Boarding your horse always makes controlling your horse’s diet harder but many have found ways to work beet pulp into the routine. See the Beet Pulp articles for more information about beet pulp. Follow the same general guidelines if using hay pellets instead of beet pulp.
- If you can get to the barn daily, soak the beet pulp at home or at work or during your drive (a small cooler can work well for soaking and transporting).
- You can soak your beet pulp once a week or so and keep it in baggies in your freezer, ready for a quick grab on your way out the door.
- If the barn has a refrigerator, you can soak/drain/rinse the beet pulp at home and pack in individual baggies to keep in the barn’s fridge. (For more than 3-4 days, it should be kept in the freezer.)
- While “soak/drain/rinse” is ideal to remove surface iron, dust and residual sugar, the draining/rinsing could be skipped if your beet pulp is unmolassed and relatively dust free and no refrigerator is available. In this case, make sure you have figured out how much water needs to be added and supply a cup that holds that much (or mark your bucket with a water line).
- If the barn owner is willing to help, make it easy for them. Pre-measure the beet pulp and your supplements into baggies, provide a large closed bucket or other container to keep your stuff neat and together. If needed, provide the bucket for soaking/feeding, a colander for draining (this can be skipped), a large cup for measuring water (like a plastic soda cup) and a metal sweat scraper for stirring. And be willing to offer paying a bit extra for this service - especially if the BO will drain and rinse your beet pulp.
Beet pulp is not “necessary” but is a low sugar/low starch alternative to bagged feeds and grain or can be used as a substitute for some of the hay ration (especially if you need to replace some high sugar/starch hay) and is well accepted by most horses. It doesn’t take long to get into a routine and the benefits usually outweigh any inconvenience. If beet pulp is not available, you can use plain hay pellets (I like the Mountain Sunrise Timothy or Bermuda pellets, or Timothy/Alfalfa pellets for hard keepers) as a carrier for your supplements.