Grazing muzzles - pros & cons

milliepops

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I am contemplating being a real meanie and getting a grazing muzzle for my cobxWB mare. She is turned out for about 12 hours a day on the poorest grass we have at my yard, but she is still stuffing herself. She is fed next to nothing apart from grass, working pretty hard for at least an hour a day and competing BE Novice - but still becoming a blimp.

I really don't want to restrict her turnout any more, so am thinking a grazing muzzle is the next step. I reckon it will make her pretty grumpy (to start with, at least) and am a bit stressed out in case she gets herself stuck on something.

Anyone used one? Did it work, or was it a disaster? Also, how did you introduce it?
 

the watcher

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I use one on a highland pony who is a bit too efficient with her food. The alternatives would be a pocket handkerchief size paddock or no turnout at all. This way she gets to amble out by day with her friend, but comes in at night to have the muzzle off for 12 hours or so - otherwise she wouldn't get enough to eat.

Mine has velcro fittings, and in a crisis I think would come off fairly easily - although she hasn't worked that out yet!
 

Louby

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Not much use but thought I'd mention this.
Ive never used one but friend did try a shires one and it rubbed her poor ponys muzzle raw, it wasnt on long either. Heard the Greenguard?? ones can get caught inside the muzzle too ie, inbetween the teeth and lips.
 

merlinsquest

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I used the Roma one for merlin.... on for 4 hours the first day.... 8 the second, and then 24 hours, as my friend forgot to take it off in the evening
mad.gif


Havent used it since (have been bringing in during the day) but it didnt seem to rub him at all
smile.gif
 

glamourpuss

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My little pony has the shires one. She wears it in the day and goes on the big field with my TB and then in the evening I take it off and she goes onto a tiny, tiny starvation paddock.
If it is kept on any longer than this it does seem to rub a bit. She hated it when I first started putting it on but now she doesn't mind and will gladly stick her head in it because she knows its time to get off her horrible little paddock.
It has got double velcro and does seem to stay in place quite well but she has managed to get it off once or twice so I'm not at all worried about her getting it caught on anything as it will come off.
 

Mrs_Wishkabibble

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Well I started being a mean mummy today as I have a Welsh x TB that gets quite large without any restrictions.
I tried the Fieldguard one last year and she got it stuck in her mouth so I wouldnt leave her in it and it also looked horrible and was very rigid.
Her new one arrived today - it is a "Comfort muzzle" and is padded on the headpiece and also under the throat.
http://www.hyperdrug.co.uk/Comfort-Grazing-Mask/productinfo/GRAZEMASK/

I have made the hole a little bigger as she had it on for 3 hours and couldnt seem to get any grass as the hole didnt seem in the right place if that makes sense?
She finally sussed it out after yet more encouragement and doesnt seem to mind it now.
smile.gif

It all seems alot softer than some others I have seen and it hasnt rubbed her at all today.
I feel mean but then again I will feel even meaner when she has extra strain on her joints and all the other things that come with being extremely fat.
frown.gif


Edited to say she has it on in the day on a good grass paddock and goes back onto the barer paddock at night with it off so she isnt wearing it 24/7
smile.gif
 

H's mum

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I've got grazing muzzles for both of mine (welshie with a potential weight/lami issue and H who colics if she has too much grass) The little one eats all day as though he's not got it on (altho it does work as his tummy almost explodes if he doesn't wear it!) and H... well she just stands at the gate and refuses to move! PMSL! She absolutely loathes it! Can't figure out how to eat through it and gets depressed! I tend to put it on for a few hours, take it off for an hour then put it back on again - like you I think she's better off out than in!
smile.gif

Kate x
 

milliepops

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Thanks all for your comments, I still feel mean but it's good to know there are ways round the problems. Guess I'll just have to try it and see - otherwise I'll have to start riding her twice a day!
 

Bosworth

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I think they are the best option for a fatty. I hate seeing them in a tiny field with nothing in it and no way to really exercise. We always wipe around the area that the muzzle will touch with surgical spirit as that helps toughen up the skin so prevents rubs. If you can get them used to it over a week and slowly increase the hours you will minimise the rubbing.
 

Cahill

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my shetland wrecked his greenguard in 2 days!
my 2 good-doers are in at night at out on sparse during the day.

i mowed my lawn at the weekend and cut it quite short,have just looked out and can`t beleive how green it is and grown in just a couple of days.
 

eoe

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I have the new Greenguard Box grazing muzzle. My big Irish Cob has his on 24/7 during the summer and he has it on during the winter when he is out in the field. I attach it with the straps to a normal headcollar but ensure I cover the straps with electrical tape so that he or other horses can break the straps. This is the 7th year he has had one on and the only con is that he has to have a sheepskin cover over the noseband bit too stop it rubbing on his nose. He can eat the grass a lot better than with one of the Shires ones but it ensures that he cannot gorge himself and get too fat. Totally recommend the Greenguard ones although they are the most expensive but they are the best. You can either buy direct from Greenguard or I normally get mine from Barnstormers.
 

