Afraid of water and fly spray??? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Question Afraid of water and fly spray???

So, I really want to give my GREY horse a bath, especially after this winter but she is afraid of water. I also want to protect her from flies but she is afraid of fly spray/spray bottles. She is also afraid of the sponge to wash her. Ugh. Suggestion please?

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post #2 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 01:53 AM
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Spray her legs lightly with the hose first. She'll probably dance around and act like she hates it, but once she realizes it feels good, she'll stop. When she stands still, praise her abundantly. Move the water up to her body and avoid her face at first. She'll probably dance around a lot, but when she stops, praise her and take the water off of her. Soon enough, she'll stand for you.

As for fly spray... she'll get used to it. It's usually the sound they don't like. I desensitize mine by rubbing the bottle on them - butt, back, neck - and when they seem to relax, spray their legs first. Eventually, they just get over it when they realize it's an irrational fear - it isn't going to hurt them.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahKathleen View Post
Spray her legs lightly with the hose first. She'll probably dance around and act like she hates it, but once she realizes it feels good, she'll stop. When she stands still, praise her abundantly. Move the water up to her body and avoid her face at first. She'll probably dance around a lot, but when she stops, praise her and take the water off of her. Soon enough, she'll stand for you.

As for fly spray... she'll get used to it. It's usually the sound they don't like. I desensitize mine by rubbing the bottle on them - butt, back, neck - and when they seem to relax, spray their legs first. Eventually, they just get over it when they realize it's an irrational fear - it isn't going to hurt them.
Agreed...

And to avoid wasting fly spray (its way too expensive) I'll fill a spray bottle with water and just work with my horse in the mornings and evenings. Eventually they get over it. Just reward them when they do good and don't get frustrated when they don't.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BuckOff41570 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahKathleen View Post
Spray her legs lightly with the hose first. She'll probably dance around and act like she hates it, but once she realizes it feels good, she'll stop. When she stands still, praise her abundantly. Move the water up to her body and avoid her face at first. She'll probably dance around a lot, but when she stops, praise her and take the water off of her. Soon enough, she'll stand for you.

As for fly spray... she'll get used to it. It's usually the sound they don't like. I desensitize mine by rubbing the bottle on them - butt, back, neck - and when they seem to relax, spray their legs first. Eventually, they just get over it when they realize it's an irrational fear - it isn't going to hurt them.
Agreed...

And to avoid wasting fly spray (its way too expensive) I'll fill a spray bottle with water and just work with my horse in the mornings and evenings. Eventually they get over it. Just reward them when they do good and don't get frustrated when they don't.
^ what they said

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post #5 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Great! Thank you everyone.

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post #6 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 05:16 PM
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When you start with the hose you do the "retreat" first. Get the hose and spray away from her for a few seconds then in ONE second increments spray the horse. You can start on the legs but quite frankly you could start on the chest or barrel. It's her knowing it's going to go away that will make her relax when the water is on her.

So....... spray the ground out in front of her for the count of 4 or 5 seconds then turn the water on her and count 1-2 second, take it away and repeat increasing as you go.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by G and K's Mom View Post
You can start on the legs but quite frankly you could start on the chest or barrel.
The reason I said start at the legs was because when it's warm out, and the water is cold, they adjust a bit easier when you start with their legs (just like us!) That was my reasoning there.

And for the legs with the fly spray... it's usually the sound they don't like, so starting far from her face is a good bet to get her to relax. :]
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 09:53 PM
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With a really scared horse it helps a lot to spray the air out beside the horse first. Keep spraying the air beside your horse until it stands still and relaxes. When your horse stands still stop spraying. Repeat....but get a little closer. Same thing though...wait till your horse stands still, then stop spraying. Then spray it on the horse...when horse stands still and relaxes stop spraying.
IDK about the water....my horse was used to that when I got him. I would think the same technique would work.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 10:16 PM
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I found this really helpful. It's for fly spray but the same principles apply for bathing or fear of water. It's pretty straight forward, common sense kind of training.


I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-20-2009, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahKathleen View Post
The reason I said start at the legs was because when it's warm out, and the water is cold, they adjust a bit easier when you start with their legs (just like us!) That was my reasoning there.

]
No need to justify your post, were all sharing here. What I say is no more right or wrong than what you've posted. Just expanding.........
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