When I first bought my horse 2 years ago I kept her on indoor board with dirt paddock turnout. When money got tight this fall, I had to move her to 24/7 field board. I moved her out late enough in the year that the grass was dead, and she's been standing on snow all winter with round bale access.
Because of the unlimited hay she is a bit overweight, but she is ridden 5-6 times a week so I am doing my best to manage it. I am really worried about this spring when the grass comes in. We get lots of rain in the spring and it really comes in fast. My mare is a piggie, she loves to eat, and she is in a huge field with a small herd. I am so worried about founder. The grass wont start coming in until late April/early May but I want to plan ahead.
I have heard of grazing muzzles but have never used or seen one. Can they be left on 24/7? Or does a horse need a break from it for a portion of the day? Because of my work schedule I can't get out to the barn more than once a day. The staff at my barn checks on the field horses everday as well as checking the fencing and the water, but the field horses don't get any individual attention - meaning the barn staff wouldn't putt the muzzle on an off for me during the day.
I am just wondering what my options are. The dry lot paddocks at my barn are a significant board increase from the field that I cannot afford. I will move my horse to a more afforable barn if i have to, but I would love to stay where I am because I love my trainer.
I have more pasture than horses so mine have to be muzzled a lot.
I'd start getting her used to the muzzle now by putting it on for gradually increasing periods of time (even if there's no grass yet). You'll have problems initially with her trying to get if off. It also may rub in spots so getting used to it gradually, before you need to keep it on for long periods, will be beneficial.
You may also find her pasture mates make a game of pulling it off her. Hopefully not, because there's not a lot you can do about that.
And keep riding once the grass comes in. The exercise helps the metabolism beyond the simple weight loss and will give her some additional protection.
I have good luck with BestFriends grazing muzzles and their website has all the accessories you could imagine. .