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http://www.bestfriendequine.com/horse-grazing-muzzles.htm - Best Friend grazing muzzles
http://www.bestfriendequine.com/horse-muzzle-accessories.htm - cushions, plugs, buckles etc. for Best Friend grazing muzzles
http://www.horse.com/Grazing-Muzzle-BRK61HORSE.html - value-priced, slightly lighter alternative to Best Friend brand grazing muzzle
http://www.horse.com/Plastic-Anti-Graze-Muzzle-BRK10.html - plastic anti-grazing muzzle. See all-weather adaptation and fitting for this muzzle here.
http://greenrivertack.com/catalog/ - brightly colored grazing muzzles
Mar 28 2009, 3:01 PM EDT
When I need to use a grazing muzzle to prevent Jewel from getting any grass at all, I will tape the grazing hole closed with duct tape. Actually, I have two muzzles for Jewel -- one that is taped closed and one that has the open grazing hole. I just make a big 'X' over the outside of the hole, bringing the duct tape almost to the edge of the rubber. Before putting the tape on, I use a small piece upside down to cover the sticky part of the tape that will be directly under the hole. I figure that helps keep gross stuff from sticking inside the muzzle...
But with a little luck we won't need it this year on the turnout track at all -- just for playtime in the center field. :-)
Mar 28 2009, 4:56 PM EDT
Great Idea!!! So simple and yet elegant!!!
Mar 28 2009, 5:06 PM EDT
Regarding your response in my layout thread. Yeah, I didn't think about how much more grass they will be able to get at. Really need to get the track fence up before the spring grass comes up. Looks like the two IR guys will be spending time in the dry lot again this spring. Haven't come up with a good way to keep grass down along the fence line. We have to weed wack to keep from shorting out the electric fence a couple times a season. Don't like to use chemicals, some of them have an incredible half life.
Mar 28 2009, 10:34 PM EDT
One of my horses is an "easy keeper". I have not had him tested to see if he is IR (how would one test?). If you study PNH, this horse is a Left Brain Introvert (do as little as possible, is not afraid of anything....very confident also very oral...like to bite or put things in their mouths...food oriented). I have heard that grazing muzzles can cause some horses to develop anxiety. While I believe this horse needs to wear a grazing muzzle as our track will be full of grass, I do think he could develop anxiety. He has never been able to keep a fly mask on...always gets it off (plus those things are hot). I am curious to know if any one out there has had difficulties using a grazing muzzle on one of their horses. (My fear may be unfounded...but hate to spend the money on a grazing mussle & then not be able to use it...seems I do this type of thing way to often.)
Mar 28 2009, 10:58 PM EDT
"Regarding your response in my layout thread. Yeah, I didn't think about how much more grass they will be able to get at. Really need to get the track fence up before the spring grass comes up. Looks like the two IR guys will be spending time in the dry lot again this spring. Haven't come up with a good way to keep grass down along the fence line. We have to weed wack to keep from shorting out the electric fence a couple times a season. Don't like to use chemicals, some of them have an incredible half life."I really hate to be the bearer of bad news. Sorry! But better to anticipate and deflect problems than to react to a new crisis. And once your turnout track is established for a couple of years, maybe it will become safe for them all year-round without grazing muzzles.
Have you tried Country Supply's grazing muzzle? It's much cheaper than Best Friend, a little lighter, and I actually like it better. I think it's less likely to chafe because of the lighter weight.
Mar 28 2009, 11:15 PM EDT
"One of my horses is an "easy keeper". I have not had him tested to see if he is IR (how would one test?). I have heard that grazing muzzles can cause some horses to develop anxiety. While I believe this horse needs to wear a grazing muzzle as our track will be full of grass, I do think he could develop anxiety. "Insulin resistance is determined by the ratio between the horse's blood glucose level and insulin level, taken from the same blood draw about two hours after a regular hay (not grain) feeding. There are some technical aspects to testing for it that not all vets are aware of. It cost me about $30. To learn all about it, check out the Equine Cushings mailing list on Yahoo groups. You can join web-only and read their extensive archives. (Not all IR horses develop Cushings, but that list thoroughly covers both of those conditions.)
As for muzzle anxiety -- I think that depends on the attitude of the *person* applying the muzzle. If you're matter-of-fact about it and honestly think of it as a ticket to freedom with the herd, your horse will pick up on that. Second best is to call it a "treat muzzle" and put something tasty (but not sugary) in there every time you slip it over his ears; a hay cube or two works nicely for me. Avoid feeling sorry for him having to wear it -- remember, without it he's stuck being separated from his friends in a dry lot! They can easily drink with the muzzle. I've seen Jewel participate in mutual grooming while wearing her muzzle. They can even eat loose hay with a muzzle, although I don't know if they can use a slow feeder through one.
Mar 29 2009, 6:42 AM EDT
Thanks for your comments, Tangledmanes! I understand your response about the attitude of the person applying the muzzle. I never even put a thought into the horse not being able to eat from the slow feeders. There are so many things to think about, but I guess just getting started is most important. Thanks goodness for this WP site. I'm learning so much good information.
Mar 29 2009, 9:50 AM EDT
Thanks, Wildridge. :-) I love how this wiki's being used to explore so many aspects of using slow feeders and turnout tracks. It's like the "Consumer Reports" of natural boarding. And information from these discussions will eventually be added to the relevant wiki pages to make it easier to find. But my favorite part is when someone makes an observation or posts an idea that completely changes my perspective on something. Keep up the good work!
I haven't tested whether or not Jewel can eat from a slow feeder while wearing her grazing muzzle. Maybe horses can! But it would at least add another layer of difficulty.
Mar 29 2009, 11:17 AM EDT
I have two grazing muzzles from Country Supply. They are no more expensive than a halter. I have only had my horses in them for a couple of hours at a time. I did notice that they get a stain on their face where the ring on the side touches them. They did wear the hole bigger in a fairly short time, but still can't eat as fast as they would without the muzzle. The taller the grass, the harder it seem to be for them to get at it. The muzzle pushes the grass flat. I would think they would wear the bottom out rather quickly trying to eat from a slow feeder that has the wire grid top. As for being the bearer of bad news, vigilance, vigilance, vigilance. Observing all the horses conditions is so critical!!!
Mar 29 2009, 2:33 PM EDT
Walowa, you are so correct...vigilance, vigilance, vigilance in observing the horse's condition. I'm glad you mentioned you sometimes only have to use the muzzle a few hours at a time (makes me feel better). I'm starting my PP due to the horses hooves & now realize that movement, footing & food are critical to the development of healthy hooves! Healthy hooves develop not only by having a great trim. I guess I'll be ordering a grazing muzzle as we have so much grass. I no longer feel like my horse will develop anxiety due to a grazing muzzle as I will keep observing & use it when necessary. Thanks for helping me gain a fresh perspective on using a grazing muzzle. Ann
Mar 29 2009, 7:03 PM EDT
I don't want you to get me wrong. The horses still had to spend more time in the dry lot than I would like. The muzzles extended their turnout time. They soon associated the muzzle with freedom and were eager to get them on. They only went out muzzled, had hay in the dry lot. If your concern is controlling weight, I would suggest that you let your horse have some grazing time and then use the muzzle for part of the day. Katy Watts, Safer Grass web site has great info on the best times to allow the horses to be on grass. Some IR horses can hardly tolerate any grass, hence the need for bare ground on the track for them. I am hoping the exercise of moving around the track will allow them more free time and less dry lot time, but it will take a while to get the grass worn down. Short grass has lots of sugar and so do dandilions.
Mar 29 2009, 8:32 PM EDT
Guess I need to read the Safer Grass site more throughly. I didn't realize short grass has more sugar...how interesting. I thought sugar content in grass had more to do with time of day. Keep passing on all this good knowledge. :) Thx-Ann
Mar 30 2009, 11:40 AM EDT
"One of my horses is an "easy keeper". I have not had him tested to see if he is IR (how would one test?). "There's now a link to a marvelous IR calculator on our Blogs & Websites page. (It was created by a member of the Equine Cushings Yahoo mailing list.) http://www.freil.com/~mlf/IR/ir.html
When you get the results of your horse's blood test -- Insulin and Glucose, from the same non-fasting draw -- plug the numbers into that calculator, and you'll know for sure.
I recommend reading the EC list files for all the testing guidelines. (http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings/ ) The blood samples must be handled correctly for the results to be valid.
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