I own an adorable pony, who is also a very easy keeper. I don't want her to be obese and I especially don't want her to founder. On the flip side, I do believe that horses are meant to be eating...all the time. So where does that leave us (besides between a rock and hard place).
|A fat two year old in a grazing muzzle|
With a pony who has been wearing a grazing muzzle since she was two. Going from a harder keeping thoroughbred to a welsh cob, the grazing muzzle world has been a new experience. Right off the bat I put Emi's on with a cookie in the bottom so she actually tries to put her head in when you take it out to her. She's totally not concerned about wearing it and has never gotten it off. However, I don't think they are super comfortable either. The very first year she wore it she tore her eyelid (presumably rubbing on the fence). Now I have a "flymask required" rule any time her muzzle is on.
|Graphic photo, sorry to those who are squeamish.|
The spring of her three year old year she wasn't on a very grassy pasture so she didn't need to wear the muzzle. This spring, she was on lots of grass and the grazing muzzle hunt began again, as the muzzle that fit her at two was now too small. I ordered several different muzzles and struggled with the fit on all of them. The cob and horse sizes meant nothing between brands and I was totally frustrated. I finally settled on one and Emi began all day turn out with it on (~12 hours per day). It wasn't long before she was getting fairly significant rubs on her jaw from opening her mouth to graze. With the rubs getting worse I was able to arrange a different turn out option for her so that she wouldn't need to wear a muzzle.
Then I went to Rolex and strolled by the Greenguard booth. I spoke with them and handled the muzzle. I was intrigued but not sure it was worth the money. My biggest concern was how much grass they would be getting as it's so open compared to the standard rubber ones. As they pointed out, the whole on the rubber ones it right in the middle where a horse can get quite a bit of grass in it. The design of the Greenguard muzzle has a strip right across the middle of it so horses have to work around it. That made some sense to me. Although I didn't buy the muzzle on Thursday I thought about it all weekend and purchased it on Sunday.
Emi has been wearing the muzzle 3-4 hours per day with no trouble. Then a couple weeks ago we put the muzzle to the ultimate test. Emi was staying at a friends house for a few days while we had some work done at home, and was out on lots of grass. She wore her Greenguard muzzle for 4 days straight (24 hours a day). Of course she was under supervision and I checked her for rubs or any trouble every evening. The muzzle was amazing! She had zero issues with it and didn't seem bothered at all by wearing it for that extended period of time.
It's so much better than the "normal" muzzles. The square design and the rigid shape keep it from collapsing around the horses face. Not only does it not cause rubs, but it is so much more breathable. No more pony nose sweltering in a rubber bucket. Just the thought of that makes me cringe.
If you are fighting the grazing muzzle battle, buy a Greengaurd muzzle. You won't regret it. It was worth every penny I paid! If I hadn't bought it at Rolex I was going to buy an Eponia Bridle...and I'm still saying it was worth every penny. Seriously, life changing!
I've reached out to Greenguard and they have provided me a coupon code to share with all of you - 1H99QEEA. You'll get 10% off and the code is good for 30 days.