Posts Tagged ‘boomer

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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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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Whats in a Swirl?

I recently stumbled across an article on Horse Nation about the significance of a horse’s swirl.

A swirl is a patch of hair growing in the opposite direction of the hair that surrounds the area. These swirls, also known as whorls, are most commonly found on the head, the face in particular. There are theories surrounding whorls and how they dictate personality characteristics in horses. Here are a few mentioned by Horse Nation:

1)      A whorl positioned right above the eyes represents the most common whorl and tends to result in an even-tempered and uncomplicated creature.

2)      Whorls below the eyes usually results in a horse with a higher IQ. In other words, this below-the-eye whorl horse might be a trickster who likes to plan his or her escape out of their stall in the morning. They are inquisitive and can be sneaky.

3)      Whorls on the left of the face could suggest a complicated but trustworthy horse.

4)      Whorls on the right can indicate an obstinate personality.

5)       Horses with one long whorl tend to be people-friendly.

6)      Double whorl horses can have multiple personalities. They tend to be more complicated and difficult to read at first glance.

7)      Three or more whorls are extremely rare and suggest unpredictability… so watch out!

So for fun, lets look at the Painting Ponies!

Minnow - Swirl // Painting Pony

Blitz swirl // Painting Pony

Minnow and Blitz have the classic swirl meaning their even-tempered and uncomplicated creatures. Not sure that exactly describes them.

Boomer in the snow // Painting Pony

Painting Pony Blog // Chincoteague Ponies in the Snow

Boomer’s is a longer swirl just above his eyes indicating he’s people friendly but also uncomplicated and even tempered. I would say Boomer is for sure people friendly and I guess he is pretty uncomplicated but he can certainly have an explosive streak. (Bronco bucking has been his hardest habit to break when he’s excited)!

Now I have another horse that has a pretty unique swirl, Niatross aka Nitro is my now 28 year old retired dressage horse.

nitro

Nitro at USDF Young Rider Championships

It’s hard to tell in these photos, but Nitro actually has a double swirl, meaning he can have multiple personalities and also be more complicated and difficult to read at first glance. That’s pretty much Nitro to a T. He’s one of the most challenging horses I’ve ever owned!

What story does your horses’ swirl tell?

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Snow Pony

Today we’re getting a substantial amount of snow, as in we’ve already got 15+ and more is on the way! Yikes!

Snow Pony // Painting Pony

As much as the snow can sometimes be a hardship on us, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t really bother the ponies as much. I mean just look at that smile on Boomerang!

Snow Pony // Painting Pony

These photos were taken last week when we still had a pretty good covering of snow on the ground. As you can see Minnow was happy to take an afternoon roll in the white stuff!

Snow Pony // Painting Pony

I asked Boomerang to lay down in the snow, and he was more than happy to oblige. I think the boys like doing their tricks in the snow….it makes for some extra cushy spots.

Snow Pony // Painting Pony

Blitz of course wasn’t going to let his little brother have all the fun! Oh brotherly love.

Snow Pony // Painting Pony

So while you’re all digging out from the massive amount of snow we’re getting, perhaps we should take Boomerang’s advice….and just keep smiling. After all, snow does melt!

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Pony Penning 2013: Painting Pony Performs in Chincoteague

Each year our ponies are invited to perform during Pony Penning week at the Chincoteague Pony Centre. This great honor is the main purpose of our trip each year – and something we look forward to.

This year we decided to bring two ponies, the ever talented Chincoteague Minnow and his buddy Chesapeake Boomerang. This was Boomer’s first trip to Pony Penning and his first time ever performing tricks in front of a crowd.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Boomer settled in quite easily, and Minnow enjoyed having a buddy to boss around with him. Minnow quickly took on the roll of head “stallion” and kept a close eye on his younger pal Boomerang.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

One of the first ponies they met on the trip was Boomer’s little half sister Juniper, who had been born on the last day of June. Boomer was particularly fascinated by her, and took every chance he had to get close to her.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Juniper reminded me a lot of Boomer, fearless and brave – not much fazed her, even as she plodded around the arena in the nightly shows at the Pony Centre.

When it came time for our boy’s performances in the Pony Shows at the Centre Minnow performed like the pro he is.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Minnow opened each show by painting a special work of art that would later be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Minnow always does his best work while on the island, and he created 8 wonderful paintings that all went off to happy new homes.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Later in the show Minnow came back out for everyone to sing Happy Birthday to him as we celebrated his 20th Birthday. He loved being the center of attention.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Now Boomer had spent the weeks leading up to Pony Penning learning a trick skit that he would perform during the shows. Having never even performed in public before let alone learn an entire performance, this was a completely new experience for Boomer. And honestly I wasn’t sure how he would react.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Boomer’s skit was based on the idea that he was headed off to Trick Pony School, and as his teacher I had lessons that he had to learn. Here you see me holding up a photo of Misty shaking hands with Marguerite Henry, and then asking him to mimic the photo by shaking my hand.

The first time Boomer entered the arena things seemed to be going well, and then the crowd let out a cheer and applause and he about jumped out of his skin – bolting to the gate. I was able to get him to return to his pedestal to perform each trick, but every time the crowd clapped he would again bolt to the gate.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Amazingly Boomer performed every single trick I asked him to – including his spectacular sit on the beanbag trick, he was just clearly frightened of the clapping. But about the 3rd performance in he started to get over it and by the end of the week he could of cared less that people were cheering and clapping for him.

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Boomer got so into his performances that he knew the order of tricks that were coming before I could even ask him to perform them. I would have to rush to get his beanbags set up for him before he decided just to sit on the ground!

I was so pleased with how he did, and I think everyone loved his big personality. He did a wonderful job showing just how smart and talented these Chincoteague Ponies are, and I’m sure this is just the first of many performances for Boomer.

On our last day on the island Boomer got to compete in the Pony Show’s Extreme Pony Race – I think he was a bit surprised to enter the arena this time with a jump in front of him, but he did well – and only threw in a few small bucks! I was relieved he didn’t decide to show the crowd his bronco bucking skills!

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony // Painting Pony

By the end of the week I was so proud of both of my boys. Thinking back on how far both of them have come, and how talented and amazing they are makes me proud. I love being able to share these amazing ponies with people and I hope everyone that gets to meet them think they are just as special as I do.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to share all about of experience at the epic Chincoteague Pony Swim, and you can read all about the Beach Walk in yesterday’s post.

You can check out all the photos from the beach walk, pony swim and auction HERE. They are also available for purchase!

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