Grazing Muzzles and Your Horse’s Teeth

 

I’m here to give you all of the information about your horse’s teeth and grazing muzzles. There is some information on the great, wide ‘net that links teeth wear to grazing muzzles. And it’s not wrong. But don’t throw out the muzzles – you can easily work around this.  And our job as horse owners and caretakers is to gather the research, keep track of our horses, and make adjustments accordingly. Let’s go!

 

jump to shopping


Do grazing muzzles hurt a horse’s teeth?

 

  • There’s simply no formal research on this topic, and we don’t need any. We know that some horses will wear their teeth down on a muzzle in an attempt to eat as much grass as possible. We also know that laminitis and colic are much more awful.

 

  • Tooth wear happens when a horse’s teeth press and scrape around the hole(s) of the muzzle. Lots of factors influence this:

 

The material of the muzzle.

 

  • Some are super flexible; others are more rigid. Muzzles can be stiff shells, fabric, and everything in between.

 

worn grazing muzzle

This muzzle has worn thin, and has even cracked.

 

Your horse’s tooth health.

 

  • There’s a huge genetic factor here and a nutritional component too. And let’s not forget regular dental exams by your vet to assess your horse’s chompers!


What’s the pasture like?

 

  • Short grass is harder to grab, and horses are forced to press down and scrape. Tall grass folds over when the muzzle places down, causing horses to press down. Goldilocks grass of a medium height is just right.

 

  • You must keep your pastures mowed if they are tall, which also helps with weeds and ticks. Letting pastures rest when they are short benefits your horse and the root systems of the salad.

 

How many holes does the muzzle have?

 

  • Single, small holes could be mentally restrictive, and many horses get frustrated. Multiple holes may, in theory, let more grass through, but your horse won’t be able to grab all of it in one go. He will be moving around more, with more options to snack from, reducing frustration.

 

bottom of a greenguard grazing muzzle basket

The Greenguard grazing muzzle allows for movement and airflow within the muzzle.

 


How long should horses wear grazing muzzles?

 

 

  • Depending on where you live, that might work out well! Many parts of the country don’t have enough grass to support 24/7 turnouts. Other parts are so miserably buggy and hot that night turnouts in summer are best, with dry lots and shelters during the day.

 

  • It depends on where you live and if your horse needs a muzzle. And if a horse needs a muzzle, he shouldn’t be on grass all day and night anyway!


How to make sure your horse’s teeth stay healthy!

 

  • Inspect those chompers! And better yet, take photos of them regularly so you can track things over time. Weekly checks are a good idea.

 

  • Notice wear and tear of the muzzle itself. Clean your horse’s muzzle daily to remove mud and grass bits. You will notice any sand or grit on the bottom surface that acts like gritty sandpaper on teeth.

 

  • Try different brands! How lucky are we that the horse industry is clever with the design of so many things – from muzzles to saddle pads and more!

 

grazing muzzle with adjustments on the halter so it fits

Some brands are lightweight and flexible, but this one had to be modified so cheating noses don’t poke out the sides.

 

  • Make pasture maintenance a priority. Notice, up close, how your horse eats through the muzzle. Is the grass at a reasonable height? Mow or rotate pastures as needed.

 

  • Make sure he goes out to pasture with some forage already in his belly. If he’s in all night and the first few hours of the day he’s getting a tiny amount of grass, there’s room for annoyance. Let him have some long-stem forage before muzzle time to curb hunger and frustration.

 

  • Let your horse continue to have a slow feeder lifestyle when he’s back in his dry lot or house. Keeping his chewing and digestion going all day and night with slow feeders and hay nets matches the slow feeding of a grazing muzzle.

 

  • Make sure the muzzle and halter fit properly! A large problem with single-hole muzzles is the fit – does the hole line up with your horse’s mouth?. Multiple small openings provide airflow and more freedom to move comfortably.

 

 

A grazing muzzle’s primary purpose is to provide a slow feeding situation for your horse’s safe grazing. With a bit of observation and detective work, you can keep your horse’s teeth healthy AND help protect against laminitis, obesity, and colic.

 

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.

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.

Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick, Unscented 1.75 oz Pack of 2
$31.55

I can't stress this enough - this magic stick has prevented so many rubs from worsening, and is great for breaking in a new pair of riding boots or shoes.

07/25/2024 01:47 pm GMT
Tough 1 Halter Fleece Set, Natural
$11.88

Only the best *affordable* squish for your horse's cute face.

07/24/2024 11:44 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.

Rub Protector Lycra Fly Mask – GG Equine

These fly masks are fantastic for protecting ears and eyes, and do great under halters and grazing muzzles to stop rubs and hairless patches.


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

Jolly Pets Horsemen's Pride Amazing Graze Toy
$59.99

Keep your horse's brain happy!

07/24/2024 08:24 pm GMT
FORTEX INDUSTRIES Feed Saver Ring
$18.00

Great to use with buckets to discourage cribbing

07/24/2024 07:05 pm GMT
07/25/2024 01:33 pm 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.

07/24/2024 07:03 pm GMT
Big Hoss Equine Supplement - Outlaw Nutrition

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

07/24/2024 07:14 pm GMT
Ernst Grain & Livestock Midwest Agri Shredded Beet Pulp with Molasses, 30 lbs
$49.99

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

07/24/2024 08:15 pm GMT
Metabarol Horse Supplement Pellets with Resveratrol, Metabolic Support Supplement, 3.3 lbs
$176.50

This supplement for metabolic disorders is vet recommended and has science to back it up!

07/25/2024 04:43 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.

07/24/2024 08:15 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.

07/25/2024 04:17 pm GMT
07/24/2024 07:25 pm GMT
Metabarol Horse Supplement Pellets with Resveratrol, Metabolic Support Supplement, 3.3 lbs
$176.50

This supplement for metabolic disorders is vet recommended and has science to back it up!

07/25/2024 04:43 pm GMT
Quiessence (Large-14 lbs)
$128.99 $85.98

This supplement helps high-laminitis risk horses and has calming ingredients like magnesium.

07/25/2024 04:33 pm 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.

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.

07/25/2024 05:13 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.

Thank you!

Scroll to Top