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Hi, I just got a new horse a week ago. She is really great but for some reason when I hose her off or use fly spray she is fine if Im on her left side but as soon as I move to the left she starts to freak out a little bit. Anyone have any suggestions as to why or what I should do??
 

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Hi, I just got a new horse a week ago. She is really great but for some reason when I hose her off or use fly spray she is fine if Im on her left side but as soon as I move to the left she starts to freak out a little bit. Anyone have any suggestions as to why or what I should do??

Im sorry I meant when I move to her right side.
 

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Just because she's used to something on one side, doesn't mean she is on the other. Horses have two sides to their brains, and they don't communicate well.... so if you do something on one side, you have to do it on the other or it's a 'whole new world' situation. Most horses are more comfortable with things on their left side, because that's the side we usually handle them from. You may also want to have her eyes checked-- horses who have impaired vision on one side are usually spookier on that side, especially with new things.


For water/fly spray, I start by holding the horse's rope rather than tying, and by standing off to the side facing the front of the horse, and start using the hose or spray bottle (fill one with water or water/vinegar for training) and start with the front feet and work up to the knees, then chest, then base of the neck and shoulders on both sides. When the horse is good with that, approach from one side, and go from the shoulders down the barrel to the hips, then back forward and up the neck. Repeat on the other side. If the horse moves, fine, but I won't stop spraying or hosing until he stands still, even if we move in a circle for ten minutes first. Let him move so he doesn't explode, but keep at it until he stops. Most start off better on one side or another, but they figure out that it's not hurting them and that I want them to stand still. After a few sessions where the horse stands calmly and relaxed, then and only then should you tie the horse to be hosed or sprayed.
 

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Just because she's used to something on one side, doesn't mean she is on the other. Horses have two sides to their brains, and they don't communicate well.... so if you do something on one side, you have to do it on the other or it's a 'whole new world' situation. Most horses are more comfortable with things on their left side, because that's the side we usually handle them from. You may also want to have her eyes checked-- horses who have impaired vision on one side are usually spookier on that side, especially with new things.


For water/fly spray, I start by holding the horse's rope rather than tying, and by standing off to the side facing the front of the horse, and start using the hose or spray bottle (fill one with water or water/vinegar for training) and start with the front feet and work up to the knees, then chest, then base of the neck and shoulders on both sides. When the horse is good with that, approach from one side, and go from the shoulders down the barrel to the hips, then back forward and up the neck. Repeat on the other side. If the horse moves, fine, but I won't stop spraying or hosing until he stands still, even if we move in a circle for ten minutes first. Let him move so he doesn't explode, but keep at it until he stops. Most start off better on one side or another, but they figure out that it's not hurting them and that I want them to stand still. After a few sessions where the horse stands calmly and relaxed, then and only then should you tie the horse to be hosed or sprayed.




Thanks for the info I have been working with her, but all she does is lunge around in a circle continuously. I will keep at it though.
 

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Silver Maple said it all. One thing I do to save money when teaching them to stand for the fly spray is, fill up an empty spray bottle with water and then start spraying until they figure out that standing gets it done quickly and you quit. Otherwise, you can go through a LOT of money on fly spray. Once they'll accept being sprayed with water, then you can use the real stuff.
 

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Thanks for the info I have been working with her, but all she does is lunge around in a circle continuously. I will keep at it though.

Hold her lead rope in your left hand about 18" from her halter. Then start spraying toward her upper legs/shoulders. If she moves, fine. Just keep moving with her. The INSTANT she stops, stop spraying, drop a loop of the lead, and take a step back. Give her a minute or two to think this through. Then try again. You may be spraying as she runs in circles for 20 minutes if need be. But you stop when she stops. Her circling will get shorter and shorter, and eventually you will be able to walk up, spray once or twice, then step back and she won't move. That's when you're done for the day. Rinse and repeat. You may start over the second day. Keep at it. She'll figure it out eventually.

Only when you can walk up, halter her, toss her lead over her neck or hold it loosely and spray everywhere should you ever tie her for this.


