Muzzle for a tail eater?

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Muzzle for a tail eater?

This is a discussion on Muzzle for a tail eater? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 1 Post By Cherie

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    12-21-2011, 09:12 PM
Muzzle for a tail eater?

My 5 year old gelding is a tail eater but I love him any way. I couldn't say the same for his victims though . Since he is five, I don't think this is going to be something he'll grow out of soon. He is currently pastured alone, but next month I'm moving to a new barn where he will have full time turn out with herd of geldings. Obviously I want to spare as many tails as I can, but I'm running out of ideas. Realisticly I can't have my fellow boarders spraying their horses tails with goo's and creams to stop his chewing, so I am thinking about a muzzle of some kind.

My horse needs to be able to eat and drink through the muzzle. I am worried that a full grazzing muzzle will have him lose weight, which he can't aford to do. I was considering cutting out the bottom, but I think he would still be able to get tails with that.

I was considering a metal barred cribbing muzzle, but I don't want him to have to wear something that heavy all the time.

Has anyone else had this problem? I'm looking for some ideas! I'm flat out, any suggestions are much appreciated.

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    12-21-2011, 10:37 PM
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You have a couple of things you can try. Eating tails is not normal. It is a form of 'pica', where strange cravings lead to eating strange things -- like wood, dirt, manes and tails, leather, etc.

You can cut your horse some tree limbs that he will eat like candy. Horses will nearly always leave any other snack to eat freshly cut tree limbs of a soft wood tree. Before I figured out how to feed a good loose mineral, I had a lot of trouble with horses eating tree bark and corrals and barns and had several that would eat tails. . I noticed that they preferred Willows, Cottonwood, Poplar and other soft-wood trees. I could throw out a limb and all of the horses just ate them like candy.

I finally started feeding a good loose mineral that is particularly high in Calcium, Magnesium, and Vitamin A.

I have not had a horse eat trees, barns or tails - anything like that since I started feeding the mineral -- free choice.

It would sure be worth a try.
Skutterbotch likes this.
    12-22-2011, 09:06 AM
Friend of mine had a horse named Barber. Named for his liking of eating off tails.... They finally sold him as that is their business but they never did get him to stop while at their place.
    12-22-2011, 10:39 AM
Have you tried spraying listerine in the tails?

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