Fly Spray..

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Fly Spray..

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    06-23-2009, 09:00 PM
Fly Spray..

Gonzo is on the older side and though he isn't a rescue (and I was told he was and have thought that for two years now!! :P) we got him from a farm where he had a much, much rougher lifestyle instead of being spoiled by me and everyone else a the barn! He was never introduced to fly spray.
He's afraid of men, and he's been having his fly spray done my a man. He spooks at it but is also afraid to let this man near him normally. I think he might let us spray him if this man didn't do it. It would take work as it's new to him but is there a chance? I asked his owner and she said she thinks he's just too old to get used to it, since he didn't have it on him his whole life.. but he's already making progress with everything else.
Is there anything we can do to get him used to it?
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    06-23-2009, 09:14 PM
Fly spray bottles can be like anything else that a horse needs to be desensitized to (like a sprayer hose)...some need to get used to the spray or the smell. You can try starting by squirting it in your hand and wiping it on and gradually go to spraying. For many spray things, starting at the feet and working up seems to help, too.
    06-23-2009, 09:17 PM
Green Broke
Just because he is old dosen't mean he can't learn anything. We have a horse that used to be deathly afraid of fly spray, who got over it, and still have another who hates it but is getting over it.. What I did, with the horse securely tied next to you, spray the fly spray into a brush, allowing the horse to observe you doing it. He will probably snort and act stupid, but act like he's not even there. You can let him smell the brush, then wipe his legs/body with it. Then, keeping the spray bottle in your hand, sneak in a few squirts on the brush while you brush him. He may freak out, but act like it is no big deal. Eventually, you will be able to work up to where you can spray him directly. Spray lightly starting on his legs. He may freak out, but just continue doing it, starting out lightly, and getting more and more aggresive squirts. He will [should] eventually realize that what you are doing to him is not torture, but really no big deal at all. This is what I always do and it seems to always work. You could also try letting him watch more experienced horses get sprayed, but I have never had much luck with that. Just be patient. Keep in mind that the squirting sound coincidently sounds very similar to a rattle snake's tail; a very natural sound that some horses respond to (or so I've heard ). Good luck, hope this helped:)
    06-23-2009, 09:34 PM
We'll try it! (:
And I know that, he's already improved on soo many things under saddle and on the ground.. :)
    06-23-2009, 09:52 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by IheartPheobe    
We'll try it! (:
And I know that, he's already improved on soo many things under saddle and on the ground.. :)
^^ Congrats! I'm glad everything's going great so far:)
    06-25-2009, 03:09 AM
Another method we've used that works pretty quickly is what my mom called "making the lungs talk to the brain." We did this with a horse who wouldn't stand still or behave for the farrier. You need two people to do it. Put the horse on a lunge line in an open area/round pen. Tell him "whoa", show him the spray bottle and squirt a little on his lower leg. If he moves, shoo him away from you and make him work on the lunge line until he's slightly out of breath, then bring him back in, tell him "whoa" and repeat. It doesn't take very long for the horse to figure out that the fly spray doesn't hurt but moving away causes him to have to work and generally they will make the easy choice.

The fear of men is a harder thing to cure. We have a POA who has come a long way with this but he still gets panicky with the vet and farrier. My husband and most other men can walk up and pet him now and he's actually starting to like being scratched by people now, will relax and enjoy it. With our pony, a lot has to do with posture, eye contact and slowness of movement.


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