Can a Horse Eat and Drink With a Grazing Muzzle?

 

Some horses will easily be able to eat hay and drink with a grazing muzzle. Others may become frustrated, but it’s more than just how hard your horse is willing to try. Of course, it helps if your horse’s waterers are the appropriate size, and any forage they eat will fit through the muzzles opening. 

 

jump to shopping

 

Why would your horse even need to eat hay with a muzzle?

 

  • Sometimes, pasture needs supplementation with hay. This might be a round bale in winter or a few flakes if the grass is eaten down and you are waiting for rain. Ideally, any hay would be given in slow feeders in an area away from the pasture so that any muzzle-wearing horses can partake without effort. For round bales that live in the fields, muzzle-wearing horses may be able to eat with their “wearable slow feeder.”

 

  • For horses that eat fencing because of a wood chewing habit, wearing a muzzle for grazing and eating supplemental hay is necessary to save the fencing. Not to mention keeping your horse from inevitable splinters. 

 

  • But, a grazing muzzle should not replace a slow feeder or hay net. Grazing muzzles are for grass, and if hay and grass are the options, your horse may be able to eat both. If the only choice for forage is hay, don’t use a muzzle. 

 

drinking water while wearing a grazing muzzle

Waterers may be a tight squeeze

 

Eating hay with a grazing muzzle

 

  • For a horse to successfully eat his hay while wearing a grazing muzzle, the hay must be able to fit through the openings. Some muzzles have a single space; others have many slots. Either way, thinner and wispier grass hay is easier for a horse to pull through. Thicker hay, like oat hay, or forage with many stems, like alfalfa and timothy, is darn near impossible to eat through a grazing muzzle. But I’m sure a clever pony could make that happen.  

 

  • The length of the forage also matters. Shorter stems are easier to pull through, just like pasture grass. Long grass blades tend to fold over, making your horse do some fancy maneuvering. The thickness of the muzzle itself blocks very short grass. Grass that is a few inches long sticks up directly into the muzzle – think of this medium length of grass as the Goldilocks for grazing muzzles.

 

 

 

Your horse’s teeth

 

  • Some horses use their teeth aggressively when trying to eat grass with a grazing muzzle. Aggressive eating usually happens with short grass, as they need to get close to the ground to rip up the blades. With such determination, a horse’s teeth may spend some time rubbing the inside of the muzzle. 

 

  • Depending on your horse’s eating style and dental health, there may be wear and tear on the front teeth. This is easy to see and in some cases, is easily remedied. Make adjustments to your horse’s muzzle fit. You may need to mow the pasture or let shorter or sparse fields rest to find the perfect grass height.

 

 

eat and drink with a grazing muzzle

 

Drinking with a Grazing Muzzle

 

  • Horses need access to fresh drinking water 24/7, with no exceptions. There are many options for your horse’s drinking water; you need to ensure your horse’s muzzle fits into the opening. This is more of a concern for automatic waterers and not troughs.  

 

  • If your horse wears a muzzle that is 10 inches in diameter, it may not be feasible for the waterer to be 10.1 inches in diameter. Give your horse some breathing room to access his water.  

 

  • It’s also perfectly fine to provide water in a giant muck tub or trough in addition to your automatic waterer. Most horses figure out which one to use when the muzzle is on. Some horses, well, that’s another story. 

 

  • Your horse also needs to learn to dunk the muzzle to get the water. This is rarely an issue! You may need to clean your waterers more often, though, as bits of grass will end up in the water.  

 

 

Sometimes horses need to wear a hay net! It’s your job to ensure grazing is safe with access to fresh water.  

 

go shopping button for horse products

 

Stock up here for your horse supplies! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but it’s ZERO extra cents to you.  You can also visit my Amazon storefront here:  PEG storefront.

Halters – GG Equine

These grazing muzzle halters have adjustable throat latches and extra strapping to help prevent removal.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for a sitewide discount on muzzles, halters, accessories, and slow feeders.

Grazing Muzzle by GG Equine

Basket-style grazing muzzle to help keep a horse at a healthy weight and help reduce the risks of colic and laminitis in some horses.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for savings sitewide on muzzles, halters, slow feeders, and more.

Grazing Muzzle Accessories – GG Equine

Help your horse have the best-fitting grazing muzzle.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for a site-wide discount on halters, muzzles, slow feeders, and accessories.

05/09/2024 01:53 am GMT
03/12/2024 01:43 am GMT
Jolly Pets Horsemen's Pride Amazing Graze Toy
$59.99

Keep your horse's brain happy!

05/08/2024 12:48 am GMT
FORTEX INDUSTRIES Feed Saver Ring
$14.61

Great to use with buckets to discourage cribbing

04/10/2024 07:03 pm GMT
Equiessentials Slow Feed Hay Ball Large
$130.05 $120.20 ($120.20 / Count)
05/20/2024 02:22 pm GMT
03/11/2024 07:07 am GMT
Grazing Muzzle by GG Equine

Basket-style grazing muzzle to help keep a horse at a healthy weight and help reduce the risks of colic and laminitis in some horses.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for savings sitewide on muzzles, halters, slow feeders, and more.

HayPlay Slow Feed Bag XL – GG Equine

One side of this innovative slow feeder is solid - perfect for pastures! It will hold a small bale of hay.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for sitewide savings on slow feeders and more.

HayPlay Slow Feed Bag – GG Equine - 2 sizes available

2 sizes of this slow-feeding hay toy - snack size holds a few flakes, and the half size holds 1/2 bale.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for sitewide savings on slow feeders and more.

40 lb. Alfalfa Cubes
$35.02 ($0.05 / Fl Oz)
04/10/2024 06:48 pm GMT
04/10/2024 08:03 pm GMT
Big Hoss Equine Supplement - Outlaw Nutrition

The best Omega 3's and gut health in one package.

04/10/2024 08:38 pm GMT
03/11/2024 08:48 am GMT
Prebiotic & Probiotic Equine Formula
$20.40 $17.98 ($2.12 / Ounce)
03/11/2024 11:22 am GMT
Ernst Grain & Livestock Midwest Agri Shredded Beet Pulp with Molasses, 30 lbs
$49.99 ($0.10 / Ounce)

The molasses makes it more delicious, but that's not great for all horses.

05/07/2024 05:00 pm GMT
Big Hoss - Outlaw Nutrition

Omega 3's plus gut health support in a delicious cold milled flax formula. It's delicious and it will turn your horse's coat into a mirror.

British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet for Horses, 44 LBs
$89.99 ($0.13 / Ounce)

The famous Speedi-Beet

05/07/2024 05:00 pm GMT
Halters – GG Equine

These grazing muzzle halters have adjustable throat latches and extra strapping to help prevent removal.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for a sitewide discount on muzzles, halters, accessories, and slow feeders.

Grazing Muzzle by GG Equine

Basket-style grazing muzzle to help keep a horse at a healthy weight and help reduce the risks of colic and laminitis in some horses.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for savings sitewide on muzzles, halters, slow feeders, and more.

Grazing Muzzle Accessories – GG Equine

Help your horse have the best-fitting grazing muzzle.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for a site-wide discount on halters, muzzles, slow feeders, and accessories.

03/11/2024 02:59 pm GMT

Thank you!