Beet pulp can be a good source of fiber in a horse’s diet. Horse owners commonly believe that feeding dry beet pulp soaks up the horse’s saliva and causes choke, but Dr. Robert Jacobs says research hasn’t supported that idea. Soaking beet pulp does help get more water into the horse, however, and lubricate the esophagus, so he recommends this practice.
About the Expert:
Robert Jacobs, MS, PhD, is the Equine Innovation Manager at Purina Animal Nutrition. Jacobs and his team conduct innovative research focused on nutrition for horses, including palatability and eating behavior, gastrointestinal physiology, microbiome studies, exercise physiology, and growth and development. They perform their studies at the equine unit of the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Missouri, a 300-acre facility home to more than 80 horses ranging in age from newborn to 30. Jacobs earned his BS and MS in Animal Sciences from the University of Florida and continued his studies, completing his PhD in equine reproductive physiology and nutrition at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he investigated the role of omega-3 supplementation on the equine uterine environment and early pregnancy in obese, metabolically compromised horses. Research is a passion for Jacobs, but his favorite part of the day includes walking the pastures to check on the horses.