Sweet roll has a warning label on it regarding the amount to feed a horse. There is a way to measure your horse (by the girth, length, etc. and then do a calculation through a mathematical formula) to calculate its body weight in order to feed the proper amount of any grain. To date, I have never had an Arabian colic on sweet roll, and Cathy is right that you need to monitor it in hot, humid weather for mold and heat.
My SE riding mare, Ramza, did have a bout of gas colic a few weeks after I had my son (no sweet roll at that time, as she was not "working" or in need of it). She looked depressed, and as I wasn't in my barn routine at that time. So Curtis advised me to go see her because he has witnessed how attached and sensitive these SE's can become when they bond deeply with one person. I spent a couple hours with her, talking, petting, explaining
, etc. She was fine after a long walk and talk from me, even looked brighter in her eyes.
Yes, it may be anecdotal BUT these horses are very sensitive, loyal and devoted. They are family horses, but will pick a favorite person. A drastic change in routine can cause them to go into depression, colic states, refusal to eat and drink, etc.
I have found that it helps (when buying a new Arabian) to get all the information I can on that horses personality and its diet. If the hay, for instance, is drastically different from what I feed, I try to purchase some of that hay to slowly wean the horse off it while introducing the mix we feed - gradually of course. Like others have mentioned, drastic changes in diet, I feel, will very possibly cause colic (for instance, just try eating some hot and spicy Mexican food when you're not use to it and see how your stomach reacts!
), along with lack of exercise which ensures that bowel movements remain active, along with water and monitoring how much a new horse is drinking, and some horses do not travel well, etc. For some horses, most importantly, I have found they need a lot of TLC and pampering so that they get to enjoy the new owner and home - especially if they were attached to one person at their previous home. It just helps them adjust better mentally and emotionally - a preventative measure. I truly believe this is effective, and have had no problems. Coincidence? That's for you to decide!
Even Psychologists are beginning to tap into the depths of animal emotions and intelligence. Animals definitely have their own language, feel emotion, and we have to learn their language and become sensitive to their cues, like they are to ours, through the expression in their eyes as well.
We also feed a quality brome/alfalfa mix hay, with no other problems to date, and have the additional advantage of grazing on good pasture in the spring, summer and early fall seasons.
Sincerely, with friendship,