Summer time = Grass time = Bigger waistline

by Jordan Manfredi

How to Effectively Manage Equine Weight Issues This Summer

While some horses can graze summertime pastures without issues related to weight, other horses cannot. Sugar-filled grasses contribute to health problems for many horses, such as laminitis (also know as horse founder), or metabolic diseases.

Unfortunately, equine obesity, just as human obesity, can cause some serious health issues. Not to mention that overweight horses overheat more often during warmer months, while exercising, and are less successful in breeding programs. Equine obesity is also directly linked to less efficient performance and exercise intolerance.

BF06But, how do you know if a horse is overweight? A general test, you can do yourself, is to feel for the ribs. If the ribs can’t be felt with gentle finger pressure, chances are good that the horse is carrying extra weight.

Don't worry; your horse's weight isn't as difficult or expensive to control as you might think. Restricting the intake of fresh pasture, is key to maintaining a healthy weight. This is where the ease of a muzzle comes in, to save the day... and your horse! Muzzles allow the horse to be turned out and to drink freely. Pasture time, provides both exercise and social interaction, which play key roles in maintaining a horse's health.

Grazing muzzles are easy to use and inexpensive to obtain. Most hook to an ordinary halter while others have a break-away halter, cover the entire muzzle of the horse, and allow only limited intake through one or more holes, without completely depriving them of grass all together.

Best Friends' Deluxe Grazing Muzzle is a perfect example of a grazing muzzle and breakaway halter, all-in-one. It's not only easy to use, but cost-efficient; saving you the cost and hassle of buying a separate breakaway halter. With The Deluxe Grazing Muzzle, you won't spend any time worrying that your friend will get caught on something and destroy yet another piece of tack, or worse yet: injure himself. It even comes with a replacement break-away clip.

Keep in mind that grazing muzzles can sometimes rub under the chin and on top of the nose. To avoid skin damage, use a Best Friends Muzzle Buffer, to pad the parts of the muzzle that come into contact with the horse.

1945_L_1ac8220eIf a horse must wear a grazing muzzle at all times, it is of utmost importance that you take the time to check it, at least once daily. Not only can you give immediate attention to rubs, should they form, but it is not unusual for horses to get debris lodged in the grazing muzzle. Debris should be cleared as soon as possible, to relieve discomfort and prevent injury.

What better way to show your love for your horse, than to provide the healthiest life possible? Protect your horse from obesity and laminitis with a Best Friend muzzle.

Here's to a happy and healthy summer!

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