How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Pony

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony Swim // Painting Pony

A common saying among those that own Chincoteague Ponies is that they can get fat on a cement slab. Which pretty much means they can get overweight just by looking at grass!

It’s true that they are easy keepers, but they also love to eat in excess. Too much grass is not a good thing, and can cause laminitis among other issues.

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Over the years of owning Chincoteauge ponies we’ve tried many methods to manage their weight during the months when the grass is very lush (which in our area can even be early spring and late into the fall). I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of all the different types of muzzles, along with their pros and cons, that we have tried over the years to help limit their grass intake.

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, but it does contain some affiliate links. We are not biased towards any particular muzzles, and only chose the ones that work best for our ponies.

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Best Friends Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Shires Pink Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Harmany Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Tough 1 Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

Greenguard USA Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Tips and Tricks we’ve learned:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

What do we recommend?

After testing pretty much every muzzle on the market, we have picked out ones that work best for each of our ponies. Here’s our recommendations:

Minnow – our pony that can (and has) slipped every single muzzle we’ve tried on him. It’s a constant battle, but switching them up on him seems to do the trick. He wears the Best Friends Muzzle & the Tough 1 Muzzle currently.

Blitz – less inclined to slip a muzzle, and a pony that gets worked enough that sometimes he doesn’t have to wear his as often. He wears: Greenguard USA Muzzle & Best Friends Muzzle currently.

Boomer – he’s pretty tolerant of the muzzles, but every once in a while decides to slip them. He wears: Greenguard USA Muzzle & Best Friends Muzzle currently.

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Know of any muzzles we haven’t tried yet? Send your recommendations our way, we love to hear about new products on the market!

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Herding Cows on Horseback

Last month we took Blitz and Boomerang on a long trailride in one of the nearby nature preserves. Little did we know it would end up being one of our favorite adventures ever when we happened upon some loose cattle.

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

The further down the trail we got, the more cattle we started to see. We figured they had gotten out of someone’s pasture, but we weren’t sure where they belonged. We were DYING to herd them somewhere (just like real cowgirls) but it just didn’t seem like it was meant to be.

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

As we made our way towards home we couldn’t help ourselves with herding a few into a small cluster.

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

While we were taking the obligatory “cow selfie” the farmer who owned said cattle popped up over the hill in his truck to see our little cluster of cattle. Seeing that we were DYING to take our littler herd somewhere the farmer asked us if we minded helping him drive them back to their pasture. Um yes please! He didn’t have to ask us twice!

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Check out the video: Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

Blitz and Boomerang chased stray cattle, moved them through a water crossing, and got them all safely back in their pasture.

Herding Cows the Cowgirl Way with Painting Pony

When you live on the east coast (at least near us) herding cattle like this is not something you get to do everyday, especially in a real “farm” setting! It was a dream come true for us.

The farmers were very thankful for our helpful ponies, and we had the best trailride ever! If anyone else wants to “accidentally” let their cattle escape, you can totally call on the Painting Ponies to help you round them up!

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Grazing Muzzle to Keep Ponies Happy

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Greenguard USA and does contain some affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I only share products I think you and your horses will love.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

If your ponies are anything like our ponies, then you probably struggle with keeping them at the ideal weight and protecting them from laminitis during the summer months when the grass is extra lush. Thanks to our new friends over at Greenguard USA our boys were able to test out one of the newest muzzles for horses on the market, the Greenguard Grazing Muzzle.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

The Greenguard’s patented basket style muzzle comes with breakable (for safety) buckles which you can attach to your own halter. It’s also recommended to tape them in place with duct tape once you have them adjusted properly to keep it from sliding around.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

Blitz (on the left) tested out the horse size (he’s 14.1 hands tall) and Boomerang (on the right) tested out the cob size (he’s 13.3 hands tall). We found that with these muzzles it’s better to have them roomier, and Boomerang probably would have been a bit more comfortable in a horse size as well (also to prevent rubbing). We did eventually add some sheepskin padding to Boomer’s halter and the back of the muzzle to prevent rubs, which helped. It’s nearly impossible to prevent any and all rubs when your horse has to wear a muzzle – it’s just the nature of the beast! We’ve also found that rotating muzzle styles every few weeks helps to keep the rubs at bay.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

As you can see in this shot of Blitz, the Greenguard muzzle fits loosely around your horses’ nose giving them more room to chew and makes breathing much easier (and cooler too!).

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

Other muzzles we have tried the ponies wear through the bottom pretty quickly.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

The Greenguard muzzle is a much stronger/sturdier plastic which appears like it would likely last a lot longer than some of the traditional styles you might be used to seeing. I also noticed that overnight the traditional style muzzles tended to collect much more dirt and debris than the Greenguard ones, which seems like it would be a lot more comfortable to your horse.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

All our horses have automatic (Nelson) waterers in their pastures, and during the summer we always make sure to give them a trough to drink from as well.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

Once we found Boomerang (wearing a more standard style muzzle) caught on the automatic waterer, so it’s always a good idea to give your horse a trough if they are wearing a muzzle. The Greenguard muzzles don’t really fit inside the openings of the automatic waterers, so it’s especially important to make sure your horse has access to water.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

We compared the Greenguard muzzle to one of the more traditional styles of muzzle to see how much grass our ponies were getting. As you can see the muzzle on the left allows the grass to pop up through one hole in the center, while the Greenguard muzzle on the right has a less amount of grass pop up in several different openings. We felt the Greenguard muzzle made the ponies move their mouths around more to get the grass which kept them busier, and intern happier about the fact that they had to wear a muzzle at all!

