For the most part, I hate grazing muzzles. I feel horrible putting them on the horse. The horses hate them and I feel guilty. But. . .our horses live on about 30 or 40 acres of grass. It only goes away in the winter – about November to April in Illinois. Even then, it’s still there, but it’s dead so the sugar is minimal. We have one horse (Princess) that is insulin resistant and as a result when she gets too much sugar she gets laminitic and is in a lot of pain. So, in Spring and Fall she must wear a muzzle to minimize her sugar intake from the grass.
This fall we also muzzled our Arabian, Belle, because she is super overweight and it worries us from time to time.
Here’s a picture of her. She’s a little chunky. Super cute though.
So, muzzles, which is the best to use? We’ve tried three different kinds.
This one. It’s called Best Friend Grazing Muzzle. It’s the first one we got and it’s very tough and covers a lot of their nose and mouth. It allows the horse to eat some grass, but not too much. It stays on well and we haven’t yet lost it in the pasture.
This one. It’s called Tough 1 Easy Breathe Grazing Muzzle. We got this one new this year. It’s much more open and works well especially when the weather is hot. The hole to eat from is a little bigger and they can get a little more grass on the sides as well. We have lost this one in the pasture from time to time though.
We also tried this one a few years ago on Princess. It’s called a Harmony muzzle and we wanted it to work because it’s so much more open and comfortable, but by the end of one day it was all twisted and half way off. Maybe we just didn’t get the right size, but it didn’t work for us at all.
Our horses live in the pasture 24/7 and have their muzzle on the whole time. We’ve never had any trouble with that – except they sometimes get the muzzles off. We go out every day to give all our horses supplements, so Princess and Belle get to graze on grass and hay for somewhere between 1 to 2 hours while we are there each day.
Princess is doing very well this year. She hasn’t become laminitic at all and is happy being with her herd and moving around instead of being kept away at night on a dry lot (what we tried last year). Belle – well – she’s still overweight and honestly she kept getting the muzzle off (the Tough 1 Easy Breathe one) and so we sort of gave up. Winter is around the corner and the grass will be dead, so hopefully she’ll lose some weight then.
Once the grass is brown we take the muzzle off Princess too. She only wears it Spring and Fall. She does fine in summer once the grass is established and not growing too much and in winter when it’s dead.