Most common reasons for rubbing:
- The muzzle is too small for your horse. These muzzles should fit MUCH larger than a traditional muzzle. Size is based on bit size not head size. Check out our muzzle Sizing page for how to choose the right size. And make sure to read our Fitting page with the most current updated instructions.
- The muzzle is turned the wrong way. For correct fit, the "greenguard" logo should face the front. This orientation puts the wider side of the muzzle front to back so that there is enough room for the chin. Note that the logo is the same color as the muzzle and can be hard to see.
- There is not enough space between the muzzle and the horse's mouth. There should be a 1" space in the bottom of the muzzle (about the width of your hand). Horses need this space in order to access all the slots in the bottom, much like a slow feeder. This space also gives them a wider opening for their chin since the muzzle tapers wider towards the top.
- The muzzle attachment straps are not laying flat and are causing the muzzle to “ride up” so there is no longer enough space in the bottom. The best solution to this problem is to wrap a piece of tape tightly around each of the straps to keep them secure and flat (see photo above).
- The muzzle is tilted up or down rather than being parallel to the horse’s mouth. Adjust the front and back straps so the muzzle is parallel to the horse’s mouth. The front of the muzzle should also be flush (flat) against the horse’s nose (see photo above).
- The side straps attached to the halter are pulling the muzzle forward and leaving less room for the chin. Place the side straps further back on the halter - behind the halter eyelets if needed.
- The straps are too short and tightly connected to the halter. Straps that are too tight can cause the muzzle and/or halter to rub, and may even warp or crack the muzzle due to the increased pressure from the halter. Make sure to adjust the straps long enough so that they are flexible and allow the muzzle to move independently of the halter.
- Last but not least, although most cases of rubbing can be fixed with adjustments to the fit, there is a small percentage of horses with nose shapes that may put the chin in more frequent contact with the back of the muzzle even when the muzzle is fitted correctly. In these cases, simply place a piece of tape over the 3 lower holes on the inside back surface of the muzzle where your horse’s chin makes contact (see photo above).
April Chester is the President of GreenGuard Equine.