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This is a discussion on Hobbling? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Equine hobbling
  • Hobbling a nervous horse

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  • 1 Post By Horse Poor

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    05-16-2012, 12:03 PM
Green Broke

So my 3 year old gelding has become a real jerk about fly spraying. He isn't shying away or spooking at it, he pins his ears, jumps around, kicks, etc. He is getting really aggressive with it, and he is over all a very, very sweet boy.

This isn't something I feel comfortable with "putting on my big girl panties and muscling through it". If any of you guys knew about my accident last year, you would understand why I am deathly afraid of any movement coming from his back legs (no he does not have a kicking problem, he spooked me and I spooked him long story short).

I'm thinking about hobbling him and just spraying him with water until he gets over it...good or bad idea?

I'd have my trainer help me, but he lives nearly 3 hours away.
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    05-16-2012, 12:09 PM
My QH hated Fly spray for the life of him and would shot out of the way but I learned rubbing the bottle on his back, legs neck and stomach before I tryed it helped him, now I can spray him in the pasture without holding him. Id use water bottle and keep spraying him so you don't waste the fly spray.
    05-16-2012, 12:19 PM
I would not use hobbling as a tool to keep the horse still. It could put him into a panic mode since he is already nervous, then he can't get away from the scarey fly spray or hose. Hobbling can put both you and the horse in greater danger in a situation like this.

For now, why not wipe on the fly spray instead. Figure out where it bothers him the least. If there is no place he is comfortable with it, then fill a bottle with water and just spray it around regularly (not at himt though) whenever you are out in the barn, when you are leading him, when you are grooming him, etc. etc. Then spray over his butt, then his butt, then over his back, then his back and belly, then move on to the legs, then shoulders and chest. It may take a very long time to be able to spray his neck.

Be extremely careful not to get any on open cuts of course and around his face. If he already is scared, a bit of pain will put you two steps backwards with him.
    05-16-2012, 12:23 PM
If you don't feel comfortable "muscling through it" without the help of your trainer, you can pour the fly spray in an old butter tub and sponge/wipe it on.
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    05-16-2012, 02:22 PM
The scary thing about fly spray is the unpredictability of it. They never know when it is going to "strike." First off, start at the shoulder. Spray the bottle continually, not yet on your horse. Then slowly introduce the spray to the horse. Go down the legs, on the barrel, under the belly, then on the neck, and don't spray his face. If you want fly spray, get a sponge and wipe it on. Just never ceasing the spray can help them feel better about it. Unknowns are scary for every living being on this earth, and some handle it better than others.

I believe that hobbles are not a good idea and should not be used as a tool to restrain, but rather to encourage the horse not to wander off/move around and to help teach ground tying. Patience and consistency should pay off.

If you can't make progress, get a trainer's help(:
    05-16-2012, 05:40 PM
Green Broke
He's perfectly fine with it on the front half of him....idk what's going on, last year I never had an issue with it.
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    05-16-2012, 06:07 PM
If he's fine with the front half of him, then spray the front half and continue just as far back until just before he gets antsy. Push the limits, but don't go over the limits, if you know what I mean. Praise him and wipe the rest of him instead of spraying.

If you spray around the rest of him, but not at him does it bother him? Does anything else you do in the back half bother him, ie. Grooming, feet, tail work?
    05-16-2012, 09:37 PM
Green Broke
He is totally chill with me doing anything around his hind end. I myself get nervous, so him cocking his leg can sometimes put me on edge, but he is an angel. It's almost like the sound ticks him off.
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    05-16-2012, 11:49 PM
Well, that's odd then isn't it? Why is is OK to spray at the front, but not the back. I think if you work your way gradually with him, he'll come around if otherwise he is fine. Talk to him the whole time and when if he gets a bit antsy before you stop, tell him firmly to stand and spray in the same spot until he stands still (this is why you use water for the training part :) ). Then enough for the day.
    05-17-2012, 12:02 AM
Green Broke
Can you get a friend who is more confident help you out if your not willing to get the job done? If he isn't scared and obviously it isn't causing him discomfort maybe its just a loop hole in you he has found and you reinforced (moving away from his butt). Get someone a little more confident to give him a little attitude adjustment and just spray his hiney till he cuts the attitude.

Maybe try a different spray bottle?
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