Grazing muzzle for sensitive skin - The Horse Forum
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  • 2 Post By mkmurphy81
  • 2 Post By egrogan
  • 2 Post By horselovinguy
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-07-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Grazing muzzle for sensitive skin

Sunny, the fat mare, needs to loose weight. My farrier was just here, and he said she needs to loose about 100 pounds. She doesn't have laminitis yet, but he's starting to see some early signs. Now's the time to take action.


Sunny is about 14.1hh and 1000lbs. She's a grade quarter horse, so she's naturally stocky, but not that stocky. She's on pasture 24/7. My barn is just a big run-in shelter. I don't have a stall or dry lot, so I think a grazing muzzle is the best option.


The problem is that Sunny has very sensitive skin. She looses most of the hair on her face every summer. She's on a skin and allergy supplement recommended by the vet, and I also use medicated wipes to clean and sooth her face daily. If I leave a halter on her for just a couple of hours, it will rub sores on her face.


Given the choice of a rubbed face or founder, I'll deal with the rubbed face. I'm thinking about trying a Tough-1 Easy Breathe muzzle with fleece added everywhere I can put it. I'll introduce it gradually, but I'll probably work up to keeping it on 24/7 at least until her weight is back to a safe level (depending on how quickly she looses weight, of course).


Does anyone have any suggestions on preventing rubbing?


Any experience with the Tough-1 muzzle? Recommend a different one?


If she wears the muzzle 24/7, what extra feed supplements would she need? She wouldn't be able to lick the salt block. How much salt does she need a day? She's on one pound of Essential K (ration balancer) a day plus her skin supplement.
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-07-2019, 12:45 PM
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Hi @mkmurphy!

My sensitive skinned Maggie Moose also got doctor's orders to loose ~100 lbs this spring. Vet recommended the Green Guard grazing muzzle as it is supposed to be good for rub prevention. It is pricey, around $100, and as some folks here pointed out, it's basically just a big fruit basket you attach to your own halter
https://www.greenguardequine.com/pro...grazing-muzzle


I think the general design is actually pretty good-it doesn't seem to interfere with breathing at all, and so far, no rubs for Maggie (I do have it on a fully padded halter). The one problem, with this or any muzzle, is that when the bugs are bad, they are pretty limited in biting at them.

Even though it fits well, she virtually refuses to even attempt to eat with it on, and just stands around pouting while wearing it. She has it on half the day, off half, and is turned out on so-so pasture 24/7. I have been struggling about whether it's really working for her though, as we are trading off the movement/exercise of grazing for standing still half the day resisting it. She can eat with it on, I've seen her do it. She most definitely hates it though and pretty much doesn't move at all while she's wearing it.

This one from ThinLine looks similar but is cheaper. I wish I had seen it before I bought the one I bought.
https://www.thinlineglobal.com/shop/...ow-feed-muzzle

PS- re: eating supplements, etc. Since it sounds like you are giving her some "hard feed" in a pan at least once a day, you can add loose table salt directly to that- I bought a one month subscription to the online program FeedXL (https://feedxl.com/) to figure out how much I would need to feed, and when I entered all the details about hay, exercise, ration balancer, it suggested I feed 1tsp loose table salt twice/day. I just dump it on top of the pellets and swirl around with a tiny bit of water to moisten the pellets and get it to stick. They also get probiotics at that time. Muzzle comes off while she eats her pan and then back on. I haven't done any other kind of special supplements because she's getting a ration balancer in a quantity that should meet the majority of her needs.

Last edited by egrogan; 06-07-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-07-2019, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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@egrogan - Do I recognize those orange ears? Maggie looks like she's shaped like Sunny. If I don't find a muzzle for Sunny, I'll have to find a "Wide Load" sign for her back end.
Thanks for the salt info. I can easily add a tsp or two to her bucket in the mornings. She's eat anything (obviously -- that's how we got into this mess!).
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-07-2019, 01:21 PM
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@mkmurphy81 , yes, the orange ears live on!! One good wash at the end of every season and they keep going It's perfect because they fit all of my horses, where other store bought brands look like antennae!

It's hard for the girls built like this, particularly if they don't really get much exercise. The weight just sits on them. Vet put her at an 8 on the body scale. My husband saw the paperwork after the vet left, which included a line saying "8=Fat" and he thought that was the funniest thing he'd heard. Whenever he helps me in the pasture, he reminds Maggie she really needs to get to a 6 ASAP.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-07-2019, 03:17 PM
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My friend had the Easy-Breathe one for her Paso who lived in a pasture but was IR and had foundered previous to her purchasing him.
He wore his muzzle except when he was dry-lotted cause he couldn't eat what he did not have in front of his face..... chow hound he was!
The horse with muzzle on grazed all day long, was able to drink water easily from a trough, not overheat in Florida swelter with the large nostril opening area.
He learned how to maneuver the opening in the basket bottom to stick blades of grass inside and bite them off and he was very content once he learned "how-to"...took about 4 days of him sulking.
Don't watch and don't give in to the sulks as you are trying desperately to keep him healthy!!
Because of the design if the front "V" straps it kept the muzzle very stabilized on the face and we did not detect any rubbing as was our concern too.
He was a "get-out-of-anything" animal too and he only once escaped this muzzle...
He did not need a halter as the design was self-hanging from its own straps...had a breakaway system built into it just in case disaster struck.
My friends horse lost a good bit of weight, got to his desired weight and then maintained it using this product...
It was reasonable in cost and she purchased from Chick Saddlery.
https://www.chicksaddlery.com/tough-...grazing-muzzle
You mentioned orange..they have a orange one similar or boring black.
https://www.chicksaddlery.com/tough-...grazing-muzzle



...
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-07-2019, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @horselovinguy

I haven't decided if I should get the one with the extra V straps or not. I like the idea of keeping it on better, but that also just seems like two more straps to rub. I don't know if Sunny is the escape artist type. I've never tried to keep anything like this on her.

The sweltering heat is one reason I'm looking at the Tough-1. Louisiana summers are miserable. Sunny breaks a sweat walking from one side of the pasture to the other. She's rather out of shape, unless you count round as a shape. 🏀🍩🎡
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-07-2019, 05:28 PM
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Neighbor bought both styles of muzzle...
The muzzle without the "V" straps moved on the face a lot more it seemed when we fit and adjusted it.
Rocked on the muzzle..
The horse did not have a really sculpted face but just a straight normal profile...
She decided the "V" style moved less, was stationary better and that she hoped would also reduce risk of rubs and or getting it hung up on things in the pasture grasses we not see like branches and brambles/vines from blackberry bushes for example...
She also had a different style/brand muzzle she tried first that did not have that stabilizing strap and her Houdini rubbed the basket part right off his muzzle in about 15 minutes time with it on...fail!
He looked like he was shopping carrying a basket to fill with it hanging from his neck...

...

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