Review: Thinline Flexible Filly Grazing Muzzle
If you ask him, this is a cruel and unusual punishment.
If you ask me, better he be a little grouchy and a little hungry than laminitic.
I've tried a lot of muzzles over the years, and have been using the Tough-1 Easy Breathe Muzzle for the last few years. Of all the affordable basket-style muzzles on the market, it's the lightest and has the largest nose holes, and with some clever modifications my Houdini pony mostly keeps it on his face. But it still sits very close to his mouth and nostrils, it rubs, and it gets quite hot in the summer. While the Tough-1 muzzle does its job, it isn't perfect.
Thanks to incessant social media marketing, I recently became intrigued by the Thinline Flexible Filly Grazing Muzzle. The design was unique, it looked quite a bit lighter and more breathable than the muzzle I was currently using, and while the price was a bit higher than that of the Tough-1 muzzle, it was certainly a lot more affordable than a pricy GreenGuard or Harmany muzzle. When a college friend sang its praises for her muzzle-phobic mare, I figured it was worth a shot.
When the muzzle arrived, I wasn't quite sure what to expect as far as what the materials would be like, and was expecting a stiffer plastic design. I was mistaken.
Remember those jelly sandals we all wore in the 90's that were the coolest thing ever? It's like that. We've taken to calling it the Space Jellyfish at the barn.
|Space Jellyfish in action.|
But all joking aside, I really do like this material for a muzzle! It moves and flexes with the horse, doesn't rub their lips or nose, doesn't have the potential to damage teeth like hard plastic, and hoses off easily when it comes time to clean it. Unlike basket-style muzzles, the Thinline muzzle's open sides prevent dit from being trapped close to the horse's face. I also love the shape - it sits FAR away from the horse's face allowing them to breathe completely normally, and the 8 attachment points anchored with zip ties mean that if your horse busts one or two attachments, the muzzle stays secure and functional until you can replace the zip tie.
Speaking of the zip ties, if you have a determined muzzle escapist or your horse is tough on muzzles, I suggest replacing the light-duty zip ties that are included with the muzzle with something sturdier. Dino succeeded in breaking ALL of the ties one day and freeing himself of the Space Jellyfish, which necessitated zip tie replacement. The muzzle itself, however, remained in one piece! I do still attach a cribbing collar to the crownpiece of the halter to keep the whole contraption on Dino's face, since he is a clever little bastard and will remove the entire apparatus at will.
So far, I'm loving the Thinline muzzle! It seems to be a lot more comfortable for Dino, which is the most important factor. Care, maintenance, and repair are easy, and it does its job of keeping him from over-indulging in that sweet sweet spring grass. Plus, I didn't have to spend a small fortune on it. Hopefully it lasts us through the rest of the season!