Introducing a horse to a grazing muzzle and feed advice

martini55

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My 'Best Friend Deluxe' grazing muzzle finally arrived today and Sunday is when I am going to test it out. So what would your best advice be to introduce a muzzle to a horse as I am sure they will not take a liking to it! I was thinking of maybe placing a treat inside it when she first gets it on and then give her a couple of carrots through the bottom to make her see she still can eat. Also take her to the grass and show her she can still eat :rolleyes:

The grass hasn't really started growing yet but will do in the next couple of weeks and as I am away during the week (holidays start next Friday thankfully) I am not there to pick up on the slightest changes in her. So I have decided better to be safe than sorry and introduce her to the muzzle now.

Because there isn't much grass and because her intake is going to be restricted I am going to have to change her feeding regime. Right now all she has is whatever grass she manages to eat during the day and hay at night. But I am going to have to give her a bit more seeing as she won't get much to eat during the day. I'll also have to make sure she is getting enough of the right vitamins, minerals etc.

I was thinking about maybe upping the amount of hay she gets at night and then maybe giving her a handful of happyhoof in the morning and again at night. Would that provide all the vitamins etc she needs?

Just thought I'd add she is also not in work and will not be for some time. She is out from around 8/9am-4pm and in at night.

Depending on how the grass is that routine may change so she goes out later on (or even at night and in during the day).

Any opinions or suggestions welcome :)
 

shandy84

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In regards to the happy hoof a handful will not be good enough they make the feeds so that the right amount of vitamins is included in the amount that THEY suggest you feed normally a massve amount, maybe get a powder vitamin and sprinkle it in a tiny bit of hi fi lite.

Also in regards to exxtra feed if she's recovering from laminitus I would actually wait befoe upping her hay as you may be surprised how much she can actually get through it why not weight tape her now and then do it weekly until you know either way?

Bramble took t her muzzle well she just got turned out in it no fuss and she worked it out herself :)
 

martini55

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shandy84 said:
In regards to the happy hoof a handful will not be good enough they make the feeds so that the right amount of vitamins is included in the amount that THEY suggest you feed normally a massve amount, maybe get a powder vitamin and sprinkle it in a tiny bit of hi fi lite.

Also in regards to exxtra feed if she's recovering from laminitus I would actually wait befoe upping her hay as you may be surprised how much she can actually get through it why not weight tape her now and then do it weekly until you know either way?

Bramble took t her muzzle well she just got turned out in it no fuss and she worked it out herself :)


Thanks for the reply :) I don't really know alot about happy hoof but heard it was a good all-round feed for laminitics. Before she was fed on hi-fi lite so maybe I am best just re-introducing it with the supplement like you say.

Have been weight-taping her and condition scoring her every week so I suppose I'll just have to keep an eye on her and see how she goes and change feed accordingly.

Hopefully she will take to it as well as Shandy, she is good with all sorts of things in general but something getting in between her and her food... that might be a different story ;) :p :D
 
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shandy84

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:D Poor little girl it can be a bit frustrating for them but they do get the hang of it, happy hoof is a good feed but really can be quite high in things a recovering laminitic shouldn't have too much of, best solution would be to call them I know they were all very helpful for Janice H but I am sure they said there was more rich stuff in the happy hoof than hi fi lite 9also Shandy and Bramble got very fat on it that's why we went back to hi fi)

good luck
 

eventerbabe

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i think happy hoof is rubbish. tried it and my girl wouldn't have it so we went back to good old hi-fi lite. you should really be feeding something like farriers formula or formula4feet to ensure she's getting the correct nutrients to get her feet healthy again. also a probiotic, maintains gut movement. founderguard is also something to think about but will cost a lot and can only be bought from a vet.

DO NOT UP HER HAY til shes fully recovered, and even then i wouldn't bother. my vet said a lamanitic should only get 1% of their body weight in hay, so my 350kg welshie gets 3.5kg a day, split into a morning and night net.

as for introducing the muzzle, we just put bonnie out in hers and kept a close eye on her for a while, she soon got the hang of it.
 

Bebe

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was thinking of maybe placing a treat inside it when she first gets it on and then give her a couple of carrots through the bottom to make her see she still can eat. Also take her to the grass and show her she can still eat

This is what I did when I first put Bebe's on. It took her a while to get the hang of how to eat through it, it's particularly difficult when the grass is really short or quite long (too short not enough goes through the hole, too long and it sort of bends and doesn't go through the hole). Once she vaguely got the idea I turned her out in it for a couple of hours, then half a day (got YO to take it off for me when I was at work) and after a week I left it on from 7am to whenever I turned up in the evening.

She lost hers in the field on Weds and I still haven't found it!

Edited to add I wouldn't increase her feed unless she drops too much condition. I would introduce a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement though, something like Benevit or D&H Surelimb. You can feed it in a handful of happy hoof. For happy hoof to provide a balanced diet all by itself you need to be feeding a few kgs a day, which is a huge amount to put in a bucket feed.
 

martini55

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Thanks for the replies :) I think I will introduce the muzzle over the course of next week and see how she gets on, I'll ask the YO if he can leave it on longer each day. The grass is really short right now but will be growing soon with all this nice weather we have been getting. Definitely don't want to get caught out so it's going on now. Better safe than sorry.

I think I'll just give her a supplement in a little bit of hi-fi for her tea, just to make sure she is getting enough of everything and then just keep an eye on her condition and change feed accordingly :)
 

Loopslou

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My older horse flash (she's 22) adapted to her grazing muzzle in minutes - after a short sulk she realised that she could still get some grass through it. Best to put it on and leave her alone (but where you can still see her!) and let her adjust.

Funny how the opinions differ on the happy hoof. My friend always used it and the feed merchant didn't have it one time she went and she came home with Denji Hi Fi lite - her horses wouldn't touch it, my Flash wouldn't touch the happy hoof but will take your hand off for the Denji!
 
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