May 15, 2004

New pasture, new ‘tude

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Isis Bint Sirdar

The first week Isis had her grazing muzzle on, she discovered how to take it off by rolling. A few minutes after she was turned out, she would roll and rub her head back and forth against the ground. The strap behind her ears slipped off, and she dropped the muzzle on the ground. She did this four out of the six days I turned her out at lunch. The one time she kept it on was only because she had taken it off and I put it immediately back on her.

She was incredibly pleased with herself. Turned out, eating grass, gaining weight… life was good. And we couldn’t have her gaining weight when it threatened her legs and a laminitis flare-up. The muzzle became even more important when Isis and her herd were to be moved to a new pasture — a lush, prime pasture where she would easily gorge herself silly.

Saturday she was turned out for a half-day and came back without her muzzle. Sunday, when she was turned out in the new pasture, I talked to her about the muzzle.

Some times horses really understand what you are saying. Some part of the message is conveyed. Maybe it was the worry in my voice when I asked her to please keep the muzzle on because otherwise she could become seriously lame. The alternative was to put her by herself in the drylot paddock, where she would be miserable.

It’s been more than a week since she was turned out into the new pasture with her muzzle on full time — and every day she comes in with it on.

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