Honeypots

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I would recommend a track around the perimeter of your field using electric fencing. This means less grass but your horse will still have the exercise.
I use this system for my fatties and they are no longer fatties but can live out 24/7/365 and the middle of the field gets rested and can be used in winter
smile.gif
 

milliepops

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I would love to do the electric fence track, but unfortunately she shares her field with 4 other horses and it wouldn't really be feasable! Will investigate various muzzles available and give that a try I think. Thanks all!
 

vicksey

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Its not mean to put a muzzle on as long as it fits the horse appropriately, it is cruel to let a horse become overweight and possibley lamanitic etc, colic..... A friend recently lost her horse through obesity and laminitis and its awful. My cob has a muzzle on over night on nice grass, and strip grazing through the day without it on. I would encourage anyone who is having weight, digestive problems with their horse to try one. Good Luck x
 

bailey14

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Using a muzzle with my 17hh WB gelding has always been a bit of a nightmare so I gave up after three in a row were destroyed by him and his mate. I used a muzzle for him to prevent him getting gassy colic due to the rich grass we have at our yard (ex dairy farm) but the problem was that him and his mate would destroy it and then he'd gorge himself of the grass and get colic anyway. In the end I thought it was better to regulate his grazing by less hours out in the field and for the last three years he had gone out for approx 6 hours a day all year round, and he is always happy to come in if he has less hours than this as he loves his stable/haylage supply! With the black webbing type muzzles such as shires what I found was that a surefast way of eliminating the horse from losing the muzzle (other than by complete destruction by said horse) was to ensure that the strap which passes up the back of the chin to up into the throat area was as high towards the throat as possible. This really prevents loss of the muzzle, but as I say if they stomp rub and tear at it with their feet there is really nothing than can be done!!
 

Twinkletoes

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I guess its not mean, but my gelding just hated it. I thought Id ruled out all his rubbing options too but he rubbed his muzzle raw on the ground, trying to get it off. He genuinely detested it, and I tried three times, three types, building up use gradually. Its not for all I guess. He is now stabled in the day and seems to think he is a prize racehorse rather than a naughty native lol, as now likes being stabled as much as possible! Good luck.
 

milliepops

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[ QUOTE ]
Its not mean to put a muzzle on as long as it fits the horse appropriately, it is cruel to let a horse become overweight and possibley lamanitic etc, colic.....

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, I know that it's not cruel, I'm just not looking forward to the sideways looks my girl gives me sometimes when she doesn't appreciate me
grin.gif
. She is not obese, just a little too well covered for me to feel confident about her ability to compete well.

Will just have to try it and see!
 

Moggy in Manolos

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Yes i have used a grazing muzzle for many years with my mare, they get used to it very quickly, (though we have had a break from using until this year).
I have found no cons personally, i have had no rubbing or anything negative's with my mare, she has a shires nylon one, personally i think this design is one the best one's out there.
The solid bucket ones look rather mean and the greenguard are not that effective i hear
 

Toby_Zaphod

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One of mine goes out in a Greenguard from when the spring grass comes through right through the year to the autumn. He has no problems with it, it doesn't rub him & he manages to eat alright. His weight is well maintained using the muzzle. If I didn't use one he'd be out for a very short period so the muzzle manages his intake.

Some people don't get on with Greenguard, you need to spend a while adjusting the muzzle to fit the horse right, once sorted they are great.
wink.gif
 

jac47

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I put my horse out all night now as the grass is not so rich through the night, the heat of the day makes the sugars high. So better out all night and in all day. He also looses weight this way as they don't tend to eat as much in the night. Good Luck
 

Ashgrove

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I use Shires muzzles on both of mine, get a size too big, that has stopped the muzzles rubbing. My 2 have muzzles on all day, every day, all year, and come in every night all year as a break from the muzzles.
It works well for us.
 

Vicki1986

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pro - horse can go out with mates, not at risk of being fat / lami

con - some (def not all) dont take too well to them, can cause facial sores so keep an eye on the fit if you have a sensitive ned.



My pony wears one when needed.

she took to it like duck to whatever. didnt give a hoot. means she can graze all day with friends so best for everybody (she's happy and my hay/bed bill stays down!)
 
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