I have a 12 yr old thoroughbred gelding who is 16.2, and I would really appreciate some advice as to how to feed him. He is my first horse and I have had him for 4 years now with only soundness issues. His lameness has cleared up, but until recently I have not taken his nutrition into my own hands. I am very well educated in human nutrition and a holistic-health enthusiast. However, my horse just had a sporadic twisting of his colon and had to have a surgery only 50% of horses survive afterward. He has pulled through like a champ.BUT I am now taking the iniative to learn how to change his nutirtion and lifestyle so that he can be healthy and never have this happen again. I am fully convinced the "sporadic" twisting (lodged between his kidney and spleen) was due to acid production in his stomach because he has been living in a stall/small padock type scenerio since january. Prior to that he has mainly been on open pastures. The last 3 years he has been inconsistantly worked due to his lameness. I had just started him on a 3x a week exercise program for a month before the colic and surgery.
I will be moving him next month to my family's new place on 30 acres so that he can have pasture and better supervision. I also want to get him off of grain completely. He is currently; on stall rest with 3 30min walks/grazing a day, 1/2 scoop strategy and 1/2 scoop sweet mix AM and again PM (total 6lbs),and 2 flakes coastal hay twice a day.I also just started him on probiotics to restore gut health.
He is in the process of gaining back the weight he lost from the surgery. Before the surgery he was consuming 9lbs of grain a day.
At the end of the month I plan to move him to a corral that has grass in it and then after about 2 weeks put him out to pasture. I would love for his diet to be 100% forage, maybe some beet pulp too though (as I have heard this is good stuff).
So, my question- how do I wean him off of this grain he is on before I move him out in a month? Give more hay? Start beet pulp? How much grain should he be getting in the first place?
The reason I don't know all of this is because I have a guy who has been caring for him for me since january since I have school and work. I want to educate myself though so that I can be assured.
Thanks so much!