Scared of fly spray

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Scared of fly spray

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    06-19-2014, 09:34 PM
Scared of fly spray

Down here in Alabama the bugs are terrible during the summer and it seems that no matter how much I rub my horse down with fly spray they keep just eating him up. I know that I could cover him much better by spraying it on him, but every time I start to spray it he rears back or starts to freak out. Is there any way I could possibly get him to accept the fly spray without scaring him to death every time?
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    06-19-2014, 09:35 PM
Subbing my mare is the same way!!!
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    06-19-2014, 09:41 PM
I don't know how to teach the horse to accept it but are there alternatives? My mom just brought citronella tags that you plait into the mane or keep on tack. Not sure how well they work though.
There might be shampoos that repel? I'm just guessing here.

My horse is also afraid of spray and he needs sun cream but won't let me rub it on his nose :P
    06-19-2014, 09:42 PM
I always use spray and have ridden horses that had never been sprayed.

If I'm just riding the horse that day, I get them tacked up and can get the job done with a few sharp words. "Stand up" and "Ho" most often. But that doesn't really teach them much, it just gets them sprayed for the day.

If I'm going to have one for a few days, I get a spray bottle with water and start spraying them. I start at the feet and work up. Then back to front. I can spray and sip and sip an iced tea for a very long time.

They always get over it and the second time they just flinch a muscle or two.

I don't spray faces with fly spray. I spray it on a rag or my hand and wipe.

I do insist that horses stand for having their faces sprayed with water from a hose. I may have to doctor a wound sometime and won't have time to waste.
    06-20-2014, 12:05 AM
Spraying the fly spray on a brush and then brushing it into the hair both against the grain and with the grain will actually work the fly spray below the surface of the hair and provide better protection.
    06-20-2014, 12:12 AM
Give him an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse once a week.

My old gelding was allergic to flies, as was my friend's arab gelding. We would give them an ACV rinse once a week and it helped keep the flies away, plus soothed their skin.

Simply wet the horse down, then in a 2.5gal bucket mix 1-2 cups ACV (depending how strong you want it) with the rest water. Pour the mixture over the wet horse, working from the topline, down. For any hard-to-reach areas, like the face, legs and belly, dip a soft sponge into the mixture and apply it that way, but be generous about it. Refill the bucket with the mixture as often as needed to get the horse thoroughly saturated. Then, let dry like normal (DO NOT rinse with regular water after applying the ACV rinse).
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    06-20-2014, 12:17 AM
I wonder if this will work for all my bug bites? Looks like I have the measles!
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    06-20-2014, 12:39 AM
My gelding used to be TERRIFIED of the spray bottle!! He's not as scared anymore now that I figured out the correct way to get him used to it. He still gets bug eyed whenever he sees me approach him with it, but he doesn't try to run away like he used to.
So. The trick is to desensitizing is to accept the fact that you may have to scare your horse to get him used to something. Don't worry about scaring him. Worry about him hurting himself in someway. Just don't overthink it!
What I did was just get my horse attached to the lead rope, hold it in between my arm and my rib (my preference), take a spray bottle filled with water (unless you want to waste all 5-10 bucks of fly spray, be my guest!), and rub them with the spray bottle. My gelding was scared of that (weird I know, but that's my boy for ya!), but he got over it at one session. Do that both sides, but don't start on the other side until your horse is used to it on the side you started on first. Once he was good with that, I'd take a small break (like 5minutes) then I'd start again with the rubbing. Most horses would just stand there and not even blink after the second try of the rubbing. So, then you start spraying. AWAY from your horse. Don't stand directly in front of them, but face their shoulder and just act like nothing important is going on. Spray behind you until your horse is used to it. Then try the other side. Do it until he's used to it. If he moves away from it like he's scared, don't stop. Just keep your arm away from him and continue spraying. Once he stops moving, stop immediately and praise him like crazy!!! Use the praising time as your break. I praised my gelding at
Least for 2-3 minutes. Once you're done praising, try again, but closer, with your arm at your side. The repeat the steps over and over until he stands for you with no problem (:
This isn't going to be a one day thing, it'll take more than one day with 10-20 minute sessions at least twice a day. My gelding took a week and a half. Most horses take less than a week. That's just how my gelding is! Haha
    06-20-2014, 12:44 AM
Originally Posted by waresbear    
I wonder if this will work for all my bug bites? Looks like I have the measles!
I don't see why not, wares. It smells pretty gnarly, but it really helps soothe bug bites (I tried it on a mosquito bite I got out at the barn one day when I was giving Dakota his ACV rinse ). It's good for your hair, too. Way better than conditioner, as it doesn't leave build-up in your hair.
    06-20-2014, 01:24 AM
Originally Posted by TXhorseman    
Spraying the fly spray on a brush and then brushing it into the hair both against the grain and with the grain will actually work the fly spray below the surface of the hair and provide better protection.

I would kind of disagree with this, well, not that it works but that it is a good thing to do. That fly spy can be very irritating to the skin. Keeping it on the hair, without working it down to actual skin contact, will help keep flies away while minimizing skin absorbtion. Some of the chemicals are NOT good for any living thing. If I get the stuff on my hands, it kind of burns. I am very careful to spray my horse near his sheath (where the midges make him miserable) where there is plenty of hair and avoid the sheath itself , where the skin is thin and sensitive.

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