Muzzle Woes

I am fighting a losing battle with the grazing muzzle this year.

He definitely needs it.  He's fat.  I've cut his feed back once this year, and my trainer cut it back even further while I was out of town, and even then she said she knew my first words to her were going to be "That horse is fat," (Spoiler alert: they were).

Looking really good, but also he's a solid 6 moving toward 7 on the BCS right now.  He's down to getting a handful of ration balancer morning and night.
Last summer, Connor's geriatric pasture buddies minded their own business when it came to Connor's muzzle.  This summer, my trainer's pile of rambunctious eventers will.not.leave.him.alone.

They broke my beloved leather stable halter that his muzzle was attached to last summer because it was the only halter that didn't rub him.  So I went for a nylon halter with breakaway straps, not wanting to spend a literal fortune in leather halters that get broken within days.  Unfortunately, the breakaway has been gently rubbing the hair off the sides of his cheeks.


Having had no luck with moleskin in the past, I tried genuine sheepskin rolls next:


I picked sheepskin over fleece since sheepskin will breathe, and even though he's on night turnout, I still want airflow under there.

That's worked out pretty well so far, except the sides (which are velcro) didn't even last one night.  The crown, noseband and (half of the) throatlatch are all slide-ons, so they're much less likely to come off.  Unfortunately the cheeks are continuing to rub, and I don't know what to do about that.

Fat :(

My trainer has tried to help too, by stringing electric braid over top of the paddock fences so the horses can't play bitey face with him over the fence.  One step forward one step back though: he's now turned out in the same paddock with one of the more bitey dudes on the property.  I'm glad he has a buddy, but pulling my hair out trying to keep his muzzle on and not hurting him!

I know he hates it, but he can't possibly understand that the muzzle is way better than the alternatives (laminitis, founder).

Anyone have any good tips or tricks on either turnout halters or muzzles?

17 comments:

  1. Can you stitch the cheekpieces onto the halter?

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    1. I was going to ask this same question!

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  2. I got Harley a beta biothane halter from Two Horse and we haven't looked back. I got the regular one and re-rigged the buckle on a cheap breakaway tab instead. It's nice and lightweight so he doesn't get any rubs. It has also survived turnout with a mouthy baby who loves Harley and it wintered like a champ. They are on sale right now...might be worth a try?

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    1. I think this is my best bet, thanks for the suggestion!

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  3. Ugh...grazing muzzles can be such a bummer! I have two thoughts.

    1) Could he go out in a fly mask? That would eliminate the cheek rubs.

    2) I echo EquiNovice - Emi is wearing a Two Horse Tack beta biothane halter with her muzzle and we haven't had any issues. That being said, Liam has the same halter and gets a nose rub from his so I did add a sheepskin roll to the nose of his.

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    1. Good to know! I think Biothane is where I'm headed next.

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  4. I was also going to suggest a biothane halter. The material is so much less irritating than nylon, and they reasonably cheap. Two Horse Tack makes nice stuff.

    I also agree about stitching the sheepskin onto the halter. That should be fairly easy to do, even by hand.

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    1. You have high estimations of my sewing skills, but it's a good idea! :D

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    2. Worst-case, send it to me, and I'll stitch it on for you! But that does leave you without it for a time.

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  5. No advice. Fingers crossed for you.

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    1. Thanks! The support is appreciated.

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  6. UGH. Rubbing is the worst. I'm dealing with an itchy tail and NOTHING IS WORKING. So annoying.

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    1. Been there! It sucks! MTG helped Connor, I'm sure you've tried that already though.

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  7. I don’t know if this will help but I bought one of those fleece lined Lamicell halters bc I was struggling with all the other halters rubbing my mare’s face raw and that one didn’t rub her at all and she wore it 24/7. She doesn’t need it anymore (or st least right now) so not sure how long it would last but it was the only halter I could find that didn’t rub her. Heck I also tried the fleece/sheepskin fuzzies and they still found ways to rub her face. Good luck figuring something out!!

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    1. Thank you, I'll look at those too!

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