Updated: May 10
It seems like at least once a week I have someone ask about using a check rein to help keep their pony from grazing as they drive it. Sometimes, I have people reach out about how they can attach a check rein for when they are leading their pony, or what they can use so their child can more safely ride their mini in the grass.
I don't feel the check rein is a safe option to use as an anti grazing device. At least not with the minis and ponies. Most of the time people have it adjusted quite loose so it won't interfere with their pony's head set, which can result in the pony getting the rein caught on the end of the shafts. If you have ever had this happen you know exactly whey I feel this isn't a safe option... especially when there are kids involved.
If you understand how to adjust a check rein and can do so in a way that results in the rein being snug enough that it can't loop down and get caught on the end of the shaft and still allow the pony to lower it's head to power up steep hills, then go for it! Use that rein all you want.
BUT... I have come across another option for those of us that don't want to use a check rein.
The Munch-N-Done. (https://www.munch-n-done.com/)
This can be used instead of taking the time to teach them not to eat the grass when they are working AND it can be used in conjunction with the training.
What I found out:
Be sure to watch the video about attaching it to your halter or bridle. It's a little tricky and not intuitive at all.
I suggest getting the Nose band strap! This kept the front of the muzzle up in the correct position.
Don't allow your pony to rub it's nose once the Munch-N-Done is attached, however...
IF they do rub their nose it will not immediately fall off. I had that thing so well Velcroed that when he rubbed his nose on a large sagebrush it did not budge!
The sensation of having it on his nose made him sneeze and sneeze at first so he REALLY wanted to rub his nose. Poor guy!
The Munch-N-Done allowed Zorro to walk through belly deep grass and manage to pay attention to walking instead of the grass!
Oliver will be getting one.
I wasn't too sure about this muzzle because, as you know, I don't like using "short cuts" with my ponies. I feel that some tack is used in place of taking the time to train proper manners.
HOWEVER, sometimes I am just do damned tired on our walks and I simply can't constantly correct them when they snatch the grass. Ponies are persisten!! Often the two of them work in tandem to wear me out and then I am just glumly striding along trying to get back to the trailer or the house, while they trip along behind me grabbing all the grass they can stuff in their mouths. Sometimes, this results in them falling on their faces, because they are not paying attention to their feet at all. I will admit that I have been known to laugh out loud at them when they do this.
On the odd hike, when Handsome Hubby joins me, he absolutely HATES it when Oliver is snatching on the entire hike. He doesn't have the timing to be very effective in getting him to STOP snatching so they end up being quite irritated with each other.
This muzzle seems to be the answer! It will not replace the training but I will use it along with the training. And when HH is leading one pony or the other, he can rely on the muzzle to keep that pony walking forward and not pulling on the lead rope all the time.
I will remove the muzzle so they can graze, when it's time to do so. I do allow grazing on our walks and hikes. I try to be fair and allow them several breaks if we are on a long walk or hike. I do prefer them to wait until I say it's time however.
Zorro was able to lick and chew and he would be able to drink with it on. I gave him some cookies while he was wearing it and he could eat them just fine...
The cookies resulted in some foam! LOL!
So if you have been wondering about this little muzzle or if you have never heard of it before - I highly recommend it!
Here is the link to this exact muzzle ----> https://www.munch-n-done.com/product/munch-n-done/