The Muzzle

We needed a muzzle urgently for Brá.  What with pregnancy and losing her foal, she is even fatter than she already was.  I mean seriously fat.  The kind of fat that leads only to laminitis and disaster.

So I asked around for recommendations and ordered a Shires grazing muzzle. It arrived yesterday in the post.

Knowing Brá is a bit “donkey on the edge”, we tried it on and fitted it to Iacs first.  He was very happy to oblige and thought nothing of sticking his nose in a bucket!

So I went and caught Brá – she trusts me.  With Floss occupying Miss Lilja, Daisy and I attempted to introduce Brá quietly to the muzzle.  She said she was having none of it and threatened to rear, getting quickly into a panic about it all.  But we persevered talking calmly, not letting her have A Thing, showing her what we wanted, fed her a few carrots in it and we gently put the muzzle on and fitted it.

 

We showed Brá she could eat with this new contraption on and then we left her to it.

My main hope was that being an Icelandic horse, Brá‘s brain would kick in and the panic would leave and she would soon settle down to working out how best to put up with the situation.

I went back every couple of hours with some tiny carrot sticks so I could get near and checked everything was in place and that, more importantly, Brá had worked out how to eat and drink with the muzzle on.

Lilja is, as ever, very supportive!

I keep telling Brá that we have to do this.

The muzzle is the only answer.  I would hate to move her from her herd considering the mental state she is in over the loss of her foal.  The herd is all she has and I can’t take her away from them, restrict their grazing or keep her by herself.

So this is, hopefully, the answer.

8 thoughts on “The Muzzle

  1. Bev

    I muzzle my herd… and they have gotten used to it. I feel a little guilty when we put their muzzles on, but they seem to take it in stride. For easy keepers who get fat just breathing air, the muzzles have been a God-send!… especially for rich Spring and early summer grass. Your muzzle looks pretty darned indestructible.

    Reply
    1. Kate Woolley

      Hi. Hate to say this, but my Icelandic learnt how to eat out of the side ! Doesn’t look as if he could have done it with yours. Best of luck

      Reply
  2. Lucy MacArthur

    Dont feel too bad Frances. You have made a very well thought out and informed decision and it is MUCH better than removal/separation from the herd or keeping in. Good luck with her weight and blood sugar levels etc x

    Reply
  3. Cathy

    There is only one word to describe her expression ….. Affronted!

    I’m sure she’ll get over it once she discovers she can still eat.

    Reply
  4. marlane

    I have used a muzzle also on one of my horses who was overweight and lamanitic. It worked perfectly and allowed him to be with his herd and move around. He could still nibble and drink.

    Reply
  5. Sherry Walter

    I have a mountain mare who suffered a bout of laminitis – a combination of her being too fat and new spring grass. I use a Tough One Easy Breathe muzzle on he and it’s been a lifesaver. I do bring her into a semi dry lot over night so she has a bit of time without wearing it, mostly to make me feel better for her I think! In the morning she sticks her nose right in it without any argument. At least with the muzzle they aren’t confined and can wander about the pastures with their buddies.

    Reply
  6. Michelle

    Bra can really give a “dirty look”! But as everyone else has said, it is the kindest way to deal with a potentially deadly problem. Hopefully Lilja won’t “help” Bra get it off (that’s what MY horse would do!).

    Reply
    1. Frances Post author

      The muzzle was off by last night. My finger pointed at a small black filly who may have possibly had a hoof in it!

      Reply

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