I really thought the applesauce thing would work. It sounded so reasonable! Kota loves apples. And apple treats. She's not mouthy at all and is rarely treated by hand, but the one time someone came to visit her after having eaten an apple she kept trying to lick his hand... I didn't let her, but finally figured out what was going on and a hand washing solved it.... Did I mention she REALLY likes apples?
Anyway, I finally got some of those great applesauce squeeze pouches. First 'lesson' was Friday. I had several hours available just to hang out, so that's what I did... feeding, grooming, really relaxed. I started by putting a little applesauce on my fingers and since I'd been stroking near her mouth, slipped a little in at the sides. She went all giraffe-like just from that! so I just kept grooming, and when she'd get relaxed, put a little on my finger and touched her lips... this time same thing, and she'd lick a little off, and proceed to wipe it off on the fence rail as if it was the yuckiest thing she'd ever tasted. Then I just stood around relaxed with the tube near her hoping she'd get interested. One sniff, then ignored it and dozed off. I had much more of the stuff on me than ever made it down her.
So went out the next day, again with no big agenda. Didn't force it on her. Just stood relaxed leaning on the rail with the tube and some sauce squeezed out. She barely sniffed it. By this time I was figuring it just wasn't good. So I walked over to the busy-body mare who'd had her head over the rail watching the whole thing. She took one sniff, and would have sucked it all out if I'd let her!... I went over and offered my horse another chance - she was interested slightly, but then nothing. I squeezed a glob out into her food pan; she sniffed it, but then just stood there. I gave it to the other mare who just about licked a hole through the pan. Sigh, my girl just seems suspicious of anything liquidy coming from people. (We had tried molasses when we first were attempting to worm her). Anyway, what next? something yummier? a tube of honey?
** by the way, she isn't scared of everything by any means... we haven't tried just walking up to her loose to give shots, but I just hold her on a loose lead and she doesn't even flinch.
I'm a mid-lifer finally making time for horses... Having a blast, but there's soooo much to learn -