WWYD - muzzles

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I'm asking because I think I am going to have to go against what I would normally do....

Dan has become very obese very quickly, normally I would be able to manage around this but I go away early Friday morning and have 2 friends taking care of the neds for the 10 days I'm away, 1 in AM, other in PM and they already have quite a list to do with all of Jess' necessary extras.

I am very scared about leaving him another 2 weeks before acting but my options are limited. I don't have stables (the 'Hank hut' has been taken over by the horse that came for 2 weeks and is still there after 3 months) and I cannot expect him to be exercised. He is already in a paddock with little grass but lots of nettles and cleavers and that appears to be what they are getting fat on. Jess' paddock has less grass but I don't really want to put him back with her just as I am leaving in case he sets her off. I can muzzle him.

I only really have 3 visits to teach him to use a muzzle and then I have 2 options; on 12hrs/off 12hrs or on 24/7. I am well aware that studies show a part time muzzle is practically useless as they can binge 24 hours worth of grass in as little as 3 hours when the muzzle is removed, but it's not advised to have on 24/7 either (though he would have it off at tea time for his half a handful of chaff to get supps into him), which would you choose? have I overlooked another option?

ETA, just thought as well, Dan has a tendency to escape more when he feels he's being starved...........
 

Trewsers

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If it were me I'd not muzzle. If you think he may be more likely to escape, being as you've got other people looking after the horses whilst you are away, I'd probably not make the potential for an added hassle. I know it's not ideal - but you can deal with the weight issue when you get back - so long as you think he's not in any immediate danger of getting ill because of it? The things that would bother me is the muzzle rubbing too - and also if he gets royally peeved about wearing it, might he try and get it off - and possibly uproot posts etc in the doing of this? I only say this because I looked after my friend's and one of those was muzzled but managed to get it off - whilst escaping and then uprooting poly poles etc. Appreciate you may think that's not what you'd do - just thinking and typing............... :)
 

Jessey

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That's just it, I do think there is a strong possibility of him getting ill from it, he's had lami before and that cresty neck seems to have appeared out of no where
62256026_10157283731927246_4464871421931159552_n.jpg
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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I may get shot down in flames but I'd muzzle 24/7, I know it's not ideal but looking at him I'd say it's the lesser evil. Maybe give him a bigger handful of chaff just to make sure he has something going through? When you're back off holiday you can then look at more ideal options.
 

chunky monkey

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If hes not used to it it could be dangerous for him. It puts the onus on who ever looking after to check for rubs etc and may have to retrieve him from escaping and redo fencing.
I would prefer exercise to muzzling. My option would be lunging at a nice steady trot. Morning and night. Dont know if you've taught Dan this.
 

Trewsers

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If hes not used to it it could be dangerous for him. It puts the onus on who ever looking after to check for rubs etc and may have to retrieve him from escaping and redo fencing.
I would prefer exercise to muzzling. My option would be lunging at a nice steady trot. Morning and night. Dont know if you've taught Dan this.
That's what I was thinking too about him escaping - and them having to redo the fencing. And, I wondered if it would rub.
 

Jessey

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Can you reduce the size of the paddock?
I was stood looking at that tonight, I can chop off a dog-leg bit easily and possibly put a circle in the middle (if I have time tomorrow night) to make a mini track and further reduce it. Its about 50m x 15m (plus the dog-leg) at the moment and half of it is nettles as the grass doesn't really grow under the willow trees along the longer side.
 

Mary Poppins

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I would muzzle 24/7. Ben is muzzled for all his 14 hours of turnout and he is stabled for the rest but if I didn’t have a stable the muzzle would stay on. He is still fat and he poos for England so he is still managing to eat enough with it on.

Yes it does rub, yes he tries to get it off. I have had to tape the catch shut and get it on by pulling it over his ears. The muzzle is the plaited in with a headcollar plaited in over the top. This has worked and he now accepts it.

In an ideal world I would exercise more but because of his injury I can’t. If it is a choice between a muzzle and laminitis, I choose the muzzle.
 

Jessey

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I think I figured out why they are getting so fat, I think maybe it's not the grass but the weeds!
This is one spot I just happened to have a picture of from 5 June;
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This morning 13 June;
62481367_10157286148037246_5064923321489948672_n.jpg
They have been clearing other bits too, they were eating live nettles this morning like someone sucking spaghetti! So I've done something perhaps counter intuitive and have given them a hay net this morning, they went to town and squabbled over it so looks like even as fat as they are they are hungry, I wonder if the weeds just aren't fibrous enough so they have been stuffing loads to try and compensate. My hay is late cut and threshed, so very stemmy and not very nutritious so I shall see if they have calmed down by tonight.
 

Jessey

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This is what the whole paddock looks like (a mess!)
64238836_10157286167567246_3032375583901220864_n.jpg
All of the long green to ahead and to the left is nettles, the short bit is where I mowed them down, but I'm amazed they aren't eating the long grass by the fence on the right, but they haven't touched it.
 

Jessey

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I think a lot of it is cocksfoot which they aren't keen on as it's low value nutritionally, they'll leave it all winter until there is nothing much about then eat it.
 
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Huggy

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It's a real problem, when they're eating loads, even if it's tat, and getting fatter, and even though you know they're fine, they're convinced they're starving. We have 2 on about 3 acres, that's quite short but green. Hogan attacks his miniscule haynet as though he hasn't seen food for a month.
 
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Jessey

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They'd eaten a lot of the hay today, I'm hoping now they've bulked up on it a bit and there will be a slow feeder net of it out they will stop pigging on other stuff, I've also blocked off the dog leg which had the only decent scraps of grass on it, so fingers crossed they are OK until I get back, then all 3 will be going back on the full track together because even if they squabble and annoy each other at least they run around more. I'm also going to start jogging with both boys, I need it as much as they do!