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Rinsing beet pulp and hoof trimming tools

I took a few photos of my trimming tools. The first one is my hoofjack, rasp, measuring tools – for toe length and hoof angle, and hoof pick.

I know, I’m probably a little bit in over-kill mode when it comes to my horses feet.  I always measure to make sure everything is where it should be.

Why do I do this?  Well, check out this article posted on the Horse Science blog titled “No Two Hoof Trims Alike“.

I’ve measured the work of other trimmers and farriers and have been less than impressed.  Hoof care is both an art and a science.  So for me, measuring gives me a bit of reassurance that I’m keeping things within a range of where I should be keeping things.

The pneumatic air angle die grinder that I’m using is also shown.  In the second photo you can see it a little bit closer up.  As you can see, it’s very small and lightweight making it easy to use and maneuver around on the horses hoof.  I’m using a 2” disk that is 40 grit.  I like that it runs off of the air hose and there are no electrical cords to worry about.  It’s also nice that the grinder has a nifty squeeze handle for power that when released, shuts it off.  Squeeze on, release for instant off!

Too funny that Bo snuck his noggin in the photo.  One more thing about safety — when I start work on a horse, I don’t tie them to anything.  My horses have all adapted very well to being worked on with the grinder now and they actually seem to like it quite a lot.

The next photo shows my compressor.  I don’t know if anything smaller would work to power the grinder.  This one is 20 gallons and it keeps up quite well.

The horses are all used to the noise and listening to it cycling on and off.  I have a long air hose so can be quite a distance away from the compressor.

I’m finding if I do a little touch up every week or two for about five or ten minutes per horse I never have to do very much at once.  Using the grinder has sure made things easier on me, that is for sure.  I really like how the horses feet are looking too.

The next photos are from soaking and rinsing beet pulp for Bo.  Since he just did a 50 on Saturday I’m still giving him a few extra groceries – soaked beet pulp with salt added now.  For the first couple of days he also got some complete feed mixed in with it.

This batch of beet pulp sure has been taking a lot of rinsing to get all of the molasses out of it.  In these photos you can see how dark the water gets after I’ve soaked it. These photos show three different rinses and how the water was still dark.  Needless to say, it got rinsed quite a bit more before being fed.

I try to buy my beet pulp in pellets because that way I can store twice as much in the same amount of space as the shredded.

I also always get “molasses free”.  The last batch of beet pulp I had only required about one rinsing and never had the rinse water turn that dark.  This latest bag is taking about four times or more to get rid of the coffee colored water.  The metal baskets that I use for this work great.  I can put the water hose on spray and wash the beet pulp really well that way too.

I rinse the beet pulp to remove as much sugar as possible.  It keeps my horses from getting wired at ride starts plus it’s healthier for them.  Some beet pulp (even the supposedly “molasses-free”) has been tested to be really high in sugar, as high or higher than some sweet feeds!

I find it interesting how much rinsing it can take and how it varies so much from batch to batch.  One thing I know for sure – if I were to feed this batch of beet pulp without rinsing it, my horses would become hoof sensitive.  It really pays to notice these things and pay close attention to these types of little details.  Details, details, details…..

9 comments to Rinsing beet pulp and hoof trimming tools

  • Cindy Collins

    “One thing I know for sure – if I were to feed this batch of beet pulp without rinsing it, my horses would become hoof sensitive.”

    Hi, Karen. Can you elaborate on your comment above? Thanks. Cindy

  • Hi Cindy – the sugar in it makes their feet sensitive. It’s real important when keeping barefoot endurance horses to feed correctly. I really watch this and have learned how to manage them so they don’t get hoof sensitive. Lots of people think that their horses are just not transitioning well, or are sore over rocks or certain terrain when sometimes it is just a matter of altering their diet.

  • clink

    Oh no! i beleived them when they said unmollassed! how annoying now i have to rinse it!! thanks for telling us!

  • Rosanne Guise

    I’ve always bought ‘molasses free’ beet pulp…I thought it really was! Grrr…now I’ll have to start rinsing.

  • Laurie

    Beet pulp can vary quite a bit in its molasses content, and can even be incorrectly labelled as plain when it actually is the molasses type. Quality control is pretty much up the horse owner. Some folks complain of batches with corn or sand in it, which is worse than molasses. I’ve never had a batch like that, but I’ve heard of it multiple times.

    Beet pulp is great stuff, but I think there would surely be a market for a better quality version of it than what we can currently get. Sometimes we’re lucky to get it at all now that it is growing in popularity as a component of more processed feeds.

    Any high sugar feed (higher than what they are designed to eat) can make horses foot sore. The sugar causes a small metabolic crisis that results in a weakening in the hoof wall connection. Some people get sore toes from eating too much sugar, too! Isn’t that weird?

  • gp

    good food for thought and feet!! wow.. i use shredded (easier thus far).. how long a shelf life in general if stored in a cool dry place?

    happy trails

  • Denise

    Where did you get those little baskets Karen? I know your on slow internet right now, hoping you get this message. I got a new load of loose beet pulp, and when I added water today, oh my….brown as coffee! So I’d like to get a basket like that, but can’t figure out where you might have found them. They look PERFECT for the soak/rinse. A million thanks for any info you can give!

  • Hi Denise – I got my baskets at the $1 store. If you can’t find any I can get you some and send them to you. Some batches of BP take rinsing two or three times – it is amazing how much it can vary from batch to batch. I hope you can find the baskets easily enough! Karen

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