Grazing muzzles- thoughts on them?? for or against?
I have always used a grazing muzzle on my shetland pony. he gets it on every night and off again each morning. He was given to us because he was naught and also constantly foundering. Since using the muzzle the foundering has stopped, he also maintain a healthy weight and dosnt get bloated from suctioning as much grass as he can down his throat.
I find this is a kinder treatment than just locking him up and reducing his food. The muzzle allows some grazing, so it allows a healthier digestive system ( horses are designed to be constantly eating small amounts), he still get to run around the paddock and exercise with other horses, instead of staionairy in a stable. so he fitter and happier. I now want to use this on a mare i have who has real weight problems she from the wild and her metabolsim turns every scrap of food into body fat.
has anybody else used muzzles to succesfully manage overwieght horses?? or used them for any other reason?
I used one 24/7 on my Arab gelding who was very overweight upon returning from lease. He had never looked better and was still out with his friends, excercising, and trickle feeding through his muzzle.
My shetty rubs it on everything, fences, trees troughs ans hasnt got caught yet, mine is nylon webbing so it wouldnt break away bt havnt had trouble..
Mine was nylon that had a velcro breakaway section. He was checked daily and never had it caught. Once or twice he got one ear out, I assume due to rubbing, but never ditched it. He isn't really the type to ditch it though - My other horse was right in between sizes, the cob was too small but the full was too easy for him to get off!
Out of 8 horses in our barn, 4 use grazing muzzles when they are out on the grass. My 2 are on for weight control, on at night, off during the day when one goes on dry lot and the other in a stall. One boarders horse wears one when she is out, even when in a field with minimal grass, since she is elderly, and founders just looking at spring grass. The mini-well, to prevent founder also, altho she is tricky, and gets it off occassionally.
I love them, except for the rubs they tend to get under their chins. I would caution tho-I read this spring....don;t remember where-that if you leave them out on grass during the time the muzzle is off, they will inhale as much grass during that time only as they would have without the muzzle the whole time. In other words, they make up for lost time.
We have not had issues with them getting caught, only occassionally getting them off, particularly with a fly mask on.
Okay, well from all of your experiences, it sounds like a pretty good deal, especially for easy keepers. Thanks for the replies, and sorry if I hijacked the thread at all ;)
My pony can't eat with it at all! So he is without on a field, where it's almost no grass and I put it on when I take them out to graze on a real grass :P
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Another 100% for.
I have two easy keepers plus a 10 H pony and lush pasture, without the muzzles they'd all be shut up in a dry lot.
Mine are the rubber and nylon webbing type, we've had to get pretty creative about repairing the bottoms but they can't get them off.
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