Simple question about fly mask. I need quick advice please:)
My horse if very head shy and doesn't like the sound of Velcro ripping.
Last time I was out to see him, I spend a long time desensitizing him to his fly mask and the sound of the Velcro. I managed to get the fly mask on. Thank goodness because the sun was wreaking havoc on his bald face (the mask has a long nose and UV protection)!
This afternoon, I'm heading out to work with him and I'm wondering what's the best way to remove the mask. Is it dangerous to remove it on the cross ties? I can just picture him jerking his head up and hurting himself. Shall I put him in a stall and do it or would it be best to take him out to the ring where we worked on desensitization.
Thanks so much:)
I would try on a lead or loose in the ring.
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I would not tie him up. I would just keep him on a lead line. If he moves away just follow him until he stands still. Let him stand for a few seconds and then rub on him. Then try again. Do not rub on him while he's moving. You may think that you are soothing him. That is just rewarding for moving. Not tying him will let him feel not trapped.
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Great! Thank you for the advice:)
Can you distract him with a treat to munch while you undo the velcro? Then I would just pull the velcro open steadily and quickly, but not fast-fast. I also would not tie him.
Next time you put the mask on, maybe you can put a fold in the velcro tab so there is not so much velcro to undo. I would continue to work on the velcro with him.
what i would do if he is uncomfortable with the velcro is bring another fly mask or something with velcro into the arena or training area and have him on the lead. hold extra fly mask on his neck close to his ears and slowly pull the velcro apart. as the horse moves you move with it. when he stands you stand. then repeat until he will not move when he hears the velcro being taking apart. once he stands for that then i would go for the fly mask on his head. i would skip whatever schooling session you had and work primarily on this today so that it will be bing bang boom for you next time and will be less of pain.
I would bring him into his stall or hold him on the line. Get a separate piece of velcro and start ripping in by him. Then move towards his neck then by his throat latch area. Even put it on him. It would be ashame to work so hard on desensitizating him to it then toss it down the drain surprising him. Lol
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Is this horse trained in every other way, and not a yearling?
Honestly, I'd quit babying him and dragging this out.
Put a chain shank over his nose and pop it and tell him to "be still" and then do what you have to do.
The longer an ordeal you make this? The worse he will become. You aren't asking him to stand still while you cut off his head with a chainsaw.
And if it behooved him to stand still, he would do it. You need to quit fooling around with this, and make him behave.
I was so surprised at how timid I felt about putting a fly mask on my mare. I pulled the fly mask out of the package looked at it, pulled the velcro apart and it was instant, oh man you have got to be kidding me moment lol My mare is pretty steady ole girl but she can be a little bit head shy then you throw in that darn velcro lol
My husband went with me and said no matter what just get it done, if she moves, move with her don't stop until she stands still, I did and it wasn't so bad except for that darn velcro grabbed itself in the wrong position and I had to readjust. It wasn't so bad. Now I'm doing it all by myself. Their is no doubt that my worrying would have transferred to her that their is something to worry about. My husband can do all kinds of things and the horses put up very little fuss with him, he says I over think it, and I need more of its going to happen whether you like it or not attitude. I have a habit of lets stop and regroup, whereas this transfers into a lack of leadership with the horses ;-)
Most problems are caused by the owner. Horses are social herd animals. They take their cues from their companions. If one horse in the herd bolts, the horses usually bolt with them. They don't turn around and look to see if the wolf has really gotten that close. They just run.
Same thing with people. If you act nervous, the horse thinks he should be nervous too.
Take that flymask, open it up, plop it on his head, and close the velcro. Don't sit there and slowly open it, glancing fearfully at the horse every other second, and then slowly raise it to his head (extremely slow movements like that tend to make horses nervous. Maybe because it's so like the stalking movements of a cat...?), and soothe him when he tries to move away.
If you do it in a no nonsense kind of way, the horse probably won't even have time to react.
When you go to take the velcro off, just calmly and quickly open it. If he reacts, just send him in a circle while still taking the velcro off. It's really nothing to be afraid of.
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