Re: Case HX for Fury Sharpless ---MUZZLE question
I am hoping IHi Kim,
There really is no real plan for muzzles because each horse is different. The muzzle is a tool that can be used to prevent some grazing or all grazing depending on the sensitivity of the horse's IR. The plan is to prevent laminitis :-)
Many horses are safe from IR in open holed muzzles. Some need the holes closed a bit or even completely. If a horse has been brought back from full-blown founder an owner may not want to chance allowing even one blade of grass and choose to start with a completely closed muzzle. That owner could then carefully experiment with that horse's tolerance while carefully monitoring.
If you were to have the horse out with the muzzle and he cannot eat anything,I understand (and hope to be corrected if I'm wrong!) that ulcers are most commonly caused by feeding of concentrates (grains?) and then not having access to food for a while. I have been told it is safe to allow up to 6 hours between hay meals. Since my mare gets no grain at all, and is fed ODTB Cubes within 6 hours of her finishing her last meal of cubes, I assume she is fine. I've never suspected ulcers so never tested though.
At night all but the smaller bits of the cubes and "dust" are put in a Nose-It! ball which the mare has to push around her stall to get the cubes out. It adds a few more hours to her "chewing time" and lessens boredom and empty tummy time that contributes to ulcers.
For me, the risk of ulcers is secondary to the risk of laminitis. However, if you are using a nylon mesh type of muzzle, your horse will, or eventually learn how to, get hay or plant matter through the sides. If this proves to much for the horse's IR, you'll have to close those holes. If not, perhaps you can consider the bits as ulcer fighters?
-LeeAnne & Dawn,
ECIR File Clerk
PPID & IR 03/2004
All Season Muzzle Photos: http://tinyurl.com/55c52m