Posts Tagged ‘summer

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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How to keep a muzzle on your horse

With the summer grass as lush as it is the ponies are always at risk for lamanitis. I always try to monitor their grass intake, keeping them off of it during the day and muzzling them at night, as well as regular exercise for those who can be – because we all know that given the chance the ponies will eat and eat and then eat some more!

Well this year keeping them muzzled has been a challenge with both Minnow and Boomerang figuring out how to slip their muzzles when no one was looking. They gave us a few scares, which left me trying to search for a way to make sure they stayed put indefinitely!

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

So after a little trial and error (we tried halters overtop, flymasks ontop, tightening them to name a few) I think we finally found something that works – and after 3 days, so far so good! So I figured I’d share our solution for anyone else out there having trouble keeping their pony’s muzzle on. Here’s what the boys looked like in their muzzles before:

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

Supplies needed for Painting Pony anti-muzzle slipping:

How to:

All you need to do is add a browband to your existing muzzle set-up and slip the thin belt through it so that it buckles at the throat. Make sure to buckle it tight enough so that your pony can’t get caught on anything and it prevents the muzzle from slipping. It’s always best to use a leather belt so that it’s breakable if need be. And to fully make sure you muzzle won’t slip off, try pulling it off your pony’s head yourself. If it seems too loose, perhaps tightening it up all over may help.

The Result:

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

I hate to have to muzzle them, and I know they hate it too, but making sure they never over eat so that they live a long and healthy life is very worth it!

Anyone else have any DIY solutions for keeping muzzles on your horses?

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Swimming the Ponies at the Lake

Over the weekend we decided to take the ponies to the lake for a swim.

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

We brought along Blitz, Minnow, and Ammo the Dachshund as well as the ponies’ barn mate Lilah (for her very first swim).

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Minnow’s no stranger to the lake, and considering that he was born on an island I think it’s pretty safe to say he loves the water. It felt good to take him on an adventure again as he hasn’t been anywhere since I think maybe pony penning last summer! (that’s far too long!)

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Blitz is a bit more cautious about the water, and while he thoroughly enjoyed wading out pretty deep we still have yet to see him actually swim! (some day….)

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

But that didn’t stop him from having fun in the lake!

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Minnow on the other hand graciously gave EVERYONE a swim, even Ammo hopped aboard for his very first swim session on the back of a pony.

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

I can’t wait to take the ponies back to the lake again soon. It’s the absolute best way to keep cool on a hot summer day!

P.S. Thanks to our friends at My Life, Naturally for providing some of the photos for this post!

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Stormy Days

After our VERY dry Summer, mother nature has suddenly decided to let us have a little rainfall – well, a lot of rainfall!

storms on the farm

Almost daily we have been having nasty thunderstorms. It’s definitely been putting a damper on our outdoor riding activities.

chesapeake lightning

But, the ponies are quite happy about the rain we’ve been getting, because with rain comes MORE grass. And we all know how much the ponies LOVE grass!

chesapeake lightning

chesapeake lightning

Even with all the nasty weather we do have bits of sunshine – just enough to put some rainbows in the sky.

rainbow

rainbow

Almost makes all the rainfall worth it.

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