I start with a spray bottle filled with water, then add some vinegar. Some horses are fine for just water, but react differently once they smell something odd. The vinegar seems to help without wasting fly spray, or add a small amount of spray to the water. Then with the first bottle of actual fly spray, if need be you can add a few glugs of vinegar to the bottle so it's not so different. Most horses are reacting to the sound of the sprayer and the feel of the mist, but some react to the scent. Also, be aware that just because a horse stands for fly spray from a squirt bottle does not mean he will stand for spray from an aerosol can. One guy had a wreck at a show this Sunday with that-- his wife bought an aerosol can of spray because the store was out of the regular, and his 3 y.o. colt apparently had never experienced the Horse Eating Spray Can. The horse was caught in a residential area 3 blocks away one broken halter, dented trailer, cut leg, missing shoe, and broken fence later. Luckily the local vet's daughter was also showing, so he just went to his truck, got his emergency kit, and sewed up the colt right there. The horse will be ok, but it was a scary situation and could have ended very differently.
 

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Hold her lead rope in your left hand about 18" from her halter. Then start spraying toward her upper legs/shoulders. If she moves, fine. Just keep moving with her. The INSTANT she stops, stop spraying, drop a loop of the lead, and take a step back. Give her a minute or two to think this through. Then try again. You may be spraying as she runs in circles for 20 minutes if need be. But you stop when she stops. Her circling will get shorter and shorter, and eventually you will be able to walk up, spray once or twice, then step back and she won't move. That's when you're done for the day. Rinse and repeat. You may start over the second day. Keep at it. She'll figure it out eventually.

Only when you can walk up, halter her, toss her lead over her neck or hold it loosely and spray everywhere should you ever tie her for this.


I start with a spray bottle filled with water, then add some vinegar. Some horses are fine for just water, but react differently once they smell something odd. The vinegar seems to help without wasting fly spray, or add a small amount of spray to the water. Then with the first bottle of actual fly spray, if need be you can add a few glugs of vinegar to the bottle so it's not so different. Most horses are reacting to the sound of the sprayer and the feel of the mist, but some react to the scent. Also, be aware that just because a horse stands for fly spray from a squirt bottle does not mean he will stand for spray from an aerosol can. One guy had a wreck at a show this Sunday with that-- his wife bought an aerosol can of spray because the store was out of the regular, and his 3 y.o. colt apparently had never experienced the Horse Eating Spray Can. The horse was caught in a residential area 3 blocks away one broken halter, dented trailer, cut leg, missing shoe, and broken fence later. Luckily the local vet's daughter was also showing, so he just went to his truck, got his emergency kit, and sewed up the colt right there. The horse will be ok, but it was a scary situation and could have ended very differently.






Thanks! Yea for her its not so much the spray as the sound and mist, cause if I spray it lightly into my hand and there is no noise I can rub it on her. Once I start spraying loudly and on her she starts lunging.
 

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I'd spend some time just spraying that bottle (use water). Stand where she can see you, spray the air, spray the ground, spray the dog, spray yourself, just as long as she can see what you are doing and she can hear the noise. Once she is okay with that, then approach and retreat until she stands still. Above all, be calm and make it no big deal.
That's what I would do.
 

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Update: I got her to stand still and spray at long as Im touching her where I spray she is fine and wont move. Little bit of a hassle but its progress. Will continue to work with her on it. Thank you all for the information!!
 

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Update: I got her to stand still and spray at long as Im touching her where I spray she is fine and wont move. Little bit of a hassle but its progress. Will continue to work with her on it. Thank you all for the information!!
Just keep at it until she figures out that no matter where she goes, what she does, she can't get away from it AND that it really isn't going to kill her. It's a frustration 2 or 3 day process but in the end, she'll be great for fly spray. She may never learn to LOVE the fly spray, ahem Skippy, but she'll learn to tolerate it.
 

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Just keep at it until she figures out that no matter where she goes, what she does, she can't get away from it AND that it really isn't going to kill her. It's a frustration 2 or 3 day process but in the end, she'll be great for fly spray. She may never learn to LOVE the fly spray, ahem Skippy, but she'll learn to tolerate it.
Lol yea she for sure does not like it but got her to stand still yesterday after a little bit of running around.
 
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