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1. muzzled overnight, taken off in the day. They can't eat frosty morning grass but they do gorge during daylight hours late morning+afternoon. Muzzled at sunset.
2. muzzled during the day, however, this is late morning so they gorge on frosty grass at sunrise. Unmuzzled overnight.

Context: I am looking after someone's geldings, one in his 20's with cushings (herbal treatment as bad reaction to prascend), bad-doer so can't afford to lose weight. The livery owner/manager feeds the horses at 8am and is in her 90's so can't be fiddling with muzzles etc. To compromise the horse owner is muzzling overnight so all the YM has to do is take them off and give breakfast. I've offered to go at 9am and muzzle after the YM feeds, but the old boy can't afford to be muzzled 24/7 y'know so its pick one of the other?

I guess what I'm asking is: is it better to prevent the frosty morning gorge or the daytime/afternoon gorge? Both are just as bad for insulin spikes I guess but this lady has no choice with work and the timing of the YM who is a really lovely lady with a good heart that we absolutely want to keep onboard and active, for her sake as much as ours :) I've personally compromised for my separate mares by providing inordinate amounts of hay scattered in nets around as my paddock is well eaten now. It definitely makes a difference having available hay to last through the whole night/morning for sure as I've been tracking hoof temps and grass glands in a little controlled experiment. Let's just say, to nobodies surprise, less available hay=more grass=hotter feet/bigger glands. When I've had hay leftover in nets in the morning their feet are cooler/normal temps and minimally raised glands if any (from more strained grazing or the juicy spring grass who knows, probs both). I then can cover the rest of the day/afternoon with muzzling. I'm no expert just trying to figure out what's safe and manageable in my current situation 😭
 

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It sounds to me as if you’ve got things well under control for your situation. ”If it works don’t fix it” where the Senior geldings are concerned😀

I tip my hat to anyone with a metabolic and/or Cushings horse and you’re in a boarding situation. That’s a tough nut to crack and manage even if the BO and managers are willing to help 😇
 

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I believe it would be best to muzzle during the day. With night grazing, they will probably have several hours before the sugar levels drop after sunset. So potentially they would get sugars at first. But the rest of the night if it is warm enough, the sugars would be lower. On colder nights, they would get higher sugars since the plants would be stressed and holding onto it. But probably many nights the grasses would have lower sugar and it would stay lower. Versus during the day there would be photosynthesis going on and plants storing sugars all the time. So in general, night would be safer so if you have to choose, I'd go with night.

Do they get fed at sunset? That would help if they had hay at that time, at least they would eat less grass that still had the daytime sugars, and overall on warmer nights they would get less.
 

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I believe it would be best to muzzle during the day. With night grazing, they will probably have several hours before the sugar levels drop after sunset. So potentially they would get sugars at first. But the rest of the night if it is warm enough, the sugars would be lower. On colder nights, they would get higher sugars since the plants would be stressed and holding onto it. But probably many nights the grasses would have lower sugar and it would stay lower. Versus during the day there would be photosynthesis going on and plants storing sugars all the time. So in general, night would be safer so if you have to choose, I'd go with night.

Do they get fed at sunset? That would help if they had hay at that time, at least they would eat less grass that still had the daytime sugars, and overall on warmer nights they would get less.
<sigh> along with all the other things we need to learn about metabolic horses, we also need to learn to “half a weather person” 🤯

During those few cold nights then fast warm up days recently, we had a few days of pouring rain. I looked at the grass that is now greening up and thought “at least the grass won’t cook today”. Rusty doesn’t have metabolic issues but worrying about new grass for Duke then Joker is so ingrained in my brain, it’s the first thing I think about anyway. I’m one of the few people who looks forward to cloud cover 🥴🥴
 
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