Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern Illinois
Yeah this is tricky. Here is what I personally would do.
1. Introduce him to the herd. For a while he ain't going to give a crap about grass because he'll have new buddies and they will be establishing their order.
2. Once he gets acquainted and they stop squealing, fighting, kicking, etc and he finds his place (if even just for a while) let him eat for about half an hour without a grazing muzzle. This will ensure most of the kinks within the herd are out and that he gets his fill.
3. Put on a grazing muzzle. A well fitted one will allow him to be social and will not impair most function. He can always kick and stomp and romp, and hopefully he will already have established his place.
4. Check on him regularly. If he gets that muzzle off, you could be in a world of hurt. If he's had no turnout, depending on his situaiton he is a pretty high risk colic candidate. As stated earlier, he could die from it.
After the first day is over, take off the muzzle again for another half hour the next day. Over the next few weeks, work him up to 1/2 hour - hour - 2 hours - 3 hours and so on. GRADUALLY. Make sure to check him for signs of colic (kicking tummy, distended belly, no bowel movements) a lot to prevent a problem.
Many horses can get along just fine without having their teeth to fight. Let them duke it out and then start introducing him to pasture as you normally would.
** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **