Grazing muzzles are often frowned upon, especially by non-horsey people, or by equestrians that have never had the misfortune of trying to manage a lami-prone pony or one with insulin resistance. Grazing muzzles are not used to prevent a horse from eating, rather they are used as a means for restricting grass intake while allowing a horse the freedom of turnout, instead of being confined to a stable. The restriction of grass is important for horses or ponies who have a tendency to gain weight or horses that are susceptible to laminitis. In an ideal world, the very best solution to horses requiring restricted grass intake is the use of a track system. Here the horses are fenced off to a track around the perimeter of a field (or more) allowing them lots of movement. In reality, many people have their horse on livery where the livery yard owners may not be open to the ideal of a track system. Or if your horse is located in an area with very boggy or marshy ground where you would need to have a surface installed on sections of your track, and very quickly the costs can mount up enormously. For horses where a track system is not possible, a grazing muzzle can be crucial for allowing them turnout with their equine companions.
Grazing muzzles come in a huge variety of different shapes and sizes, but they are all designed to do the same job which is to slow down grass intake. The choice of grazing muzzle that you go for will depend on the shape and size of your horse or ponies head. It is important to get a muzzle that is comfortable to wear, with no rubbing, yet secure enough that crafty ponies can’t figure out how to get them off. Grazing muzzles should be used supervised, and never on for 24 hours a day.
A tip for keeping your grazing muzzle on! Create a single plait at the top of your ponies mane, close to the poll. Plait the hair loosely around the headpiece of the grazing muzzle. Now when your pony scratches their head off their leg, they won’t be able to pop the whole muzzle off.
We have a number of grazing muzzles available at EquiStore, for example the Elico Padded grazing muzzle, and the Waldhausen grazing muzzle. Until you have your dream track system built, utilise a grazing muzzle to allow continued turnout for your pony.