Will my horse figure out how to use the grazing muzzle on her own?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Chiko, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. Chiko

    Chiko Senior Member

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    I bought my tubby little morgan mare a grazing muzzle so I could put her out on the lush grass without any worries of her developing laminitis. She has no clue what to do and just stands around looking very depressed because she can't eat. I have fed her grass through the little hole to try and show her, but she just doesn't get it!!!:no: Has anyone used one of these before? How did you teach your horse how to use it? Will she just eventually figure it out for herself? Help!!!:(
     






  2. PeggySue

    PeggySue Senior Member+

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    give her time she will firgure it out LOL mine did when she had to wear one anyway

    just make sure you take it off for a bit each day to make sure she is eating
     
  3. Deb

    Deb Senior Member+

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    Is the grass short? It has to be short to be able to stick up through the hole. If the grass is long, it will just bend over and she won't get anything to eat at all. The grass is safe in the early morning...2a.m until 11a.m. so maybe she could graze for a couple of hours.

    Make sure you take it off a few times a day and bring her in for hay. She can't have it on 24/7 or would starve. Plus she'll want a good drink and perhaps a few licks of her salt/mineral block.

    My horse hates her muzzle. She runs now when she sees me coming out with it. Makes me feel bad but no choice with an I/R horse.
     
  4. Chiko

    Chiko Senior Member

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    The grass is about 3 inches long, so it should poke through the hole quite nicely if she puts her nose straight down. She tends to go sideways instead and so she flattens it.
    I feed her a flake of 3rd cut hay in the morning and 2 flakes in the evening. When I don't have the muzzle on her during the day, i let her graze freely on the pasture we are going to till up in a couple of days. The grass is so short that I don't think she gets much from it, but it gives her something to do.
    I have two other pastures that are quite lush so I want her to be able to go out there, but only with the muzzle on otherwise she'll pig right out and make herself sick!!
     
  5. Deb

    Deb Senior Member+

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    She will certainly trim down on only 3 flakes a day I'd say. She'll get the hang of the muzzle. It cuts down their grazing by about 75 percent so they don't get very much.
     
  6. IMustBeCrazy

    IMustBeCrazy Full Member

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    I've never heard this before. What is it about early AM that makes grass safe?
     
  7. Deb

    Deb Senior Member+

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    You can read about it on www.safergrass.org
    Grass is also safer on a rainy day. Worse when we have had a long dry spell and it is stressed. It holds on to whatever sugar it can just waiting for the rain to come. So short stressed grass has more sugars in it than long irrigated grasses.
     
  8. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

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    SafeR, but not necessarily *safe* for some horse. And, it depends on what the day was like and the night temps are/were. 3am-10am are the lowest sugar times of the day, but "lowest" is all relative to what the day before was like and what the temps were like after sunset.

    I agree that is the horse doesn't drink well with a muzzle on, that is cause for concern. But horses can and do live 24x7 in muzzles when the need arises. My boarder's horse is 22x7 for several months a year. His comes off when he comes in for breakfast. That might be 30 minutes, it might be 4 hours, depends on what I'm doing that day. But he has no trouble drinking. His salt is in his stall, so that's when he gets access to it during those times - breakfast. I hate it for him, but he will and does become lame, and I do not have a dry lot for him.
     
  9. Chiko

    Chiko Senior Member

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    Should I put her out on the grass with the muzzle on when she is hungry so she tries harder to figure it out? I've been giving her a flake of hay before I put her in the pasture.
     
  10. Deb

    Deb Senior Member+

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    I'd continue giving the hay first. Even regular horses that are being introduced to pasture do better when they have hay first to take the edge off their hunger.
     






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