Hey all. I'm just looking for some tips on getting Aires used to having a bath and getting rinsed down. Right now he acts like the water is going to eat him alive when you first approach him, but after a few seconds of it on his chest, he's totally okay...until you move toward his back end. Then it's apparently going to eat him again. Weird thing is, the other day I was able to rinse his face off and he didn't react hardly at all. In fact, he seemed to enjoy it. I gave him a "bath" the other day because I needed to scrub the gross off the inside of his legs where he dripped after his gelding last week. It ended up being a 15 minute ordeal just to get that done. He won't lead onto the wash rack (big scary!), so someone has to hold him, and we can't wash him at the hitching rails in front of the barn because it'll turn where everyone else grooms/saddles/etc their horses into a muddy mess.
Anyway, and suggestions on how to get him okay with bathing? I got my old arab/saddlebred gelding okay with being bathed (he HATED it at first), but he wasn't afraid of water to begin with, he just didn't like being bathed. This is a whole different monster.
Also, on a different, but slightly related subject...fly spray. It's apparently going to eat him too. Any tips on getting him used to that?
Note: He has never been abused, to my knowledge. He has just been sitting in his stall for the past 18 months. He has had little to no human contact outside the odd person stopping by for a pat in the last 4-6 months because he wouldn't let the guy who does turnouts at the stable halter him anymore. So, this is basically like beginning with a brand new foal who doesn't know anything (except he is halter broke and has outstanding ground manners because I've been working with him constantly)...only he weighs 1200lbs and stands at 15.2hh.