Friday, August 9, 2019

Moonbeam Vs. Muzzle

If you have visited us over the last few months,
then you probably know that our equines wear grazing muzzles when they are out in the pasture.
I know... it seems unfair.

Actually, it gives these "easy keepers" (horses that get fat easily)
the ability to spend hours grazing in the pasture,
without gorging themselves.
Over-eating can lead to a whole host of problems for horses and ponies
such as mine.
If you don't have horses, then you may not know that not all horses are alike.
And not all horse breeds have the same metabolisms.
It's an important consideration when choosing horse breeds...
and certainly easier on the owner if all the horses in his/her herd have the same
dietary requirements.

Under the recommendation of Dr. Becky,
I purchased a specific type of grazing muzzle for my herd.
It is an open "basket" that hangs in front of the nose and attaches to the halter.
The basket allows for a good amount of air flow around the nose and mouth.
I purchased "break-away" halters for each horse and attached the muzzles so that they hang about
an inch from the mouth... forming a barrier between the mouth and the grass
that allows only a percentage of the grass through.
The result is a greatly reduced caloric intake with each bite.

I pay close attention to the amount of manure found in the pastures at the end of
the night, after the horses have been out for hours.
There are usually several piles per horse... assuring me that they have had plenty to eat...
without the gorging that would occur if they were out for hours un-muzzled.

This has worked out perfectly... allowing the horses to spend
their nights out in the pasture without the heat or the bugs.

And then, this week, Moonbeam decided to go rogue and work his way out of his muzzle.
Dang it!
He found some way to slip the upper strap of the muzzle down over his ears...
leaving it lying on the ground.

Needless to say, I found him that morning with a very rotund belly.

The next night, I took hair from both his forlock and his mane...
brought them both up over top of the leather halter strap and tied it into a pony tail.
Times two... one on each side.

And so... off he went to graze with two little girly pig tails... one on either side of his head.

The next morning the halter remained on his head,
however he had somehow stretched out the attachments to the basket
and was eating out of the side of the halter.
DANG IT!! (Censored to keep this blog rated PG)

I went to work on the muzzle basket.... re-attaching it
and reinforcing it with cable ties.
Nothing short of an explosion will get that muzzle off of him now!

Don't be fooled by that innocent look.
This horse is cunning, smart, and a real conniver!

I just may be a little smarter, however!
Or maybe not...

The next morning, he refused to come back in from the pasture....
taking off in a full gallop as soon as I approached with the lead rope.
Of course, the other four followed suit... leading me on a merry chase.

That's ok, kids.
Two can play this game.... and eventually you are going to get tired.
I can be very patient!
In the end... I won... of course.
(Still smarter than a horse.)

Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the barn to check on the horses,
and found all five of them crammed into one stall.
Moonbeam and Donnie...

Scarlet beside Moonbeam...

Ollie and Donnie behind Scarlet...

There are two stalls this size, outfitted with new fans...
as well as a fan outside the barn.
For some reason, they all have to cram into one stall.
(and, of course, poop while they stand there)
(Just another reason, I am certain that I am smarter than my horses!)

The donkeys?
Now that's a whole other story.
They are definitely smarter than the horses.
I'm pretty sure they are even smarter than me!


colleen said...

Oh, Moonbeam, that's what you get... pig tails!! Bev, you are so clever.

The JR said...

We always say horses can tear up an anvil.

My mare can get out of a halter in a second flat. At horse shows I double halter her or leave her in the horse trailer to keep her from getting loose.

Happy weekend.

daisy g said...

Oh, that Moonbeam is one clever dude.
Hope he keeps that danged thing on!

Enjoy your weekend!

This N That said...

That Moonie... he’s always been a smarty. Nice that he gives you a challenge! Love the pigtails but he thinks they’re ponytails ...”After all, I am a horse.By now he should know who he’s dealing with. All in one stall ...Makes for easier cleanup! Enjoy your weekend. Hugs

littlemancat said...

Oh the look in Moonbeam's eye! Good job, Bev! I love to see how different, how unique each animal is. Their world - so much like ours.
Have a happy week-end!

Eileen in Fla. said...

haha MB reminds me of Mr. Ed (old tv show)

Rain said...

Great post to read! Smart little devil! :)


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