Sonata was a holy terror for shots today. Last time we blind folded her and she was fine, this time that didn't work. She was throwing herself up, stomping and just generally trying to get away. I had to hold onto her top lip (hate doing this) and she finally held still if we pretty much commanded her to hold still, talking nicely or trying to sooth her didn't mean anything to her. Anyway, how can I help her get better at this? It's not like I want to go poking her. I feel bad for my poor vet. It's a good thing she's not a big horse.
She's a year old, I groom her every day, I can touch any part of her and clean all her feet and she for the most part doesn't care.
She just has to get used to it. I would twitch her, it just makes life easier and she should eventually calm down enough that you don't have to.
My horse gets shots once a month so he is really used to it. I almost don't even need to halter him anymore.
My mum's horse hates needles and he gets very scared, to the point where for a time he would get dangerous. We twitched him just because he is so big. Now he is much better and only needs a halter and a corner to be backed into to get his shots.
As long as you aren't abusing the twitch and using it for everything, it should be fine. Chuck it on, give the shots, take it off, give her cookies. Eventually when she stands super quietly just take it off.
I poked mine with the toothpick. EVERY day for week before vet was coming (after I had a horrid experience that vet couldn't get near by, so I had to schedule 2nd visit). Couple days before the vet I asked my parents and my neighbors to poke her as well (so she'd be OK with other people). While she was not happy with the vet we could do it. There is nothing wrong with the poking (considering you do it slightly, of course, not like hitting with full energy :wink: ).
I agree with the toothpick but some horses need even a lead into that. Start by pinching her (like you would check for dehydration) everywhere she might get a shot. Neck, chest, butt, etc. Then you pinch and add the prick of the toothpick. Then when she doesn't care about that then you go hog wild pretending she's a toothpick cushion! You want to poke enough that they definitely feel it but you don't want to really jab it in there. A good rule of thumb is if you do it to your arm and go OUCH but don't break skin then you're good because their skin is much thicker than ours. Good luck and keep us posted!
I am gonna try it all! I don't have any toothpicks on me so I will start pinching her tonight and then grab some next time I go grocery shopping.
Thanks for all the suggestions!
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