Living conditions

Grazing muzzle

Grass leaf tips contain lower NSC levels. A grazing muzzle helps prevent the horse from grazing the grass lower down.

  • Grazing speed decreases.
  • Food enters the digestive tract more slowly and steadily.
  • The horse can stay out on pasture longer and therefore will get more exercise.
  • Make sure the muzzle fits well and has a panic snap. This is important to prevent the horse from being injured if he gets caught on something.
  • Normally the muzzle does not prevent the horse from drinking. Make sure this is the case.
  • Some horses resent the muzzle and refuse to eat. Others do not understand that they are still able to eat. Reassure them by pushing some grass through the holes.
  • The muzzle can be completely or partially closed o with duct tape. The horse will get his movement, without being able to graze too much.
  • Wearing a grazing muzzle may cause stress. This especially needs to be avoided in PPID horses. They have too much cortisol in their bodies already and stress will increase the levels further
  • Some horses get so skilful at grazing with a muzzle that more grazing restrictions are needed.
  • Check regularly that the muzzle is still properly attached. When a horse that is used to restricted grazing loses a muzzle he could easily overeat with all the associated risks.
  • If the grazing muzzle causes problems, realise the horse is better off in a paddock with hay than out on pasture with a grazing muzzle
  • The different types of grass growing in the pasture influence the effectiveness of a grazing muzzle as well. Some grass varieties are tastier than others. For example, horses prefer meadow fescue to English rye grass. Fescue grows more upright and is therefore easier to eat with a grazing muzzle. If this tastier variety grows abundantly in the pasture a grazing muzzle will be noticeably less effective.