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

Even with the boy’s silly antics we haven’t noticed them trying to escape wearing the Greenguard muzzles at all. We haven’t tried it on our resident escapee pony, Minnow, who has gotten out of every single muzzle ever (even with our added “pony proof” gear). He seems to do better with a muzzle that has higher sides and we didn’t want to risk him slipping this one and having a problem.

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

The Greenguard Grazing Muzzle can be purchased on Amazon and comes in mini, cob, and horse sizes. (P.S. buddy Ammo the Dachshund couldn’t help himself and photobombed every single video I tried to shoot of the boys grazing, but he’s awfully cute isn’t he!)

Thanks for Greenguard for letting us test out their great muzzle on our boys!

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Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow gets new X-rays

Those of you that have followed our ponies’ journey from the beginning may remember that our little Minnow has battled with Ringbone since 2008. Ringbone is essentially a form of equine arthritis, a bone growth in the pastern or coffin joint of a horse. And because in a lot of cases people choose to euthanize a horse with Ringbone (because there is no cure), I have decided to document Minnow’s journey in pain management in the hopes that it might help someone else battling Ringbone in their horse.

Maintaining Ringbone - Minnow injection // Painting Pony

Earlier this year we noticed that he seemed to be more lame on his right front (his initial diagnosis and treatment has always been for his left front), so we decided to have him re-xrayed since it’s been 2 years since we last had him checked.

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Here’s the shot of his left front, 2 years after being injected with Ethyl Alcohol to help the joint fuse faster:

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Here’s what it looked like the day we had it injected:

Managing Ringbone - Chincoteague Minnow's Trip to New Bolton // Painting Pony

As you can see the joint still is not completely fused, but it’s a lot closer, and it’s actually straightened out some. Which I think has attributed to him being more comfortable on it.

So let’s take a look at the right front, the one that has started to bother him more recently:

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

It’s hard to tell, but there is some white shading around the pastern joint, and indication that Minnow is at the beginning stages of high ringbone in his right front pastern as well. Our vet consulted with New Bolton Animal Hospital, and determined it’s still too early to inject with Ethyl Alcohol for it to be effective. The fact that he’s also developing this in his other leg further proves that in his particular case it was more genetic than anything. It makes me feel better to know, no matter what I would have done, he would have developed ringbone anyway due to his confirmation.

Chincoteague Pony Minnow trains for Pony Penning 2012

But not to worry, Minnow is still doing well (he’s super Minnow after all)! And here’s how we’re managing pain today for him:

Minnow is currently taking 1/2 a pill of 57mg of Previcox daily as well as a scoop of GLS joint supplement. Once starting the Previcox we noticed an improvement in Minnow’s pain. He seems much more comfortable and we even noticed an improvement in his limp (on both legs).

Chincoteague Pony Minnow trains for Pony Penning 2012

If you’d like to check out our previous attempts to help Minnow with his Ringbone diagnosis, you can read more here:

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow’s Trip to New Bolton

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries Ground Control Shoes

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow gets injected with Ethyl Alcohol

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries GLS

If you have a story to share about your horse and Ringbone, we’d love to hear about it! Post a comment on this blog post, or share it on our Facebook wall.

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Minnow visits the Ryerss Farm For Aged Equines

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Last weekend Painting Pony visited the Ryerss Farm for their annual Family Fun Day.

Ryerss is a non-profit in Chester County, Pennsylvania that cares for aged, and abused or injured horses by providing a home where they can spend their golden years out to pasture.  The horses at Ryerss are never worked, go to auction or are used for experiments.  They simply spend their days grazing and enjoying life with their friends on the farm.

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Painting Pony has been big supporters of Ryerss since the very beginning, and it’s one of the charity organizations that we donate a percentage of our sales to each year.

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

In fact, when I was a kid our local 4-H club used to visit Ryerss every year to groom the old horses on the farm. So it was fun to go back with my own “aged equine” (Minnow is 21 this year) and help to raise money for their farm.

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Both Minnow and Ammo the Dachshund drew big crowds during each of our performances throughout the day. Minnow painted 3 original works of art, which are now available for purchase in our online shop.

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Where the Grass is Greener” by Chincoteague Minnow

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Brushstrokes” by Chincoteague Minnow

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

You Have My Heart” by Chincoteague Minnow

Both Ammo and Minnow had a blast showing off some of their favorite tricks for everyone. Below is a collection of photos from our day at Ryerss ….

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

Painting Pony Chincoteague Minnow paints at Ryerss Farm

For even more fun, make sure you check out the video on Instagram, and you can read Ammo’s recap of the day on his blog!

Don’t forget to check out the newest work by Minnow in our online shop! Your purchases help to support animal rescues and charity groups.

Kyley & The Painting Ponies

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