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KTSpeedhorse 05-29-2009 12:10 AM

Cant doctor her ears.
My mare is 9 and she will not let me touch her ears at all. Now the files are getting in there something awful and I was only able to rub a small amount of scarlet oil and water mix around them. She is really good about putting her head down to bridle etc. but it is almost impossible to get meds in her ears or clip the hair out! I just got her in March and have been trying to work with her daily but I'm so worried about the flies right now. Any suggestions? I have never had this problem with a horse before and have always been able to treat and prevent the bug problem. Can a vet do this for me maybe she needs to be sedated???

prbygenny 05-29-2009 01:33 AM

Can you use a spay bottle with your mixture at the moment while you are trying to desensitize her? That is my only emergency quick fix. Otherwise I know my boy (who was a race track boy for many years) still does not like one ear touched. The one thing I do is keep rubbing the outside and very very softly eventually put my thumb halfway in (thumb has swat onit) and very lightly rub the swat in. I don't shave the insides of his ears because this natuarally helps him keep the bugs out.

onetoomany 05-29-2009 01:44 AM

Not sure how extreme your horse is but I got a tip from someone once that was very helpful and will possibly at least help. Stand on the lead rope instead of trying to fight your horse with your arms. It'll at least save you some shoulder aches etc. Granted, if your horse wants to get it's head up there- it will just depends on how severly your horse does it. I used this with my two year old when she was being a snot about taking the bit and after a couple times she figured out she wasn't getting anywhere but she wasn't nasty about it just being a snot. Good luck!

Qtswede 05-29-2009 09:02 PM

It takes a while to get a horse over being head shy. A lady's horse I worked on was 14 and you couldn't touch her head at all. I had to start at her shoulder, and stand next to her, work my hand up slowly, as I pet her - kinda like oops! I'm a little higher.... when my hand was on her ears, she tossed her head and threw a fit, and I held there until she quit. Then I moved away. that went on for about 3 months. She's totally over it, and with time, she's now allowing just about anyone to handle her ears, cradle her muzzle, etc. Just take your time.

smrobs 05-29-2009 09:38 PM

Qtswede gave some great advice. It takes a long time to get them over being head shy (she was probably eared down during her training). Just start at the shoulder or somewhere on her neck that she likes to have scratched. Just rub on her sweet spot and slowly work your way closer to her head the instant that she starts to act uncomfortable, stop moving your hand upward and just rub the spot where it is until she is calm. Then start from the beginning and go again. That will slowly teach her that your hand is nothing to fear and it won't hurt her. When moving to their ears, I first cup my hand around the back of them before moving to the inside. On the outside, I start at the base and work my way up, on the inside, I start at the tip and work my way lower.

I agree with leaving them hairy unless you are showing where it has to be shaved. That hair is there for a reason, and that is to protect their ears from bugs and debris. Although if you have to clip, then start introducing her to the clippers long after she is completely comfortable handling her ears with your hands then do the same as above with the clippers turned on in your hand.

Good luck. :)

KTSpeedhorse 05-30-2009 12:19 PM

thank you. I still don't know for sure what to do for now. the flys are bad and I cant use the sprayer. Is there a paste or something I can use?

Horse Poor 05-30-2009 12:48 PM

Camphophenique and a cotton ball. Leave the hair alone - it helps protect her ears.

KTSpeedhorse 05-30-2009 01:33 PM

I will leave the hair : ) I still wonder if there is some sort of cream or sav that I can put on my thumb and when she lets me tough her ears I can rub it in without any wipes or devices.

luvs2ride1979 05-30-2009 04:08 PM

Get a fly mask with ears for now. That will keep the flies off of them and get her used to something touching her ears.

Also, leave the hair. The hair in the ears protects the inside of their ears from flies and other insects. If you remove the hair, she'll have no more natural protection.

To work on her ear shy-ness, use an advance-retreat method. Touch up her neck and head as far as she's comfortable. Go just a bit farther up. Leave your hand there quietly and wait until she calms down. Then remove your hand and give her a treat. Rinse and repeat until she'll let you do whatever you need to.

prbygenny 05-30-2009 10:23 PM

Use SWAT that keeps the bugs out of my boys ears really well. It is a cream too.

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