How to Use Grazing Muzzles

Written by laurie bryan
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How to Use Grazing Muzzles
A standard grazing muzzle attaches to an existing halter. (Horses Grazing Close-Up image by ne_fall_photos from Fotolia.com)

A properly fitted grazing muzzle allows the horse free-range grazing while preventing overfeeding. The hole in the bottom of a grazing muzzle is intended to allow a limited amount of grass to protrude through for the horse to graze. Grazing muzzles are designed to help treat and prevent horse related conditions such as obesity, laminitis and pica. Obesity and laminitis, also called founder, are caused by overgrazing. Pica is when the horse eats non-food items. Grazing muzzles typically come in two styles: all-in-one deluxe and the standard muzzle. The all-in-one model comes attached with its own halter, while the standard muzzle attaches to an existing halter.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Grazing muzzle
  • Halter

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Stand on the left side of the horse, slightly behind the jaw, facing the same direction as the horse.

  2. 2

    Grasp the all-in-one grazing muzzle with both hands, one on each size of the grazing muzzles' halter section.

  3. 3

    Slip the muzzle over the horse's nose, and with your right hand bring the long side of the halter over the top-right of the horse's head, just behind the ears, and secure on the left side.

  4. 4

    Adjust the grazing muzzle until there is approximately one inch between the horse's muzzle and the bottom of the grazing muzzle basket. You should be able to easily slip a finger anywhere between the halter and the horses head for a proper fit.

  1. 1

    Stand on the left side of the horse slightly behind the jaw, facing the same direction as the horse.

  2. 2

    Halter the horse using a standard halter by grasping the halter in both hands. Slip the halter over the horse's nose. With your right hand, bring the long side of the halter over the top of the horse's head, just behind the ears, and fasten on the left side.

  3. 3

    Slip the standard grazing muzzle over the horse's nose and attach to the halter's nose piece using the attached straps.

  4. 4

    Adjust the grazing muzzle until there is approximately one inch between the horse's mouth and the bottom of the grazing muzzle basket. You should be able to easily slip a finger anywhere between the halter and the horse's head for a proper fit.

Tips and warnings

  • It is important to monitor the horse's condition while using a grazing muzzle. Each horse has its own grazing needs. Some horses require more feed than others to stay in top condition. A horse that appears to put on weight at the mere sight of grass, also called an easy keeper, will be able to wear the grazing muzzle for longer periods than one who does not. A conscientious horse owner will monitor the horse's condition and adjust accordingly. A local veterinarian is an excellent resource for addressing any concerns or issues you may have in regards to the use of a grazing muzzle on your horse.
  • A proper fit is essential for safe and effective use of the grazing muzzle. If the muzzle is too tight, the horse may not be able to graze or drink water. Sore spots can result from a muzzle that is too tight rubbing on the horse's face. A muzzle that is too loose runs the risk of falling off on its own or by the horse rubbing if off. A conscientious horse owner should check the grazing muzzle often and be alert for signs of an improperly fitted muzzle and adjust accordingly. Some horses may take a little time to become accustomed to wearing a muzzle. It is crucial to monitor your horse and make sure the horse is drinking plenty of water and grazing adequately.

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