When you are a shetland pony, as is Squeegee, and there is a huge round bale of hay -- sort of an endless buffet -- in front of you, it's a bit of a problem.
The pony is already broader in the beam than is recommended... and he just can't resist eating. Non stop.
The options are limited: he can go in a small pen by himself, where the amount of hay provided is very reduced. He can stay inside, which provides the reduced calories but prevents him from hanging out with his friends, and encourages him to just lie on the couch and watch tv all day (so to speak)
Or, he can strap on the latest in diet aids: a grazing muzzle. This contraption allows him to eat, but he has to work harder to get the food through the holes... it slows down his calorie intake, speeds up the effort involved to get those calories. It lets him hang out with his buddies, running around in the paddock and playing. You can see, through the snow in the photo taken today, that he can get strands of hay in, so don't fret that the pony is being completely frustrated.
We occasionally get asked if he is wearing this because he bites. Well, no... and yes... Not people (Squeegee is on the list for Sainthood when it comes to letting little fingers poke, prod and provide carrots)... but hay, that he will bite, and bite and bite and chew and swallow and convert to padding where ponies don't need that much padding...
It's an interesting idea... the strategic location of the holes allows him to eat, oh, say, carrot sticks and celery, but the hamburger can't fit through. I wonder if we could sell this to one of the Diet Fad companies, and get Squeegee a 'gig' on National T.V.????