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I take and fill a spray bottle with water and do the pressure release thing with it until they learn to hold still when being sprayed. Just like desensitizing them to anything else. I use water because I can't douse them in fly spray etc. to train them but water is cheap and so are giant spray bottles. Once they are desensitized to it then I use the fly spray or whatever it is I was wanting to spray on them. Depending on the horse it usually only takes one or two training sessions to get them to quit moving around. I have a new horse in that I needed to spray out a cut of his today with saline to clean it and he was scared of the spray noise. It took less than 10 minutes with a spray bottle full of water to get him used to it. I don't use aerosols so I don't know how you would train for that without spending a bunch of money?
 

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Haven't had that issue, but I'd suggest think "Yay!'-time to play with spray bottles and aerosols. I prefer a rope halter, and at least 12 feet of lead, hold it about half way. Turn slightly away from the horse and spray the bottle toward the ground. If the horse needs to move his feet, let him as long as you stay safe, give him more rope if needed. Keep spraying toward the ground. The minute he stands still, stop spraying and praise and/or pet him. Rinse and repeat until he doesn't react at all to the bottle being sprayed away from him ,toward the ground. Each horse will be different on if it take a few minutes, or ???much longer. Stopping the spraying teaches him that is what you want,,,him to stand still. (Negative reinforcement--taking a stimulus away). Build from there ---get closer spray straight out, etc following the same principles...untill finally he can stand quietly while you spray him. (same scenario for just about any object that you want the horse to accept quietly. Different than MAKING the horse just TOLERATE an object by flooding) Sonny was initially anxious and couldn't stand still if I tried to have the training stick touch him or have the string swing over him. I helped him calmly accept it until I could helicopter it over his head or body and slam the string on the ground with all my strength in front of, beside, or behind him and he would just keep grazing without being upset or anxious. That reminds me....your focus and intent are very important in this -your horse reads those things and can only be calm when your focus is on the object (don't stare at him) and your intent is what you are doing with the object , NOT on making him do anything because of what you are doing with the object. Worked great for us. Good luck. No need to find an alternative way to apply liquids if you are willing to take the time to teach your horse that 'its ok'.

Fay
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much All !! I'll try that today...

]I take and fill a spray bottle with water and do the pressure release thing with it until they learn to hold still when being sprayed. Just like desensitizing them to anything else. I use water because I can't douse them in fly spray etc. to train them but water is cheap and so are giant spray bottles. Once they are desensitized to it then I use the fly spray or whatever it is I was wanting to spray on them. Depending on the horse it usually only takes one or two training sessions to get them to quit moving around. I have a new horse in that I needed to spray out a cut of his today with saline to clean it and he was scared of the spray noise. It took less than 10 minutes with a spray bottle full of water to get him used to it. I don't use aerosols so I don't know how you would train for that without spending a bunch of money?[/QUOTE]
Haven't had that issue, but I'd suggest think "Yay!'-time to play with spray bottles and aerosols. I prefer a rope halter, and at least 12 feet of lead, hold it about half way. Turn slightly away from the horse and spray the bottle toward the ground. If the horse needs to move his feet, let him as long as you stay safe, give him more rope if needed. Keep spraying toward the ground. The minute he stands still, stop spraying and praise and/or pet him. Rinse and repeat until he doesn't react at all to the bottle being sprayed away from him ,toward the ground. Each horse will be different on if it take a few minutes, or ???much longer. Stopping the spraying teaches him that is what you want,,,him to stand still. (Negative reinforcement--taking a stimulus away). Build from there ---get closer spray straight out, etc following the same principles...untill finally he can stand quietly while you spray him. (same scenario for just about any object that you want the horse to accept quietly. Different than MAKING the horse just TOLERATE an object by flooding) Sonny was initially anxious and couldn't stand still if I tried to have the training stick touch him or have the string swing over him. I helped him calmly accept it until I could helicopter it over his head or body and slam the string on the ground with all my strength in front of, beside, or behind him and he would just keep grazing without being upset or anxious. That reminds me....your focus and intent are very important in this -your horse reads those things and can only be calm when your focus is on the object (don't stare at him) and your intent is what you are doing with the object , NOT on making him do anything because of what you are doing with the object. Worked great for us. Good luck. No need to find an alternative way to apply liquids if you are willing to take the time to teach your horse that 'its ok'.

