Colic is not something that is predictable nor preventable....it's just something that we horse owners have to accept the possibility of, and do our best to lessen the chances of it happening...and do alot of praying.
Things like, do not overfeed grain and make any changes to their feeding regimen slowly, always have fresh water available, always have salt licks available, etc. But when all is said and done, despite the owner doing everything right...colic can still happen.
It cannot be prevented .... not with any degree of certainty
Yes and No. As the owner, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are doing the absolute best for our horses, keeping them as close to their natural behaviours as possible.
What I mean is, horses are designed to have roughage in their digestive systems 24/7. That is who they are. They are meant to be consistant grazers, go out to the wild, you'll see them eating, eating, eating and eating, because that is what their bodies require. It is ingrained in them.
It is our responsibility to ensure that the obtain this as much as we possibly can. Meaning, ensuring that they have as much roughage in their systems as possible. 24/7 pasture, if they don't have access to pasture, 24/7 round bales, if that is not possible, ensuring that you are throwing as much hay out to them on a regular and consistant time frame, so that their stomaches are not empty at any given time in that 24 hour time frame.
It is when our horses digestive systems are allowed to remain empty for long periods of time aka in a stall over night. You can throw them hay before you leave the barn for the day, but they'll eat that up within a 4 hour period...which will leave them without for 5 or more hours, until you or the barn help arrive the next morning, to throw them more.
Due to how they are designed, their stomachs constantly secrete gastric acid, whether they're eating or not. With the constant secretion of gastric acid and no saliva to buffer it, an empty stomach is at high risk for gastric ulcers. This painful condition can affect your horse's appetite and digestive function, leading to weight loss, and unthrifty appearance, decreased performance, a poor attitude and even colic.
The equine hindgut was designed for continuous fermentation throughout the day. Fasting and then feasting can cause digestive upset, disrupting the delicate balance in the large intestine, which can result in a number of problems, including painful build-up of excess gas, which then results in gas colic.
After all is said and done, there are horses who are still prone to colic, which is when you want to dig in deeper to find out what is causing the issue. Ulcers, stress, imbalance in their digestive tracts, introducing digestive aid supplements, etc, etc.