While this may be the season to start putting away the grazing muzzles, as I packed up my muzzles for winter storage, it made me think about how long lasting my Best Friend muzzles are. I tend to have more horses that are easy keepers, so I have used a lot of muzzles over the years. One of my horses, a Kentucky Mountain Horse gelding named Ace, has been particularly good at wearing through muzzles. He can eat through the bottom of a cheaper muzzle in just over a month. The hole gets so big that he might as well not even be wearing the muzzle.
I have also found that the rubber on cheaper muzzles is less durable all around, so the horses can easily rip the muzzles right off if they get snagged on something. The Best Friend muzzles have a safety feature so that if the muzzle gets caught or snagged on something, the breakaway buckle will snap, but the muzzle itself is still intact and you simply change out the broken buckle for the replacement that they give you with a new muzzle.
Here is the other feature that Best Friend is putting on new muzzles that I really like – they have two openings in the front of the muzzle to allow for easier breathing on the part of the horse. The Best Friend muzzles have always been designed with a bigger “bucket area” for easier breathing, but these extra opening really make a big difference – I can tell just by the sound of the horse’s breathing in the muzzles.
There is one thing that all of the muzzle manufacturers could do better with, and that is finding a way to prevent rubs. Most of the muzzles have neoprene along the top of the bucket, but that is not enough to prevent rubbing. I almost always end up sewing fleece along the tops and around some of the straps, so if the muzzle companies could design a muzzle with the fleece already on there, it would be a huge benefit!