Preparing For Spring and Spring Grass and muzzles

Hi all- I have an easy keeper warmblood and the boarding facility we are currently at (and staying) has amazing pastures that were at one point ozark bermuda hay fields. So I am preparing ahead for spring and the spring grass.

Anyone have a grazing muzzle that they use often and really like? He will be on night turn out, so I need something I will feel comfortable leaving him out in that breaks away easily (he has a healthy respect for the fencing, it is hot). Or any suggestions on how to acclimate him so i might not need a muzzle? He has no under lying medical conditions (other than battling ulcers at the moment).

I really really like the greenguard muzzle, after trying just about every “bucket” style out there. It’s more like a tray, so zero breathing restriction. Their muzzle doesn’t get all sweaty from trapped respiration moisture, and no rub marks. I’ve heard folks say it causes excess wear on the teeth, but we have not had that problem. [ETA: maybe have your equine dentist come out mid-summer, to assess].

With an easy keeper, there’s no substitute for restriction of grass intake, to keep their weight manageable. A gradual introduction to acclimate their gut to the spring grass is still important, of course. But for weight management, you’re going to have to either drylot or muzzle.

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I also am a fan of the Greenguard muzzle. They have a breakaway halter that has worked well for my mare, although she has never tested the breakaway part. She does have some wear on her front teeth that I asked my vet about just recently and he was not concerned. The benefits of the muzzle outweigh the downside of the wear. She’s older (18) so perhaps that is a factor as she’s worn muzzles for years, the GG for the past 4 years, and this is the first time that we’ve noticed any wear.

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I just ordered a flexible filly grazing muzzle for my pony. I like the idea of a smaller hole as he gets too much grass with the green guard and can take off some of the other brands in .05 seconds. I’d like for him to stay out and socialize as much as he can.

I didn’t bother acclimating mine other than making sure he could breath fine and wouldn’t rip it off. I still have to drylot him if grass becomes too much or he looks like a blimp. Grazing muzzle only does so much.

I third the Greenguard muzzle. Works wonderfully for my IR/Cushings gelding. Easy to fit and attaches to an existing halter or the one they sell on their website.

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Greenguard 100%! I wanted to make sure my pony wouldnt sweat through the summer and could still drink water without ending up with a soaking wet muzzle. She doesn’t even mind this muzzle being put on it was totally worth the money.

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Another vote for Greenguard. Both of my easy keeper geldings wear them. They have much better air flow than traditional basket type muzzles, and they’re easy to clean. You can buy a Greenguard halter that is designed to go with the muzzle, or you can attach the muzzle to any other breakaway halter. I’ve used both. I’ve never had any rubs caused by the muzzle or the Greenguard halter, but the non-Greenguard halter I used did cause a minor rub. Greenguard Equine ( ) has some good tips and videos to help you fit the muzzle correctly and acclimate your horse to using it. It’s very important to orient the muzzle correctly when you attach it to the halter.

It depends on the horse. I bought a green guard and that was the first time my horse hated one. He learned how to break the breakaway to get it off and has been a total pain ever since.

I went back to alternating between the best friend and the tough one easy breathe. I wish he had liked the green guard, they do seem to last much longer.

I use a green guard too. Has he needed one before? Just because he is an easy keeper doesn’t mean he will need a muzzle. If he is prone to getting a cresty/ thick neck or developing fat pads then I would use one or at least try one.

The only problem is that with overnight turnout he will have to wear it all night and some horses only need it for several hours of their turnout or they loose too much weight etc… So there won’t be anyone who can remove it during the middle of the night if needed.

My daughters mare keeps easily but has no issue on all day turnout. She gains a bit but has no fat anywhere. My mare will get a thick , heavy, fat laden neck as well as fat bumps by her tail head and get as wide as a hippo if allowed to graze like that.

he will likely stay on days in the spring till it gets too hot so he may acclimate with it on till summer when the grass isnt quite the same and go to night. He has a pretty cresty neck when he gets “beefy” so i try to err on the side of caution. I have not used one before because the pastures were not like these. These were hay fields only a year or so ago.

My horses like the greengaurd the best it seems. The only thing is that it really wears their incisors down. I think it depends on how long your grass is. I have a hunch that it might be better with slightly long grass since the horse won’t be pushing it down into the ground as much as they do with short grass.

I recommend having an assortment of genuine sheepskin goodies to keep rubs down and comfort up.
I like these little dudes for a number of areas:

But I also have several others and have used them all here and there.

Another vote for the Greenguard! It’s lightweight, easily adjustable, durable and easy for horses to use. I tried several “bucket” styles as well and my horse just couldn’t adjust, he was miserable. I tried the Flexible Filly and after fighting with it for 30 minutes to adjust the zip ties to get the hole positioned in a way that my horse could actually eat, he put his head down and promptly stepped on one of the flaps and broke it. I hated it! He put his head down and started grazing within minutes of wearing the Greenguard. It’s worth every penny!

Guess I’ll stick with my green guard muzzle for my fatty then and just dry lot him more. Not promising reviews for the flexible filly on coth.

I modified my greenguard muzzle with a strip of biothane and chicago screws to make the holes smaller - it helped a lot !


The Greenguard with the attached halter is the only one that my horse can get off. Every. Single. Time. Maybe I will try putting it on one of my own halters to see if that helps. Because it is so wide, they cannot drink from the auto waters with it on and I worry that it can get caught on the waterer or fencing.

The Tough-1 Easy Breathe with attached halter broke within hours. She rubbed against her grain bowl and the stitching popped, leaving it hanging off her nose. They did replace it and the new one lasted about a month before the stitching broke again.

The Best Friends muzzles never come off and never break. Over the years I have learned to adjust them so they do not rub. They are great for dropping a plastic disk in the bottom if you do not want them to graze at all. Tough-1 sells replacement disks for their combination cribbing/grazing muzzle that fit perfectly in the bottom of the Best Friends. I use them when the Best Friends hole gets enlarged. The disk covers the enlarged hole with one the size of the original. The Best Friends are heavy on the poll and the disk adds a bit more weight to them. They are also hot.

I have been eyeing the ThinLine Flexible Filly grazing muzzle, but I have a hard time paying $64 for a $2 piece of plastic. Plus another $40 for the halter with the attachment points. But it looks very light and comfortable. It also has a choice of hole sizes. Oh, I just read VTMorgan’s experience with it. That is a hard no. So, it is back to dry lot and Best Friends.

I have the Flexible Filly and I like it for the most part. It was a huge PITA getting it adjusted properly. I ended up emailing with ThinLine and also sent them a video and photos. They actually sent me a smaller size to try since my horse kept eating out of one of the sides rather than the hole. That fixed the problem – along with switching to a leather halter. A regular breakaway halter was just too floppy. I would feel more comfortable with a true breakaway halter but it’s all a balancing act. Oh and if you try it, just go out and buy a bag of replacement zip ties. Using the little bread ties that they send only goes so far. Zip ties are cheap and it will save in frustration.

That said, after using it all last summer and having it work great, I tried it again late this fall after we moved and somehow we started having the same problem again. I think I may have made the crownpiece of the halter one hole larger. But then it snowed and I haven’t bothered trying to figure out how to fix it.

I tried the GreenGuard as our first grazing muzzle option and it didn’t work at all. She could barely eat and even though could only do it by scraping her teeth on the basket. I might be open to trying it again now that she’s more experienced with grazing muzzle.

One big advantage of the Flexible Filly over the GreenGuard is that she can still groom other horses with it on.

I also have a Tough One grazing muzzle that I got on super clearance from SmartPak. She HATES that one. Refuses to even try to eat/just stomps around tossing her head.