September 23, 2012

Grazing Muzzle

Are you bored?  Are you currently at your barn?  Does your barn have a pony?  If you answered "Yes" to all of the above, I must recommend that you grab the nearest grazing muzzle, strap it on said pony's head, and turn them out in a field full of delicious grass. Since all ponies are evil geniuses, you will be entertained for the next several hours by the pony's continuous and varied efforts to rid itself of the grazing muzzle.

That pretty much summarizes my morning.

Because Connor's weight is at a good place now, he's still peeing approximately twice the normal amount, and I am a paranoid basketcase about laminitis, I decided that we would do a week trial with the grazing muzzle, starting today when I could poke my head out from stall cleaning every so often to check on him.  I wanted to make sure that 1) it would stay on, 2) that he realized he could drink with it on and 3) that he realized he could still nibble grass with it on.

He did not like it.

"Hey, forgot to take this thing off my head."
Realizing he can drink with it on.
From the moment I put it on his head, he put his head high in the air and peered at me over the end of it.  And stood there, for several minutes, not moving, just staring at me as I walked away.  When he finally did move, he tried everything he could to get it off his head.  He slung his head around, pawed the ground next to his nose, rubbed it on the fence, walked over to the mares to see if they would take it off for him, rolled, and took off bucking across the pasture.  When all that failed, he tried walking cutely over to the gate, where I was doing stalls 15 feet away, to see if I would take it off.  Finally, he gave up, got a drink, and tried eating.

While I have some reservations about this decision (it's nylon and I don't like turning horses out in nylon, I'm worried it will rub) I feel like the danger of IR/laminitis is greater than anything the grazing muzzle can do to him.  Also, for a fantastic side benefit, he's now super easy to catch because I've taken all the joy out of his life (cue dramatically sad music) and because he is essentially wearing a halter all the time.

After a week or two, I'll re-evaluate with the barn staff and see if we need to adjust.  Also, vet comes out tomorrow.

"Help meeeeeeeeee!"


  1. Jen we use mole skin to help prevent rubbing. Even after years of wearing one my guys try to get it off, then they resign themselves.
    We put our guys out one day with the muzzle and then two days off the grass. I don't know how flexible turn out is at your barn, but if he gets frustrated you could try that.
    At least you do not have a helpful colt ;)

  2. Poor guy! I started spring out in a muzzle for Shy. I have a video :here:
    Shy got used to it and figured out how to use it pretty quickly. You could see her way out in the pasture bobbing her head up and down to get the grass pieces in the hole. I was so worried about her and spring grass and she has a super cresty neck at the time, so I was also worried about IR, too. Her muzzle is nylon, too, but it did not rub.
    But now that the grass is nibbled down and the season has been so dry, she has not needed it.

  3. I have a Best Friends muzzle and it doesn't seem to be rubbing Oliver at all though, and he's worn it every day. I think they do kind of get used to it once they realize they can still eat, just not as much.

  4. Poor Connor...! lol But it is best for him. I'm seriously considering getting one for my QH gelding (who is not a pony...) since I have a lot of grass at my place and not enough horses to eat it all! (Or, I could just get a couple more horses...!)

  5. its for a good cause but AWEEEE lol poor pony must just feel so depressed.
    It always cracks me up the looks a horse will give you when you put them out in the pasture with other horses after putting something rediculous on them. Like sending a kid to school with pants that dont touch their shoes.