Fay
Basically exactly what's already been said, but in a video demonstration.

And it DOES work! 🙂

 

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Oh, one other very VERY important thing: DON'T do the desensitizing with them tied up. Just hold the lead rope with lots of slack in it. They need to be free to move around. If the horse is tied during this (or any other desensitizing for that matter), they might panic and pull back and then you have a whole other problem to deal with...
 

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Added to the good ideas above, I always start low, at the feet and work my way up. Spray next to the horse, then the front feet and legs, then back feet and legs, then back/belly/hindquarters/neck. I spray some on a brush or cloth for the face, never spray there.

Also use nature to help you train. By that I mean a horse will usually enjoy being sprayed with water on a hot, humid day.

I never had a big issue with fly sprays because I always waited until the horse was being bothered by flies before fly spraying them. Seems like they quickly figure out that I am trying to help them and the immediate release from biting flies is a reward in itself!


Horses hate flies too!
 

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Start at the legs. See how they react (just like if you are showing them the hose for the first time, start low).

Pressure, release as mentioned, will also help. And lots of praise! :) Encouragement. Let them know it's no big deal.
 

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What's already been said. Get water and a spray bottle, in fact get different types of water bottle that will sound different and spray differently and use it every time you go out and groom before and after you ride. Do it on every part of the body. Do it while you feed, do it while you scratch, do it while they graze, do it while you do pretty doing anything. They will eventually get used to the sound and sensation and get bored with it.
 
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Warwick Schiller makes everything look so easy! (I think he's great!) But the horse in the video didn't have a phobia towards fly spray either (although I understand the process would be the same).

My current horse came with a terrible phobia to fly spray. The previous owner is a good friend and bought the horse this way and she never tried to train the mare out of it, she simply sprayed fly spray on a cloth and wiped her. But I wanted to be able to spray her because well, it's quicker, easier, and I would like to be able to spray other things on her as well, like show sheen to detangle her mane and tail. And it sounded like an easy thing to fix. The foal I raised had no problem accepting fly spray, so it can't be that hard to teach, right?

Well, my mare is TERRIFIED of being sprayed. Almost to the point I gave up on it. I think she must have been tied up and forcibly sprayed, because she has an extreme fear, especially when tied. What I discovered is that it is the feel of the spray she hates. If I spray her mane and tail she will look a little wild-eyed but not actually move. She doesn't like the spray hitting her skin.

My mare loves horse cookies so what I did was clip a pouch of cookies on my belt loop and go into her pen with her loose and spray in one hand and a car wash mitt on the other. I would act like I was spraying the mitt and "accidentally" get a little on her when I was doing it. Give her a cookie, repeat. She would sometimes squirt away but the cookies kept her interested and coming back around. Eventually I got to where I could rub her with the mitt and spray her sort of at the same time. The rubbing with the mitt seemed to take away a little of the feel of the spray landing on her skin. So I worked on this for like two years. Now, this summer, I am just getting to where I can spray her tied up, with no mitt, going slow with lots of praise and a cookie or two. And Warwick Schiller could have accomplished it in 30 seconds. :lol:

But anyway, some horses just have not been exposed to spray.......and some have a serious phobia about it. I never knew how scared a horse could be of spray until I got this one. She must have had a really traumatic experience. Because my foal was a piece of cake to teach to be sprayed.

PS. I do think it helps when they are stamping at flies to work on them then. My mare does seem to make the connection of the spray helping with the flies. :cool:
 
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