Grazing muzzle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Grazing muzzle

Hi all,
I have a new mini, that I have had to use a grazing muzzle on. The only thing is she hasn't worked out that she can still nibble through the hole.
I feel so sorry for her she just mopes about shaking her head around with the saddest eyes. I know it's for her own good, but I especially bought the sort with the small hole at the end for her to still be able to nibble a little.
Any tips on how to show her how to do it?
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 12:44 AM
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I found poking little bits of grass/treats through the hole at the end and gradually lowering where you're hold it until close to the ground helped my mare figure it out, if you haven't tried that already. You can also try buying a second muzzle and cutting the hole bigger, using that for a couple of days then switching once she's got the idea!
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 03:53 AM
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I'd just leave it but if you want you can show her and/or cut the hole a little bigger depending on how badly she needs it. Make sure she knows she can drink though.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 04:54 AM
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The vast majority of horses just pick it up, after not too long, but IME a few don't, so I wouldn't just leave it. It's not good for them to go hungry for extended periods either.

Agree with Merry, that sticking bits of grass in for her, especially if you can get her to lower her head at the same time, to the grass/hay, should give her the idea & get her under way, but I've known a couple that had to have bigger holes cut in the bottom before they 'got it', including one of mine.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 07:12 AM
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I have made the hole bigger in the past (with a sharp knife) and once they get the idea put a new one on.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 08:45 AM
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It took my IR horse three solid weeks before he would eat while wearing a muzzle. I would have to go find him, every day around 1:00 PM and bring him to his stall to eat hay and drink water.

He finally got the hang of it.

Someone also told me about the Tough-1 Easy Breath muzzles with big nostril holes. That might help your Mini. She may have trouble breathing in a standard muzzle.

Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Tough-1 Easy Breathe Grazing Muzzle

The grazing hole is also shaped different than other muzzles. It might be a tad bigger but it slows the horse down from chewing on the rubber and possibly ruining its teeth.

I hope this helps:) Good luck

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 12:53 PM
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When i muzzled my gelding one winter to slow hay eating down took him 2 days before he finally figured it out. I just left it on for the day,took it off at night.

Even with hole cut bigger he still thought he couldnt eat so went hungry every day for two days,then pigged out at night once muzzle was off.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 04:57 PM
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As long as the horse is healthy and a good weight and eating regularly I would not be super concerned about not eating for short periods of time between regular eating for a few days.

Our horse we will start using a grazing muzzle on will have the muzzle or be on a dry lot (may have to even with the muzzle). If he doesn't eat in between his meals it's not the end of the world. Last summer he did not get any pasture at all due to his health issues, so he wasn't eating due to no food available. As long as the horse gets regular meals it's not a big deal. Obv better if they are eating near constantly but very few places actually manage that, and most horses are OK and for weight/health/whatever reason may be best if they aren't eating constantly.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrylegs View Post
I found poking little bits of grass/treats through the hole at the end and gradually lowering where you're hold it until close to the ground helped my mare figure it out, if you haven't tried that already. You can also try buying a second muzzle and cutting the hole bigger, using that for a couple of days then switching once she's got the idea!
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I had a mare that was muzzled and she picked up on it after a while though she was a bit depressed at first. I poked treats/grass through the hole to help her figure it out and also held buckets of water for her to be sure she knew she could drink. She did adjust just fine to it after a bit and did well with it. Though a couple times she managed to get it off. So if there's health concerns you will want to watch closely as they can be clever lol!

I'm not sure why you need to muzzle whether weight management, health, etc but my mare was believed to have EMS and her diet change was made abruptly as I was assured by my vet that it would be of no detriment. Unfortunately that did not end up being the case and my mare ended up with severe ulcers :( I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with symptoms if you aren't already. If you can I would try to make the diet change gradually to give the body/acids time to adjust. And of course there's diet cautions you can take to help prevent ulcers and even small dose of ulcerguard daily can help to prevent the occurence.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-03-2014, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post
As long as the horse is healthy and a good weight and eating regularly I would not be super concerned about not eating for short periods of time between regular eating for a few days.
Agreed. But I cannot stress enough how bad it is for them if you 'just leave it' *for long periods* & starve them all day or such. This sort of thing (& 'starvation yards' for fatties) can bring on laminitis through gut damage & stress.
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