Amanda Uechi Ronan presents these low-sugar, low-starch treats to a panel of equine judges.
Cherie Pritchard’s best friend was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease when he was only eight years old. Like any avid equestrian, she only wanted the best for her horse. She searched veterinary journals, picked the brain of multiple veterinarians, searched the Internet for information about the disease and, in 2006, formed Beet-E-Bites, LLC. The company aimed to create a horse treat safe for all horses, but especially those sensitive to sugar and starch.
Beet-E-Bites officially hit the market in 2009. The treats contain no molasses, oats, corn, artificial colors or preservatives. They also contain no herbs that would produce a positive drug test at USEF competition.
Each batch of treats is fresh baked to order with simple ingredients that Cherie promises, “will never be compromised.” They are full of fiber and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. The company strives to source GMO free, organic products whenever possible. They use only soaked and rinsed beet pulp, human grade organic stabilized flax seed, soybean hulls, alfalfa meal, cold-pressed soybean oil and all natural flavoring oils. They are tested by Equi-Analytical Labs and are 3.3% ESC (simple sugars) and 4.9% starch for a total NSC value at 8.2%. Veterinarian recommendations for carbohydrate sensitive horses are 10% and under.
Having tested the treats at the Colorado Horse Park, only 1 horse out of 10,000 … his name was Finicky Fred, but that is a whole ‘nother story … has disliked the flavor of the treats. Beet-E-Bites come in four flavors: Apple, Carrot, Peppermint and Licorice.
I received my box of Beet-E-Bites last week and immediately started testing on my three horses. First, you should know a little about my testers.
22-year-old Quarter Horse. A gentleman and a scholar. Due to his “refined” age, I have started to make more informed choices about his diet.
14-year-old Thoroughbred. A glutton and a farter. Gumpert loves to eat, but what he eats doesn’t always love him.
11-year-old Thoroughbred. The loveable skeptic. Spiderman is definitely my picky eater of the bunch.
My horses’ favorite flavor by a wide margin was the licorice, which I wholeheartedly did not expect. They were, literally, climbing on top of me and trying to dig into my pockets for more. The carrot and apple flavors were enjoyed, though I didn’t see the rabid enthusiasm that I did for the licorice. The apple in particular smelled amazing, like homemade apple pie, and seemed to be a close second for Gumpert. The least favorite flavor for all my horses was the peppermint. All three took a good long sniff, Spiderman for almost a full two minutes, before finally munching. Spiderman ended up spitting his out, but the other two happily asked for seconds. During my interview, Cherie stated the peppermint oil is definitely stronger than the others. Some horses love it, especially those who enjoy peppermint candies, while more sensitive equine might prefer the other more subtle flavors.
Whether you are feeding a special needs horse diagnosed with Cushing’s, Insulin Resistance, EMS, EPSM or just don’t want to feed your horse excess amounts of sugar and starch, the bottom line is … Beet-E-Bites treats are safe. Whether you feed one or “one generous handful” a day, you just don’t have to worry.
If you’d like to try Beet-E-Bites, the company is running a special coupon just for Horse Nation! After typing in the code HORSENATION at checkout, you will receive $3 off any 3 lb. bag. This special will run until April 15th!