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Grazing muzzle cut off laminitic pony after his first night out in the field

The owners of a laminitic pony whose grazing muzzle was cut off in his field hope sharing the incident will help educate the public.

Charlotte Chambers’ pony Benny had recovered enough by last Sunday (10 August) to spend his first night out for nine weeks.

The 19-year-old gelding was turned out in the muzzle to restrict his grass intake, and, Charlotte’s mother Lisa told H&H, when they arrived at the private yard in Surrey the next morning, he still had it on.

“We passed the field about 8.30am and it was on, then we went to do the stables,” Lisa said. “We were on the yard about 40 minutes and when we went back to get him in, the muzzle was off.”

Every strap of the muzzle had been severed.

“He had a headcollar on too, and that was still on,” Lisa said, adding that the ends of each part appear to have been cut cleanly.

The field is next to a well-used footpath, which has been more popular since lockdown started, and Lisa believes someone may have seen Benny in the muzzle the evening before, and come back to cut it off.

“I was so thankful knowing we’d seen him with it on that morning so it would only have been that short time,” she said. “He’s now out in another field that no one walks by, and only for half an hour, as I’ve been so worried about it happening again.”

Lisa, who is also having signs made to explain the muzzle to walkers, has posted about the incident in local Facebook groups.

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“The number of responses I’ve had from non-horsey people asking me to explain why it’s on, and saying they’d always thought the muzzles were cruel, so people have learned,” she said. “So hopefully some good will come of it.”

Lisa added that about eight people had also offered replacement muzzles, and that the person who had one the right size would not even take the cost of postage for it.

“That stores your faith in people,” she said.

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