. If you haven't... search this forum. Some interesting discussion.

      No less than FIVE horses I know and have touched (vs. 'friend of a cousin's in-law from the internet... ) have soy issues. I can't believe there aren't many more that are borderline given that sort of ratio.
      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


      • Original Poster

        I was definitely pondering whether there were soy issues present. I am doing reserach here, but threads are sometimes hard to find. Any links to specific threads would be great.

        Pintopiaffe-do you feed 2 lbs. soaked beet or is that the dry wieght before you add water?

        I am just wondering if, even though I will be weaning him back over, I will see a significant weight drop . He is so tough to keep balanced sometimes.

        Is Min-A-Vite soy free?

        Equipride looks like good stuff too!

        Any opinion on Missing Link (soy free)?
        Gone gaited....


        • #5
          Every horse on the farm, from weanling to 22yo retired broodie, gets 2lbs DRY weight beep pellets, soaked.

          Himself gets another serving (a lb dry weight, soaked) when in work. Usually to hide his joint junk in. He hates that.

          Min-a-Vite and Min-a-Mix are both soy free. I alternate between the two, as the Min-a-Mix is truly for grass hay/forage, and Min-a-Vite is for mixed. M-Mix is for all sorts of different beasties too--cheaper, of course. I really don't see a difference, I do have a spreadsheet with the amounts in each on it... the Mix is higher in Mag, lower in copper, etc.

          You really shouldn't see a drop in weight--especially if he's soy sensitive. My stallion eats maybe 1/3 the weight in oats that he did in Low Starch, Vintage Victory, etc. etc.

          For ONE horse, I'd probably go with soy free Platinum Performance or LinPro. They're both a little too prohibitive for a whole farmful--for me anyway.

          Look into adding flax too. Lots of good reasons to.
          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

          Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


          • Original Poster

            Funny you mention LinPro because I was figuring that would be a good route to go... I have followed quite a few threads by Melyni and I am convinced this would be a safe start along with the beet pulp. I want to start the change NOW but am heading out on a quick vacation next week and don't want to screw up the horse sitter... plus I want to be here to see how he does .

            We have mad such good progress, but he still jumps out of his skin and while I work from the training end, ity is unpredictable and unexplained. I am hoping soy will be the last "key" to straightening him out completely! He was just never fed right to begin with and when we switched to beet/alf pellets, I assumed we were on the right track. Until he lost his mind !!!
            Gone gaited....