Friday, April 10, 2009
To Graze or Not To Graze
I had no choice. Siete must wear a grazing muzzle this year to avoid gaining weight and to avoid founder. I researched the options and consulted some of you about what you have used. It’s hard for me to even think about putting a muzzle on one of my horses, but ultimately, I know that it’s like limiting the amount of candy someone would give a child.
The grazing muzzle that I should have bought comes from England. It’s called a GreenGuard. By the time I paid for the muzzle and a special halter to attach it to that makes it more comfortable, and the shipping, it was going to cost over $150. Also, it would take time to get here to the States. So, being economical, I chose the Best Friend Deluxe Grazing Muzzle, which was about $55. It arrived quickly, but it looked huge and was much heavier than I expected it to be. Apparently, you’re supposed to be able to put two to three fingers between the horse’s face and the muzzle and leave an inch and a half between the horse’s mouth and the base of it. I think it’s a bit like putting a football helmet on your horse.
I decided to get Siete used to it by putting a few treats in it and letting her eat out of the muzzle for a couple of days. As I approached Siete in the paddock, she looked at me as if I had a small black monster in my hands. I changed course and offered the muzzle to Silk. Of course, she stuck her nose right into it and gobbled up the pieces of carrot. I attached the halter to Silk’s head, and she just accepted it and began nibbling grass through the hole in the base. Now, that’s why I love her, but she definitely isn’t the one who needs the muzzle.
For the last few days, I’ve tried repeatedly with Siete. I even put the muzzle in her food bucket with her dinner inside. No way! She’d rather starve to death than touch that evil thing! Meanwhile, the recent Spring rains are bringing up the grass nicely. If I want to be able to leave the gate open between the pasture and the barn, Siete must have her muzzle on most of the day. Plus, this muzzle only has one hole in the bottom, which makes it difficult to eat hay. I’ve got all the packing still sitting here while I wrestle with sending the muzzle back and buying the expensive English one instead. Time is a-wasting, and I’m wishing I had just ordered the GreenGuard because it would probably be arriving right about now.
I watched Siete run around, getting exercise in the pasture yesterday, and I made my decision. There’s no way that she could actually run and play with that huge black thing strapped around her face. So, today, I’m packing it up and shipping it back. I’ll order the GreenGuard, and appropriately, since it comes from England, learn the lesson: “Pennywise, pound foolish".