If your vet has tested for these, he/she may recommend a Grazing Muzzle as part of the weight management plan.
Horses and ponies wearing a Grazing Muzzle are more likely to spend more time foraging and therefore moving more aiding weight loss.
Grazing Muzzles should not be worn 24 hours a day. Weight loss must be monitored carefully; a healthy rate of weight loss would be a maximum of 1% a week (eg 3.5kg/week on a 350kg pony).
Due to the shape of the mouth hole of The Ultimate Muzzle most equines will manage to eat hay through it.
There should be ample room around the bucket of the muzzle. It should not be tight; you should be able to fit at least 2 fingers in the side and 3 at the back. It is advisable to watch the horse/pony eat to check there is enough room. There should be at least an inch gap between the horse’s muzzle and the base of the Grazing Muzzle.
Adjust the straps so the ring is not too close to the eyes.
The Grazing Muzzle should be removed and checked at least once a day and not left on 24 hours a day.
The Ultimate Muzzle headstraps are interchangable and it may be advisable to carry a spare in case of breakage.
Faux sheepskin covers are available as an accessory (extra).
What did we think?
Having a pony very prone to laminitis, we exist totally with grazing muzzles for any turnout as it is just not worth the risk. He’s not turned out 24/7 either and we have a very strict routine.
We have a graveyard of grazing muzzles as he is a real Houdini when it comes to removing them. About five seconds is his record and it is just so depressing to get them all ready, turn them out and watch it come off in the blink of an eye, especially when they are hard to catch as well.
So, having found a brand that fit really well, didn’t rub him anywhere I was slightly apprehensive to try a different one, however I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I have learnt to go for a size larger than his usual (Cob) as I can adjust them, they fit him better and he’s not fighting them. So, this one is very generous but it is so incredibly easy to put on, no fighting with straps or Velcro, just literally slip the strap over his head and do up like you would a headcollar. He has never once tried to remove it and he has no rubbed skin, loss of fur or sores. It has a bit more ventilation than his current one and if the flies are out he will wear it with a flyhat over the top and still he is content which is a miracle. So, all in all, I am really loving this product and he is too. I know I can turn him out without having to go and check every ten minutes.