Okay, I know it's been discussed before, but we're heading into that season again.
I need advice on grazing muzzles.
My boy blows up on air. He is heading out of winter already overweight - from what, I don't know, he gets literally a handfull of grain just so he'll go in his stall at mealtimes, and then round bale hay in the field.
He hasn't been worked much through the winter, and that will be changing as warmer weather comes, but he is still going to be needing a muzzle.
Last year I had him in a grazing muzzle spring through fall, but I need advice on two issues I had:
1. How do I keep it on him?? Very rarely will he leave it on more than a few hours. Sometimes he pulls it off himself, sometimes others in the pasture pull it off. It's usually in the middle of the field, so not being rubbed against trees or fence posts.
2. How do I prevent rubs from them? Last year he started getting little sores under his chin and on the tip of his nose from rubbing. I tried the padding at one point to help his chin, but it was in shreds in less than a week.
My only option for a dry lot would be to move him to a new facility. I would rather not do that, as I'm really happy with this place. Of course if it really came down to his health I would do so, but first I'd like to see what I can make work here.
The padding may well be your issue with him getting it off. Put it on without padding. Period. He will likely get some rubs-but that area will get calloused-at least mine do. Put a little medicine on it and put the muzzle on anyway. If he is still getting it off consistently-you may need to move him-it is better than founder or any of the other things that are likely from obesity and too much sugar in the rich grass.
Agree with FNB. Also, I've had better luck with the Neoprene basket type of muzzle, rather than the metal ones.
It's better to have the muzzle fit snugly, with only a half inch or so between the horse's lips and the basket. Mine do tend to get rubs under the chin from theirs, (I have a tiny pony and a QH air fern that looks 9 months in foal, always) the best thing to do is to coat that area with vaseline before putting the muzzle on. Adjusting it too loosely is more likely to cause rubs. If I do get a rub or raw spot, I switch to a medicated salve.
Good luck! It's a challenge to manage a super easy keeper. I do think you should consider finding someplace with a dry lot if you can't manage his weight with the muzzle rather than risk the founder or IR.
Your Fella has bulked up standing at that round bale longer than you realize - lollollol
Why should he go-grazing when the candy dish is right in front of him? :-P
On a serious note, if he is choosing to stand and eat all day long, instead of moving around, that might be a very early warning sign of insulin issues. My IR horse has always been like that - he would rather stand in the barn and eat hay, than go forage for grass on 22 acres - my gosh he'd have to walk up and down these hills all day:-P
Not saying your horse has insulin issues but if he'd rather eat at the round bale without coming up for air, it's something to keep an eye on:-)
1. I use Tough-1 easy breath muzzles. Horses that can easily breath thru them are not quite as inclined to rub them off; not quite being the operative:-)
These aren't as constricting, are really light weight, and do have a breakaway that will work UNDERNEATH the face mask if the horse gets hung up.
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Easy Breathe Grazing Muzzle <>
2. Face mask - put a face mask with a double velcro latch over the muzzle so his Buds can't rip everything off his face.
2.1 Adjustment -- the adjustment has to be pretty much perfect to not only allow the horse to eat and drink water but to keep it from being easily pulled off of flung off.
Believe me, I've experienced most of the tricks which is why I spray paint the outside of the grazing basket with Automotive orange paint. Trying to find an spray-painted orange grazing muzzle somewhere on my 22 acres or flung across into the neighbor's pasture, is a whole easier than solid black.
3. Grazing muzzles only stay on during the day. The horse needs a break and night time grass is much safer.
4. For rubs, until he builds up callous - Dr. Scholl's corn pads work nicely for that but you have to take the dirty ones off every night and put clean ones on the next day. You can easily cut them to fit.
4.1 Speaking of cleaning, wash the muzzle with hot, or very warm, soapy water every night to get the yuk off. Soap will help prevent Yuk build-up as opposed to just rinsing it out with the cold water hose. I use Dawn dish soap.
Hope this helps:D
I'm also thinking about trying one that attaches to a regular halter this year. In the past I've used the ones that come with their own.
Thanks for the tips!
I've never heard of muzzles. Could someone please explain it to me? Thanks!
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They are devices that go over the horse's nose to limit grass intake. The horse can still eat but can't shove as much, at one time, into their mouth. That means the horse has to keep moving which is a good thing.
If you click on the link I provided, above, for the Tough-1 grazing muzzle you can see what they look like.
They are not inhumane, when used correctly, but they are tough love. The premise is to reduce how much grass the horse eats with the hopes of reducing chances for a laminitis attack or full-blown founder; either of which are extremely painful and crippling to the horse.
Hope this helps:-)
Thanks! It does! I've never seen anything like that! At the barn that I was at didn't have pastures so no one really grazed like that.
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