A year round muzzle???!!

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A year round muzzle???!!

This is a discussion on A year round muzzle???!! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 1 Post By walkinthewalk

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    12-23-2012, 10:44 PM
A year round muzzle???!!

NOTE- I do not have a muzzle on my horse.

There is a pony at my barn who, like many ponies, wears a muzzle in the spring and early fall. She has foundered once, but it 100% healthy now. The owners have decided to keep a muzzle on her all throughout the winter, on the basis that she is chubby.

My questions are:
-is this the real purpose of a muzzle? To slim horses down? I was under the impression it was to limit the intake of fresh grass, but am I wrong?

-we have hay feeders at my barn with round bales in them....will the pony be able to get the muzzle caught on anything?

-is it possible that a muzzle could be making her angry? She has gone through 2 muzzles in 2 weeks, wears it for a few days, during those says is horrible wen riding, always throws her head down to eat, bucks when asked to move foreward, etc..BUT she keeps on getting the muzzle off (by breaking the clasp) and on days after she has done this and eaten at her own pace all night she is an angel, quiet, well behaved and cheerful. Coincidence? Or can that be related?

-the company that makes muzzles says that they do not reccomend a horse wearing a muzzle all day, everyday. Is the pony wearing the muzzle damaging to her health?

I am not going to meddle in this persons buissness, it is not my pony...i have little control over it, and I am not trying to gain any. This thread is me asking questions that I have been wondering about while hearing about/dealing with the pony and her muzzle.

Thanks in advance!
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    12-23-2012, 11:47 PM
I wouldnt leave a muzzle on 24/7 7 days a week they need at least 12 hours without it on every day. As far as it getting caught on something its alway possible getting it caught on hay feeder, it depends on the hay feeder make and design. Don't think it would cause health problems from wearing a muzzle. Does sound like she's not too happy though. I have a horse I muzzle even in winter to limit intake because he's a air fern but I do take it off at night time. He's currently not wearing one this year he got rather thin this fall.
    12-23-2012, 11:54 PM
Even when they are fat, they still get hungry and need to graze, even a little.....she sounds hungry.......
    12-24-2012, 01:00 AM
The muzzle works by allowing a small amount of grass to stick inside the hole where it can be bitten off & eaten. Hay doesn't stick up like that so the pony won't be able to eat nearly enough & is very hungry.

If the pony is too fat it needs to get off the round bales & be fed a measured diet.
    12-25-2012, 11:22 PM
Deffinitly get the muzzle off. She or he is hungry and should be on a balanced grain pellet diet ..
    12-26-2012, 08:28 AM
Green Broke
Ditto everyone's comments.

They are "spitting backward" keeping that muzzle on 24/7 for all the reasons already mentioned.

I have an IR horse that only recently has become "muzzle-less" for the winter, due to the warm climate we live in. He does not wear the muzzle when he is stalled and I weigh his hay.

I understand the pony is out on a roundbale, she's in a boarding situation, so that makes things rough. It's likely the barn help will not take the pony's muzzle on/off when it needs to be, so the owners have decided to leave it on 24/7. Making it a d**ned if you do and d**mned if you don't situation.

It would be a lot healthier, mentally & physically for the pony, if somebody could gently talk to the owners and arrange for the pony to have the muzzle diligently removed part of the day - night time for sure.

Is she out 24/7? If not, there is no reason on earth that muzzle should be on while she's in the stall. The owners could buy a slow feeder hay net and the barn help could fill it, in order to let her nibble her way thru the night.

IMO, they are going to work that pony into ulcers if they're not careful--------moderation --- all things in common sense moderation
    12-26-2012, 10:56 AM
Thanks for all the responses. The pony is out 24/7. Can you please clarify about the ulcers?

One more question: if she is going from winter-muzzle-diet/grass and then makes the transition to spring-muzzle-grass/diet will that be the same ratio as going from winter diet/grass to spring diet/grass? Sorry for that awful wording.
    12-26-2012, 11:35 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by princecharming    
thanks for all the responses. The pony is out 24/7. Can you please clarify about the ulcers? From the description, the pony sounds angry & hungry from 24/7 muzzle confinement. Too much anger = a lot of stress = eventual ulcers.

The digestive juices never stop working; if she isn't able to consume enough hay, yes she will lose weight alright but those acidic juices have little to process and can also be the cause of ulcers. In the Owners' attempt to do the really right thing, they are doing the wrong thing in keepng her muzzled 24/7.

One more question: if she is going from winter-muzzle-diet/grass and then makes the transition to spring-muzzle-grass/diet will that be the same ratio as going from winter diet/grass to spring diet/grass? Sorry for that awful wording.
If I don't explain Question #2 correctly, it's because I didn't understand the question - lol lol lol

Grazing on Spring grass should be less time than grazing on winter grass - muzzle or not. The roots of spring grass are really pushing the fructans up to the grass to make it grow. Shorter grass is actually worse than grass around 6" - 8" because all the sugars are in those short little stems.

Don't be fooled by brown Spring grass either as it is trying to "wake up" from winter hibernation. If the soil is warming up, plus lots of sunshine, it could also cause founder in these insulin-sensitive horses.

The pony IS insulin sensitive, regardless of how many years ago she foundered

If I misinterpretted, I am sorry; hopefully someone else will come in or maybe you can say your question in a different way? I've been at the barn and my head's cold is my best excuse
princecharming likes this.

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