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Grazing muzzles - recommendations and question re group turnout -- UPDATE Post #15

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  • Grazing muzzles - recommendations and question re group turnout -- UPDATE Post #15

    Update / follow-up in post 15. Thanks again!

    I know there have been many threads on grazing muzzles, but my searches aren't working so well. It might be the fact that my internet is running slow at the moment. So, I apologize in advance for asking for grazing muzzle recommendations AGAIN on COTH. (Links to previous threads would also be appreciated if anyone has any.)

    I am looking for recommendations for a grazing muzzle for my somewhat thin-skinned Arab. I want something durable that will last, but also something that will fit well and not rub him. Would it be better to have two different types and rotate them to avoid rubs?

    And now for a potentially stupid question... Has anyone had problems with a horse wearing a grazing muzzle in a group turnout situation? My horses are turned out in amicable pairs or threes, and this particular horse is the lowest-ranking member of his pasture. He's generally a more middle-of-the-herd horse in large turnout situations, but he just happens to get along well with my two more dominant geldings. So, he goes out with them on 5+ acres and they all get along great. I am just wondering if turning a low-ranking horse out muzzled (so he couldn't bite if he wanted to) could cause any problems for him. I observe them quite a bit (they are right out the window in their pasture as I speak), and very, very rarely see any disagreements. Any I have seen have been minor. I have never seen the Arab bite either of these turnout buddies either... Still, they are horses!

    would prefer not to separate this horse into a private turnout situation because he is much more content with buddies. Still, if I have to separate him, I can.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions and advice.
    Last edited by Phaxxton; May. 12, 2011, 12:50 PM.

  • #2
    I like the My Best Friend ones. I have the one that has a "halter" attached and it works well. Once you fit it to his head, duct tape the straps in place as they have a tendency to work loose with time if you don't, IME. They came out this year with a fancier one with thinline padding, and since you have a thin-skinned Arab that is what I would do if I were you. The My Best Friend ones hold up better than the Weaver (I think) ones my TSC has, and they have several breakaway things which I like just in case.

    My gelding is out with another dominant gelding who loves to play halter tag and pull on the muzzle. It has not caused him any problems or changed his place in the pecking order. He is not much of one to bite anyway, like yours, so I don't think I really removed a self-defense tool from him. He doesn't have a single mark on him. I would give him a shot with his buddies.

    If that pairing doesn't work, do you have another pairing you could try where he could be out with different horses, or out with a very docile horse? I would try to find him some arrangement where he is out with a buddy, I don't like to do single turnout unless I absolutely have to because I don't think they are as happy.


    • #3
      I have 2 that wear a muzzle when out together. The 3rd, unmuzzled horse does occasionally like to pull on one

      For rubs, I have found there is nothing better than wrapping, as smoothly as you can, duct tape over every exposed edge. I even wrap the metal ring by the cheeks.
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • #4
        The problem I've had in a group turnout is with unmuzzled horses pulling the muzzle off the muzzled horse. As long as the horse has room to maneuver, I don't think not being able to bite will be an issue.

        I've had good luck with Best Friends Deluxe grazing muzzles.

        My horses had some minor issues with rubs, and working the muzzle off initially, but once they got used to them, I rarely have any issues. They do make pads for the spots that rub but even without, I've never had broken skin.

        I'd recommend watching your as horse as closely as you can for the first few days. Once accustomed to the muzzle I don't think you'll have anything to worry about.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks so much!

          Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
          If that pairing doesn't work, do you have another pairing you could try where he could be out with different horses, or out with a very docile horse? I would try to find him some arrangement where he is out with a buddy, I don't like to do single turnout unless I absolutely have to because I don't think they are as happy.
          Yes! I have a couple other configurations I could try, including one where he would go out with a horse I'm certain is below him in the pecking order. I would prefer to keep things as they are, since these 3 get along so well (and my other pasture mates get along so well, too), but I definitely have options if need be.


          • #6
            I agree that the main problem you will have with a group is the somehow irresistible urge to demuzzle the prisoner.

            Mine never stay on more than a day no matter what I do.
            The big man -- my lost prince

            The little brother, now my main man


            • #7
              I've seen them get pulled off. One horse literally lead the muzzled one around by the muzzle, tossing his his head up and down lol. A little Cribox on the outside of the muzzle seems to help discourage this. I think they do alright not being able to bite. They do still have 4 hooves for defense.

              I prefer the Best Friends muzzles. I've tried Tough-1 and Weaver, but neither brand could get me through a single season. I wrap mine in flannel and that really helps the rubs. I've also modified some halter fleecies to fit, but they get soggy in the dew and get pulled off by his buddies.


