Need advice for two things

Groom Mum

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hi ok first flies !!!!

I'm sure they have arrived on the back of the mud drying out. My boys are really fed up with them around their heads. I tried a spray of citronella , eeeek they freaked out, so I decided I would rub it on my gloves (which are blue) they see me coming with these blue gloves on and bolt. Now even when I have the gloves on for mucking out they wont come near me ! I bought a citronella cream which you can rub on their skin as soon as they smell it they are off again. But they are really suffering with the flies so any ideas what else I can do?

The other thing is my 8yr old. He is a total pain to get a head collar on. I can just about (if he feels like it) get one on when he has his head in a bowl of food. When they have their head collars on and I go to swap them from one field to another he will NOT let me come close to hook the lead rope on. The only way I can get him is if I take my other one into the field without him , then he gets stress because he likes to go in with the other one same time. He is nervous of me coming near him full stop though. I cannot walk up to him and stroke him, he backs away, I have tried tying him up and grooming him, but he's pretty nervous. He's a rescue pony. I'm not too sure how to get him to be more friendly and trust me. Although he's getting better. Any tips would be a help.Thanks.
 

Nudibranch

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First of all buy something like Coopers Fly Repellent plus. You put it on with a sponge, but dont use blue gloves if they are wary. Get some regular latex gloves, and distract them with a feed.
For catching, use a field safe headcollar or a soft, supple (breakable) leather one. Keep a short length bit of leadrope attached to it but no more than a few inches. Make sure there is nothing in the field it could get caught on. Is there anyone experienced who could help you with the rescue?
 

Groom Mum

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First of all buy something like Coopers Fly Repellent plus. You put it on with a sponge, but dont use blue gloves if they are wary. Get some regular latex gloves, and distract them with a feed.
For catching, use a field safe headcollar or a soft, supple (breakable) leather one. Keep a short length bit of leadrope attached to it but no more than a few inches. Make sure there is nothing in the field it could get caught on. Is there anyone experienced who could help you with the rescue?

I don't really need help. He does let me put a head collar on. Just some days he's more compliant ?? I always have to do it when he's having his feed. I do put repellent on with a sponge. I'll try it without gloves. It's the smell they run from. But they don't like the gloves either.
 

EQUIDAE

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I'd agree with the coopers, and I'd agree with getting some help. Could the rescue centre give you some advice? It's pretty remiss of them sending you a horse that is so nervous that you can't get a headcollar on without a bucket - usually the properly rehab them first.
 

Sugar_and_Spice

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Could they wear fly masks or fly fringes? I'd leave a headcollar on the nervous one all the time with a fly fringe attached. Practice catching him in a stable, as long as you're confident he won't kick. If there's doubt, put him in the stable, have a chain across the door so he can't escape, you go on the other side of the chain so you can step back if he kicks out.

Hold the clip part of the lead rope on your hand, leave the rest trailing and your hand by your side. With your other hand call him to you whilst offering a treat.

When he consistently comes to call, put both hands together, one holding the treat and the other holding the lead rope clip, with the rope trailing. So now he has to take the treat from next to the rope.

When he's fine with this, move the treat hand back towards you whilst keeping your arms together, so your treat hand is half way between the elbow and wrist of your rope hand. Now he has to come past the rope to get the treat. When he's ok with that you can start to clip the rope on as he eats the treat. Your rope hand should be in roughly the right place so there's no need to move it just work the clip. When you're at this stage a handful of hard feed works best because it takes an extra second or 2 before they've got it all, giving you longer to clip the rope on.

Grooming him every day will get him used to being handled. Try to find his itchy spots, most horses love being groomed when they're moulting their winter coats. Once you've found those areas he likes to be groomed, you can go back to those places as a reassurance that you mean no harm, if he gets anxious about you grooming other areas. Act confident but move quietly and slowly around him, don't make any sudden movements.

You can teach him to walk on and halt, complete with voice commands, as you lead him to and from the field.
 

Groom Mum

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That's excellent advice. Thank you

To be honest some days he can be pretty good. It almost depends more on his mood than fact he's scared.

He was handled at the centre a good bit before he came to me.

But he hates anything or anyone near his eye/ ear area.

Once he has collar and lead rope on he's perfect I can lead him anywhere. It's just the actual putting it on and later getting rope on to ring. IF I take the other pony first when I go back for him he's as good as gold. I can hook it on immediately. No messing about at all. So I'm wondering if it's more naughty than nerves.


QUOTE=Sugar_and_Spice;13250217]Could they wear fly masks or fly fringes? I'd leave a headcollar on the nervous one all the time with a fly fringe attached. Practice catching him in a stable, as long as you're confident he won't kick. If there's doubt, put him in the stable, have a chain across the door so he can't escape, you go on the other side of the chain so you can step back if he kicks out.

Hold the clip part of the lead rope on your hand, leave the rest trailing and your hand by your side. With your other hand call him to you whilst offering a treat.

When he consistently comes to call, put both hands together, one holding the treat and the other holding the lead rope clip, with the rope trailing. So now he has to take the treat from next to the rope.

When he's fine with this, move the treat hand back towards you whilst keeping your arms together, so your treat hand is half way between the elbow and wrist of




your rope hand. Now he has to come past the rope to get the treat. When he's ok with that you can start to clip the rope on as he eats the treat. Your rope hand should be in roughly the right place so there's no need to move it just work the clip. When you're at this stage a handful of hard feed works best because it takes an extra second or 2 before they've got it all, giving you longer to clip the rope on.

Grooming him every day will get him used to being handled. Try to find his itchy spots, most horses love being groomed when they're moulting their winter coats. Once you've found those areas he likes to be groomed, you can go back to those places as a reassurance that you mean no harm, if he gets anxious about you grooming other areas. Act confident but move quietly and slowly around him, don't make any sudden movements.

You can teach him to walk on and halt, complete with voice commands, as you lead him to and from the field.[/QUOTE]
 

Sugar_and_Spice

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He may well be nervous but if he can overcome it so you can catch him fine when alone, then he's basically having you on. He's worked out that if he won't be caught you'll bring a bucket of feed. Put a stop to it by catching him when he's alone, don't set yourself up to fail by trying to catch him first.

Sometimes horses don't know what's best for them. He could get conjunctivitis from flies hanging round his eyes and the flies could then spread the infection to the other one. The only way he's going to get used to a fly fringe or mask is by wearing one. When he's more comfortable with being handled you could try again with repellents if you want. Some come in gel form and don't require you to wear gloves for application. But at the moment, while he's still afraid of grooming, it will cause more harm than good to persevere.
 
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Shay

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For the flies - is there any merit in plaiting a cattle fly tag into the mane? That would avoid you having to apply and re-apply fly spray / cream. Whether your rescue would tolerate it is another matter!
 
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