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Grazing muzzle?

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  • Grazing muzzle?

    I have an older mare who had a founder in the past, and am looking for a way to let her go out with the others when they are on grass this year. She spends every summer by herself since I don't let her eat grass, but she misses her friends and that makes me sad

    I was just wondering if anyone has used a grazing muzzle before and what they thought. She has a weight problem, but it is mostly with being too skinny rather than with being too fat and I wouldn't let her out there until probably late July. Has anyone had problems with them? Do some horses get fussy with them? Are they able to drink ok? Are there other glaring problems that I haven't thought of?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    My mare Quinn wears one because she is prone to gaining a huge amount of weight. She managed to eat and drink just fine.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff
    \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~

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    • #3
      good news, bad news.....

      the good news.....
      Willie (my Arabian that had three surgeries for SCC of the penis, that foundered - 12 degrees rotation front feet - from the steroids/stress from the surgeries and having undiagnosed Cushings) has returned from the darn near gone and is now back to being ridden and taking dressage lessons. BUT he is in a grazing muzzle whenever he is turned out. I use the "Best Friends" muzzle that attaches to his regular break-away turn-out halter with the leather crown piece as he is hard to fit with his short little Arab head, but fairly wide muzzle (Polish Arab, not Egyptian). He has dealt with this for over a year now, and does fine with it. Until today, he was turned out at 7:00am until 11:00pm with his friends in his grazing muzzle- then all would go in the barn for the night, when he was given hay. Starting today, the schedule will be pretty much the same, except he will go into his stall we built in the run-in in our summer pasture, while his buddies will stay out. He will have several flakes of hay to eat overnight. He tends to be pudgy, so we don't have to worry about keeping the weight on him - actually just the opposite. We have halter fuzzies on the crown piece and on the nose piece to keep it from rubbing. But he has adjusted just fine to it, and I think he enjoys at least being out with his buddies.
      bad news....
      had an appy that was Cushinoid, had to limit his grass - he could not deal with the grazing muzzle - completely changed him from the most loving, sweet being into an almost crazed animal - he hated it. So we used it sparingly, and luckily he never foundered on us, but we lost him due to other circumstances.
      I think it depends on the horse, and you will just have to try it and see.... Good luck!
      forgot to add- drinking is absolutely no problem. Willie also gets fed breakfast and dinner daily (pellets/supplement) in addition to the hay at night.
      Last edited by eventgroupie2; Apr. 6, 2011, 08:50 PM. Reason: needed to add something
      stained glass groupie
      www.equiglas.com

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for the help!

        Eventgroupie, that was helpful and unhelpful at the same time! I think you are right that I will have to try it. But that means I will have to try it and won't have an answer now. I'm a little worried she will not be happy with me, but if she can be out with her friends it might be worth it.

        I suspect the solution to all her problems would be if she didn't have to live with other horses and she could just follow me around all day like a dog. Then she would be off grass and with her best friend Unfortunately my office isn't big enough...

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        • #5
          I have to muzzle mine due to insulin resistance when she goes out from March to November. I use the Best Friend Muzzle and sheepskin that fits on the nose and the chin. She can eat a little grass through it, and she can also cram hay through the tiny hole! We have nelson waterers in the field, and she can get the muzzle into it to drink. She gets hay at night, and a teeny bit of ration balancer morning and night, and her weight is good. My mare seems to not think too much about the muzzle. She acts the same with it as without it. She even pushes her pasture mate around successfully. Hope it works out well for you!

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          • #6
            I've used muzzles on various horses for years. We have great grass at my farm, and the new pony we got is a tad "large" for his "medium" frame. And being a pony, and being that he's never been on grass in the recent past, he's relegate to wearing a muzzle most of the day. He drinks just fine, and when he's not sulking about the muzzle, he crams bits of grass through it.

            What you'll find is that they will eventually wear a larger and larger hole in the bottom of the muzzle, and you'll need to replace it because of that!
            Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

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            • #7
              Have you also looked into adding Remission? When my pony foundered last year, it was impossible to keep a muzzle on her unless we used a staple gun . My vet suggested we add Thyroid-L (after testing of course) and Remission. She is in a paddock now where she can see the others, but it has little to no grass. It's sad, but at least she's alive!!

              Good luck!
              "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren

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              • #8
                I have a young TB mare who is super sensitive to the super high sugar Spring grass, and also inflates like a balloon. She is muzzled every Spring and has no issues besides occassionally learning good ways to remove it out in the field. Drinks fine, and still gets fat!
                www.tabeventing.com
                http://www.tracey-eventblog.blogspot.com/

                "A canter is a cure for every evil." - Benjamin Disraeli

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by MoonWitch View Post
                  Have you also looked into adding Remission? When my pony foundered last year, it was impossible to keep a muzzle on her unless we used a staple gun . My vet suggested we add Thyroid-L (after testing of course) and Remission. She is in a paddock now where she can see the others, but it has little to no grass. It's sad, but at least she's alive!!

                  Good luck!
                  Thanks for the suggestion. I will look into that. She doesn't have Cushing's and her thyroid tests have always been fine. Her founder was more a result of circumstances and not attentive enough care when I was living on the other side of the country. Even though she's still rotated in the right front she's sound and I ride her almost every day. Her weight tends to actually be on the low side since I'm so careful about the amount of starch she takes in and she has since been diagnosed with heaves (she gets meds through an aeromask now, so I'm hoping that will make the transition to the grazing muzzle easier??). So, I really think it would be ok for her to get a little grass, I just want a way for her to stay with her friends and not throw a fit all summer.

                  This has been really helpful, I'm going to pick one up and try it!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My girl is Cushings positive, and wore a muzzle from last Sept-December after a case of laminitis. She wasn't happy,, but adjusted and was able to enjoy being out all day and was content with the grass she DID get. She has a 'sacrifice " area that does grow grass,, so my plan is( with vet approval, that is) to allow her to eat that grass down now and she'll have free access to that area- naked. When she goes into the other areas she'll wear her muzzle. If it will work, when I'm home sshe can wear the muzzle and go where she wants. If I'm away she will stay in the sacrifice area and not worry about the muzzle, a plus if we area gone for a few days and nobody has to fight her into the muzzle. She's spent the winter on 24/7 turnout,,but might have to come in at night through the summer- depending on what the vet thinks. We have almost 6 acrea,, plentyfor one horse. While not lush,,by any means, we've tried to make it decent grazing over the years and now we have to lmost count every blade of grass she eats! I too use the Best Friend muzzle and it works quite well.

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