Re: Pasture with muzzle?



That's a decision you have to make. All I can do is tell you what can happen. It depends on his history, too. For example, before I joined this group, I made a bad decision to turn my horse out on winter pasture, thinking it was safe. I was using a magnesium supplement that someone told me about, thinking it would "fix" IR. I barely had an understanding of IR in horses. My vet at the time had no understanding and recommended "2 flakes a day of hay and nothing else." Knowing what I know now, I would have recognized that his insulin was sky high and he was hovering on the brink of laminitis. I turned him out on a snow covered pasture in December and he came back with laminitis.

Knowing what I know now - his weight has been the same for 9 years, he has no crest or lumpy fat, his insulin is in the normal range and has been for years - I turn him out on pasture. But... I also know the risk. Even though it's been 9 years, I know he and his pasture mate are prone to IR. Joe is 20 now, so I have to bear in mind that he's a candidate for PPID, too.  

I made that decision very slowly, well over a year after his laminitic episode. I built a Paddock Paradise. That seemed like a good idea and it was minimally effective, but we live in a region with very little rock and I ended up with terrible pasture erosion that has taken years to repair. I muzzled for years - still do - and for a long time, had trouble keeping weight ON him. I finally relinquished my death grip and discovered that with proper exercise, grazing was possible. 

Bottom line, know your horse, know the warning signs. IR/PPID is not "one size fits all" so if you proceed, do it cautiously.

Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)
Missouri - Dec 2005

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