My horse is afraid of fly spray bottles...

HorseLady1

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 7, 2014
50
2
41
So he is afraid of fly spray bottles, of course, but he isn't afraid of the hose. Is there any attachment for the fly spray that can be used with the hose (you know like with the shampoo things that attach to the hose, but with fly spray)? He won't let me spray him and hates it when I put it on a brush and then on him. Please, if there is anything that can help me I would appreciate it. Thank you, and Blue will too.
 

HorseLady1

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 7, 2014
50
2
41
I'm sorry I posted it here, I just couldn't find anywhere else...
 

NotInThecity

In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 7, 2011
22
0
21
Is it the noise he is afraid of or the actual spray mist?

Few things to try...find a safe empty spray container(old fly spray container should work) and put water in it (so you don't waste the spray). Every time you mess with him, try spraying. First try spraying beside him (not on him), just towards the ground. Then start on the lower front legs. Talk to him, ease him through it. When he is comfortable with the lower legs, move up a bit, then try the back legs, slowly move up the body as he gets used to it. Seems like they sometimes don't like there back sprayed. Just take your time.

Another thought is to try one of those hand sprayers that are used for applying stuff to your garden. They make small inexpensive ones that you can pump up ahead of time, and then just press or squeeze a lever to spray. Then all the animal has to deal with is the mist, and not the noise.

Good luck!
 

Bunnylady

POOF Goes the Pooka
10 Years
Nov 27, 2009
18,541
8,241
591
Wilmington, NC
So you can hose him with water, or soap and water and he doesn't have a problem with that? You can brush him, but when you put fly spray on the brush, he suddenly has a problem with being brushed? Sounds to me like it is the fly spray itself, not the method of application, that he's having a problem with.

I suppose it could be the smell of it he hates, or maybe it stings when it goes on. Have you tried different brands? There are even some recipes for homemade fly repellents that might not be quite so offensive.
 

HorseLady1

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 7, 2014
50
2
41
He is afraid of all of it, the mist and noise. We have tried spraying his legs and work our way up and spraying beside him. He just hates it all together. He hates bottles, even ones without anything in them and bottles that hold water or juice. And Bunny Lady I don't know, we have tried different types. Ugh, he is hopeless....
 

Chickerdoodle13

The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
6,820
374
331
Phoenix, AZ
I had very good luck with a spray bottle filled with water. I would hold the horse in one hand and spray away from the horse at the ground with the other. I would start slow to get the horse slowly accustomed to the noise. I would spray continuously (slowly and controlled, you don't want the horse to panic) until the horse calmed, even if just for a second. As soon as the horse calmed, I would cease spraying and praise. Then I would start again. I would do this for about 15 minutes a day and spray a little closer every time the horse got used to the bottle at each distance. The trick is to cease and praise immediately when you see the horse relax.

I was able to use the spray bottle without any spooking in about two weeks, but had results in as little as a single week.

I don't recommend doing this with the horse tied, as they can injure themselves by flipping out while tied.

Occasionally horses don't like the smell of the fly spray either, but I find it is more common that it is the noise that causes the spooking more than the smell.
 

Bunnylady

POOF Goes the Pooka
10 Years
Nov 27, 2009
18,541
8,241
591
Wilmington, NC
I have used a similar technique to what chickerdoodle describes to desensitize horses to worming. I've known a couple that acted like a tube of wormer was some sort of deadly weapon! For them, the matter had become all about the fight; the fact that their reaction was completely out of proportion to the threat just didn't come into it. As chickerdoodle said, the trick is to be watchful, and reward the correct response (calm behavior) as soon as you get it.
 
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