I've heard that desensitizing a needle fearful horse to being poked with a pointy toothpick can help... As well as training them to put their head down (and thereby relaxing the neck muscles, apparently that makes the needle going in less painful?) when they feel the toothpick prick.
If you were going to try the toothpick route, I might start carrying a toothpick or two in your coat/jacket pocket and just poking her a few times every time you see/work with her. That way it'll become routine and she'll hopefully think less of it when the vet comes. Maybe even have the vet poke her with a toothpick first, then the actual needle, then another toothpick prick...
However, I've never had to do either because Lacey is a complete dead-head about the vet so I'm not sure if those things would actually work...
On a pretty completely unrelated note that might be related, I successfully trained my cat to love having his nails clipped (he used to growl, bite, etc about getting his nails done) by feeding him a delicious treat (a small piece of lunch meat) after I clipped each nail. Maybe it would work to (using the toothpick again) poke her with the toothpick, feed her a bit of carrot, poke, carrot, poke, carrot, etc...
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzaner gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat
Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
Last edited by Wallaby; 02-07-2012 at 06:59 PM.