BEET PULP DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SOAKED PRIOR TO FEEDING.
Let’s tackle the big one first: Despite what you may have heard from other horse folk and the dire warnings you may have read on the Internet, equine nutrition experts are unified in their assurances that beet pulp---in any form ---does not need to be soaked in water before it is fed to horses.
Yes, beet pulp is a dried product and, yes, it will expand as it absorbs liquids in a horse’s digestive tract. But as Pennsylvania State University equine nutritionist Burt Staniar, PhD, explains, “that expansion is not going to cause your horse’s stomach to explode. It’s not even going to cause him to colic. Beet pulp simply doesn’t do that.” Staniar says the “expand and explode” myth may be rooted in the warning to avoid feeding more than two pounds per day, which actually has more to do with nutritional imbalances than with the physical expansion of the beet pulp itself.
Nor does dried beet pulp increase the risk of choke. In horses, choke is a blockage of the esophagus, not the airway as in people, but it can be just as serious. Beet pulp, however, has an undeserved reputation for causing the condition. “Choke isn’t related to what’s in the diet,” explains Josie Coverdale, PhD, a professor of equine nutrition at