Grazing Muzzles

I'm wondering what your recommendation is regarding grazing muzzles. I have a 5-year-old pony that is a little weighty who I would like to leave out in the pasture with my other two horses ...I'm wondering what your recommendation is regarding grazing muzzles. I have a 5-year-old pony that is a little weighty who I would like to leave out in the pasture with my other two horses ...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Hi Dr. Lowder,

I’m wondering what your recommendation is regarding grazing muzzles. I have a 5-year-old pony that is a little weighty who I would like to leave out in the pasture with my other two horses (a 9-year-old Arabian and a 2-year-old Quarter Horse) this spring.

Will a grazing muzzle safeguard him from the possibility of laminitis? I’d hate to see him kept in the barn all spring, but I also don’t want to put him at risk.

Also, do you think it’s a good idea for most horses to wear grazing muzzles if they’re going to be in a large pasture for the entire day during the spring? As I’m working full time, there’s no way for me to minimize the hours they spend out there… it’s either in or out for the working hours. I would like to put them out in the morning and bring them in when I get home in the evening as they really enjoy the freedom and I like to let them move around and exercise themselves during the day.

Thanks for your input!

Isadora Fox
Cheshire, Oregon

Isadora,

I would be a little concern about putting a grazing muzzle on a horse with no one to check on him all day. I guess I would take my chances and put the pony out. The most important thing is to get the pony out on the pasture before it starts to turn green. Then as the grass grows the pony will hopefully be slowly introduce him to the new grass.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder