worming - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2011
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worming

Hi, I need help to train my horse to stand still for worming. I wormed him yesterday, and it took me about an hour to stand still and just let me put in his mouth. He doesn't like it when I stick anything into the corner of his mouth, but doesn't have a problem with the bit .. Also he was just chucking his head up the whole time anytime I brought the tube near him. He was also almost rearing and trying to walk into me. anytime he was acting up I made him work by trotting circles around me. Evantually after an hour I finally got him to swallow his full dose. Does anyone have any advice for me to make it a more pleasant experience ?? I don't want it to get any worse. Thanks, adele :)
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-21-2012, 09:23 PM
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De-worming is not a pleasant experience and doesn't generally have a pleasant association for the horse, so it is natural for them to be resistant if not conditioned to be otherwise.
Get an empty dosing syringe and start practicing introducing it into his mouth. Fill it with something yummy, such as applesauce, and condition him to see it as a GOOD thing - something he WANTS to put in his mouth. If it becomes a treat dispenser, he is going to be less resistant when it comes time to dose him. Targeted deworming, which I favor much more over rotational/schedule dosing, , where you are only treating as indicated by FECs means that the times he is dosed are going to be few and far between, which makes it very hard to have him see it as just another thing that happens all the time - that is why using practice dosings is so key. Something that is new/novel is more likely to be something they perceive as something to resist.
Make having you handle his mouth/put things in it just another thing. Play with his lips, stick your fingers in the corner of his mouth like you would a dosing syringe. Make it just another routine activity. Think of it like conditioning a horse to having their feet handled, having you tack them up, accept "scary" objects, etc
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-22-2012, 08:40 AM
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^^^ this worked extremely well for a friend of mine who's horse was the biggest ******* to worm! For the others who are bad, but super bad, we cover the eye on the same side of the head. It's in and squeezed before they even know what hit them. You just have to have quick hands with it! ;)
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-22-2012, 10:13 AM
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With one horse a helper would start bridling him and I'd pop it in from the off-side between the bit and his lip. That worked 3 times then he got to resisting being bridled. Now, I use square alfalfa cubes than can be separated into thin wafers. I add a dab of dewormer, top it with another and he'll eat this. It may take a dozen to get the dewormer in but at least there's no fight. Youtube has a few videos on how to train for deworming.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-22-2012, 10:13 AM
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They actually have a wormer that comes in a pellet. I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, Cuz my boy also can be a little ******* when it comes to worming. I cant remember who makes it but its a small pellet & you just mix it in with their feed & they gobble it up. No waste, no mess. It is a bit more pricey though, but definately worth it.

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post #6 of 9 Old 05-22-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
With one horse a helper would start bridling him and I'd pop it in from the off-side between the bit and his lip. That worked 3 times then he got to resisting being bridled. Now, I use square alfalfa cubes than can be separated into thin wafers. I add a dab of dewormer, top it with another and he'll eat this. It may take a dozen to get the dewormer in but at least there's no fight. Youtube has a few videos on how to train for deworming.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-22-2012, 10:29 AM
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I generally just place the tube of wormer right up against their cheek bone and hold it there, not doing anything. They can see it, they tend to toss their heads, but it doesn't go away, it doesn't hurt them, it doesn't do anything really. I do this a few times and then when they stop caring about the wormer, I go ahead and worm. I think that *sometimes* when a horse acts up about the wormer, its more about them not being able to see what you're putting in their mouth than about actually being wormed. My mare, who nobody could worm but me, now tries to chomp the tube before you can even get it in position...
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-23-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help everyone :) I will be trying all of these :)
Adele
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-23-2012, 09:24 PM
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I have used the suggestion about practicing worming with something yummy, with great success. I like to use custard powder with some water to make a paste, and use an old worming tube to dispense it. I'll do it weekly on a difficult horse, until it becomes routine. Then when the real wormer comes out, if you're quick about it by the time it's registered that the stuff tastes bad, its all down their throat.

The other tip I have, is to not make a big deal of worming. A lot of people will fuss about, halter the horse, take it to a big open space, fuss with getting the lead rope in just the right spot, pat the horse, tell it how good it is, quietly try to get the wormer...... you get the idea. Horse realised 10minutes ago that you're going to do something unpleasant.
I just stick the tube in my pocket, put the halter on like I'm about to take him out to the paddock, and super quickly just whip the tube out, put it into the corner of the mouth, and squeeze. Over and done with in seconds, horse doesn't know what hit it.
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