More comfort, less Hanibal Lector.
All photos courtesy of Dr. Joyce Harman.
Tired of strapping that stuffy, clunky grazing muzzle on your equine? Dr. Joyce Harman is here to help.
Grazing muzzles. They’re a hard piece of equipment to love, despite how crucial they can be to horse’s well-being (think easy keeper, former or prone to founder, insulin-resistant or Cushings sufferer.) They can be hard to fit, tough to clean, and let’s just count the number of miles you’ve put in hiking around the pasture when your horse has managed to scrape the hateful thing right off. Dr. Joyce Harman of Harmany Equine Clinic in Flint Hill, Virginia, may have a better solution.
As a complementary and alternative veterinarian, Dr. Harman has devoted her life’s work to finding holistic solutions to improve life for horses. She wrote the first peer-review-published paper in 2001 suggesting that horses could be insulin-resistant — that concept is now almost a horse-household phrase. She’s also published the first texts on saddle fitting for both English and western completely independent from tack manufacturers. In her practice, Dr. Harman prescribes many grazing muzzles as preventative measures, and thought that there had to be a better system than the bulky, restrictive muzzles currently on the market.
So, like any innovative horsewoman, Dr. Harman built a better muzzle. The Harmany Muzzle is designed to be open and airy, allowing better ventilation for the horse while still slowing his forage intake. Instead of nylon webbing which can absorb moisture and then mold or mildew, the Harmany muzzle is a medical-grade plastic containing kevlar fibers: the plastic will not splinter or snap to produce sharp edges (though horses can eventually chew through it like a conventional muzzle — Dr. Harman is looking into solutions for that problem.) At the end of the day, the entire muzzle can be hosed down or washed with soap and water and easily dried: no more worries about your horse breathing in mold!
The best feature of the Harmany muzzle is its complete customization: the muzzles are manufactured as one flat piece of plastic. Each individual horse owner can then shape the muzzle to custom-fit their horse: submerge the plastic in warm water (140 to 160 degrees Farenheit) and then bend up the sides to fit the shape of your horse’s muzzle. Didn’t adjust it quite right? Just re-submerge and fix it the way you want it. The plastic has a 100% memory after it’s shaped, so there are no worries about the muzzles “melting” or deforming in the summer heat.
The bottom of each muzzle is designed to be customizable as well: if your horse needs a highly-restricted intake, you can use just the small central grazing hole. If you’re just trying to slow your horse down a little bit, you can punch out the additional holes to allow more intake.
Muzzles can be pre-ordered now for delivery in January. (There’s a 15% discount if you order before December 15–check out the Harmany Equine webpage for details.) General purchase will be available in January as well. Muzzles come in mini, pony, horse and draft sizes.