Horse spooks at fly spray - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Horse spooks at fly spray

The horse I am leasing, Hoanna a 4 year old Akhal teke filly, hates/spooks at the feeling of fly spray. It's not the sound of the spray but the feeling of it hitting her skin she hates. Her coat is very thin because she is an Akhal teke so she can feel everything a lot easier than other horses. She doesn't hate the hose or getting baths, just the mist of fly spray. I'm guessing it tickles her or something, in a way she doesn't like. Right now I have to spray it into my hand and wipe it on her, is there anyway to get her to not spook at me spraying her? I can't even point the fly spray bottle at her without her starting to dance back and forth in her cross ties.

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post #2 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 04:23 PM
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Rather than your hand, use a rag for wipe application. You can work to desensitize her to spraying by.exposing her to the sensation. To avoid wasting flyspray and/or overdosing on chemical exposure to her, use a bottle of plain water for your practice sessions.
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 04:25 PM
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Well if you can not even point it at her I doubt that the problem is just the feeling of spraying it on her! Did you try to just put water in a bottle and spray that on her, if she is accepting that it might be the smell or maybe her skin is sensible to the spray...
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 04:27 PM
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I would be more inclined to desensitize than to accomodate a horse's fear of fly spray. It will be part of her life for the rest of her life. Since we all know it isnt hurting her, she can get used to it. Just keep working with her. Apply it everytime you see her, just make it part of the entire grooming process, even on days you don't ride.

My 19 year old Connemara is afraid of fly spray. Did I let that stop me when i got him a year ago? Not even a little bit. I can now approach him slowly, show him what i'm doing with it and then apply the fly spray. I can even do it sometimes at liberty- though we're still working on that. You just have to be consistent, and act as if this isnt phasing you at all, just like it shouldnt phase her.
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 07:08 PM
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Fly spray is expensive. Use water and have a few desensitizing sessions. Be in an area she can't hurt herself and start by spraying the air around her. If she freaks out, don't quit and dont get nervous yourself. Keep your energy level low like the most boring accounting class you ever took, even if she is turning inside out with fear. And do not stop until she stops, stands still, and relaxes. Then give her a rest and go again. Work up to being able to spray her with the water.

Most fear spooks I will ignore unless the horse is in danger of hurting itself and just keep on like it is not happening.
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post #6 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 09:01 PM
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I go against the grain a lot, so I'll say that you really have to decide how important it is to you. One of our mares hates the spray, too. You can spray her if she's tied or even with just a lead around her neck, but I like to be able to do as much as possible quickly and without much effort, so when she's loose, I just wipe her with a rag soaked with spray. It's just as easy and probably more effective anyway. Spending a lot of time working with her on this is way down on the priority list.
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 10:20 PM
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That flyspray are you using?
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-31-2012, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-01-2012, 12:00 AM
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Hmm. Is it just that fly spray bottle or any spray bottle?
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post #10 of 22 Old 06-01-2012, 12:08 AM
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Subbing-I've the same issue. I've found using little squirts and petting the area immediately after has helped a great deal for my horse, personally, but I'm looking for more ideas, too. Good luck!
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