              • #8
                That's interesting about which muzzles work best. I like Weaver because they are SO much lighter than BF, and when mine wear them, they're on for 12-23 hours a day. I HATE the thought of all that weight hanging off their polls

                But, my Weaver muzzles last about 1.5 seasons. The BFs were getting chewed out the bottom. Weaver does too, but just much more slowly
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  i like the best friend's muzzle the best. i didn't see this year's model in person.

                  my mare has been turned out in her muzzle on and off in various group turnouts and i've never had a problem with another horse pulling it off. in fact, at our last barn there were 3 separate horses wearing muzzles turned out in separate groups and none of their pasture mates bothered pulling off the muzzle.

                  i think you try it, see what happens and adjust accordingly.
                  TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                  • #10
                    I like the easy breathe


                    I attach it to a halter, and put another tie to the nose, and then I pad the inside top area, to keep it from rubbing the nose

                    I have some with it, and some without


                    • #11
                      I have a Weaver for Montana (also a thin-skinned Arab cross). It does rub a bit off and on. I wrapped all the parts I could with VetRap, and that helped a lot. On a couple of places where he sometimes gets rubs that I can't pad (under his chin and on the end of his muzzle), I just rub a little Vaseline on the skin every few days. That seems to help. He wears his muzzle 24/7 from May through October. I have to keep a fly mask over it, though, or he will roll/rub the mask off. I never had a problem with him being able to handle his pasture mates while wearing the muzzle last year, but he's not much of a fighter to begin with - he just exits stage left when a scrap starts!


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the recommendations and advice. My best friends muzzle is coming tomorrow, and I'm going to try it with his current buddies first to see how things go. I'll be watching him closely the first few days, but I am hopeful it'll work.


                        • #13
                          Phaxxton - how is the muzzle working, and what model did you get? I need to get one for my porker of a gelding!


                          • #14
                            My horse has broken just about every style out there within 15 minutes, with the exception of the Tough-1 muzzle. That he just figured out how to get out of in 15 minutes, but it wasn't for lack of trying to break it, which I consider a testament to its ability to hold up.
                            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                            Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                            Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                            • Original Poster

                              I just thought I would give a little update!

                              Fatty McAy-rab has been muzzled when on grass for 3 weeks now. He looks SO much better in terms of weight already and adjusted to the muzzle just fine. So far, no one has de-muzzled or attempted to de-muzzle him and the herd dynamics have remained the same.

                              I first tried the Best Friends muzzle - the kind that attaches to a regular halter, not the kind that has a "halter" built into it. This rubbed him terribly at the points where the muzzle attached to the halter. I experimented with different halters, halter fits, and different ways to attach the muzzle, but the straps that held the muzzle to the halter just continued to rub no matter what.

                              Then in TSC, I saw a Weaver muzzle with the built-in halter. Becuse there are no straps to attach it to a halter, the inside of the muzzle is smooth. Additionally, there is no noseband like a halter has, which also seemed to cause problems with the first configuration. So far, no rubs with this one, and it is even allowing the other rubs to heal.

                              FWIW, I do not think this is a brand issue, but rather a style issue. I do guess that if I had gotten the version of the Best Friends muzzle with the built-in halter that I would have had the same results as the weaver (providing it is smooth inside).

                              One other note - I tried the "training suggestions" that came with the muzzle for teaching the horse how to graze with it on. These included putting treats through the hole, then putting treats or sweet feed on the ground, so the horse would reach for the treats / feed and see grass will come through the hole. None of that worked for my horse. I finally just turned him out in a smaller area and watched him for a while. Within minutes, he had it all figured out and even went and took a big drink out of the water trough with the muzzle on.

                              So thank you again to everyone who offered suggestions and advice. It is all working out very well, and my horse is doing fantastically well with the muzzle.


                              • #16
                                That's great!

                                The biggest issue I have against the BF, besides the price, is the weight. It's HEAVY. Since mine are muzzled 23 hours a day right now, and are usually muzzled (when in use) at least 12 hours, I don't want all that weight hanging on their poll that long. And, for ME, the Weaver lasts just as long as the BF.
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                • #17
                                  Just wanted to add that I was using the Weaver from Tractor Supply and I hated it for my TWH with the really big head and thus the big nose. He struggled to breath in that thing.

                                  I discovered the "Tough 1 Easy Breath" (I think someone posted about it already) that chicksaddlery.com sells for only $26.99, so I bought three.

                                  Two for my IR horses and one for the disrespectful snotface that figured out he could bully the alpha dominant horse while that horse has a muzzle on.

                                  The Tough 1 - Easy Breathe baskets are a little bigger, so might not fit some horses - I know they would be really sloppy on my Arab if he had to wear a muzzle but they fit those big Ole Walking Horse noses very nice and they can breath

                                  I had to take the muzzle off Mr. Disrespectful after 3 or 4 days because he blistered his chin up pretty good and it needs to heal, but I think he learned his lesson because I haven't seen him go after the Alpha horse.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by asterix View Post

                                    Mine never stay on more than a day no matter what I do.
                                    Mine either . We have tried to muzzle the Shetland but I've watched him reach up with his hind hoof and scratch behind his ear and, voila!, the muzzle is on the ground. Stinker.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                                      That's great!

                                      The biggest issue I have against the BF, besides the price, is the weight. It's HEAVY. Since mine are muzzled 23 hours a day right now, and are usually muzzled (when in use) at least 12 hours, I don't want all that weight hanging on their poll that long. And, for ME, the Weaver lasts just as long as the BF.
                                      That probably was contributing to the rubbing, too. After reading this, I compared the two and the BF muzzle is heavier than the Weaver. It wasn't a TON heavier, but it was definitely noticeably heavier.

                                      Obviously I haven't been using either all that long, but the Weaver appears to be as well made as the BF one.


                                      • #20
                                        i personally never tried the weaver but two arabs at our prior boarding barn used them. i have to say that it worries me how close those muzzles are fit to the horse's nose. especially in hot weather it seems too close for comfort. but i guess maybe my own clastrophobic tendencies are affecting my judgment on this.

                                        glad you found something that works for your horse
                                        TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique