Product Reviews

Tried & Tested Horse Scene

Best Friend Deluxe Grazing Muzzle

The muzzle is very well made form really soft webbing with neoprene padding on the noseband. The bottom, made from flexible rubber has a small hole at the bottom for limited grass intake but, allows for unlimited water intake. The breakaway design is a good safety point and the other options designed to add to the muzzle, “Muzzle Mate” or “Merino Padding” can easily be added for extra comfort. The muzzle is one of the best I have ever tried to date, its lightweight, does not rub/chaff and it allows her to graze comfortably and freely in the herd without the risk of laminitis.



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Grazing Muzzles Work

Dengie, performed a scientific study to see how much our grazing muzzle restricted their horses’ intake.  The study showed a 75% to 86% reduction of intake. Keep in mind that this was a short term study and the horses hadn’t worn muzzles before.  The longer a horse wears a muzzle the better he/she gets at working it and she/he will get more grass.  Here’s a link to the entire article:


In June 2011, The HoofBlog reviewed another study stating that using a grazing muzzle is a much more effective and reliable solution than restricting pasture time:


Show Research

New research, presented at the Equine Science Society Symposium in Nashshville, USA last month, shows that using a grazing muzzle can reduce the pasture intake of ponies by over 80%. 

Horses, and especially ponies, given free access to grass appear to be more susceptible to obesity and related disorders, such as insulin resistance and laminitis, than those with restricted access to grass. However, even reducing time at pasture may not be as effective as previously thought. Another study, also presented at the meeting, has shown that ponies may adapt their grazing behaviour to eat more in a short time span. The new research shows that the use of a grazing muzzle could be a much more effective and reliable solution if used appropriately. 

Grazing muzzles significantly reduce bite size and intake. Anecdotally, ponies fitted with grazing muzzles spend a greater proportion of time engaging in foraging and eating directed behaviours than their non-muzzled counterparts, yet either lose weight or retain an established, trim body condition. 

The study, which was conducted by the WALTHAM® Equine Studies Group in collaboration with Dr Annette Longland of Equine Livestock and Nutrition Services in Wales, aimed to quantify the effect of wearing a grazing muzzle on herbage intake by ponies. 

Four mature ponies were recruited for the study. After an adaptation period, their pasture intakes were determined when wearing a grazing muzzle and when grazing without a muzzle. Pasture samples were obtained daily to assess the grazing available. Insensible weight loss (ISWL) was determined for each pony immediately preceding and immediately following each three hour grazing period. Intakes were determined by changes in body weight (after taking into account the weight of any faeces and urine produced plus the estimated ISWL) after the three hours of grazing, using a calibrated weighbridge. 

Pasture intake by the ponies grazing for three hours without muzzles averaged 0.8% (with some eating close to 1%) of their bodyweight, which is the equivalent of up to two thirds of the recommended daily dry matter intake for many ponies on restricted diets. Owners therefore may under-estimate pasture intakes of un-muzzled ponies, even when they are provided with restricted time at pasture. In contrast, the pasture intake of the ponies when wearing muzzles was around 0.14% of bodyweight over three hours, representing an average reduction of 83% compared to when they were not wearing muzzles. 

Clare Barfoot RNutr and the research and development manager at SPILLERS® said: “These figures clearly show how effective grazing muzzles appear to be as a method to restrict pasture intake. The study has given us helpful, practical guidance on how we can safely manage grass intake to control weight gain and reduce the risk of obesity-related disorders, without significantly compromising the natural behaviour and wellbeing of our horses and ponies.”


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