Scared of a spray bottle

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Ace, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Ace

    Ace Well-known Member

    My boy is terrified of spray bottles, he is ok with them around his front end but as soon i go past his girth he just jumps around and wont let me spray him. Im spraying him with fly repellant as the flies out were he is are really bad.

    Any ideas how to get him use to this?


  2. JessiTrist

    JessiTrist Well-known Member

    We have the same problem with Tristan, normally he is fine if one of us holds him while the other sprays, but Chickie is fantastic, can spray her anywhere without her moving.
  3. izzy2512

    izzy2512 Gold Member

    Ralph was the same when I first got it and what I got told to get him use to it is make the same sound as a spray bottle whilst grooming him. Sounds silly but works!
  4. Imperial

    Imperial Well-known Member

    oakster was like that...his eyes would pop out of his head.

    get a household spray bottle fill it with water. give your horse some hay to eat. you want to make it a good experience for him (thats what the food is for). then gently start to spray, work from the fornt and gradually work back. it wont fix it over night, but you want little improvements each time.

    and remember to always end it on a good note.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-known Member


    Will try that trick Izzy. He's a funny lil man, can go riding past motor bikes and big trucks but scared of a little spray bottle!


  6. Ace

    Ace Well-known Member

    Thanks Imperial will try that aswell.


  7. izzy2512

    izzy2512 Gold Member

    exactly the same as my boy ahha it's the only thing I've found that he's scared of
  8. naughtydog63

    naughtydog63 Well-known Member

    Hi Ace, yeah, I think a lot of horses are terrfied of the spray bottle. I say persistance is the key! I stand Jag up in a washbay and start from the back and work forward (he gets out of everything backwards) I do it everytime I see him and he is slowly getting over this fear, I can spray his neck now without him pulling back, although he isn't sold on it he puts up with it and he is getting better everyday. I've only been using it for a couple of weeks and already see a remarkable improvement. I don't think if I put food infront of him it would make a difference because he's too focused on that scary bottle, but every horse is different. I say just bite the bullet and keep doing what your doing(if it's getting on him) he'll soon figure out that it's not a monster and build a bridge.
  9. cobbie

    cobbie Gold Member

    I don't have this problem however I would say if I did I would fill a spray bottle with water and spray the legs and praise them every time they stood still, I would then move up the body and spray and praise, and then spray on my hand and rub on the face and and then eventually spray on the face but start maybe on the mouth and then move up. Maybe also patting him while your doing it to comfort him? Goodluck :)
  10. kim

    kim New Member

    My friends horse was scared of spray bottles too. Only thing was, she didn't tell me. I marched up to her, squirted her face and legs and she just stood there. My friend then freaked and said, Oh no, she is scared of sprays.
    Sometimes it is the handlers attitude. If you try to sneak up on them, they think there is something to be scared of.
  11. Ozzies_Girl

    Ozzies_Girl Well-known Member

    The way i learnt from my grandma was if they are really scared of it, start by using a spray bottle not an aersol. Spray gently around the air first so they hear the noise, and then slowly around the area of the body they are most comfortable with. Eventually progress to the noise of the aersol, starting by spraying far enough away that the wind takes the spray onto the horse without you being too close. The key is not to rush it, let it take as long as as it needs as to not scare the horse into never wanting it near it again.

    My grandmas mare is the perfect example of this, you can spray her head to toe with the stuff and she won't budge, when we first got her was another story though...
  12. Paddys girl

    Paddys girl Well-known Member

    don't have them tied up - spray in the air close to them, keep spraying until they get over it and stand still. Stop and praise, if you can spray once with them standing still - stop and praise. Then progress to two sprays whilst standing still etc until they are fine with it just around their general area.
    Then start process over with this time spraying on their body :) Will take a little bit with a horse already thinking they are scary but shouldn't be too long.
  13. Bruce the Goose

    Bruce the Goose Well-known Member

    One of mine is scared of sprays and the other isn't.

    The one that is I put a halter on him and back him into corner of stable and then spray, praising him all the time.

    He is slowly getting better and hopefully will be good as the other one that you can spray anywhere with no halter and he doesn't move at all.

    Cheers Tracey
  14. KPF

    KPF Well-known Member

    Totally agree with Paddy's Girl here!**) I used to have a horse that did not like spray bottles. Yes, hold the lead rope, and get a cheap water bottle spray then spray the horse in the same area (start at front obviously) and allow them to move back but maintain contact and continue spraying until they stop moving, then you stop spraying. Its like teaching them anything, it'll take time:) . This way everyone is less likely to get hurt in the process or stressed out too much.**)
  15. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    Time & Patience... my 6yr old is scared too and when I spray her I untie her and be open about what I'm doing, show her the bottle, let her smell it and then just take my time. Never get angry, yell at them to "stand up" or smack them as this will only reinforce their fear.

    My babe no longer runs away when I pick up the bottle. She's still scared but she trusts me that I won't let it hurt her so she stands still and I'm sure she closes her eyes and holds her breath until it's over. :D

    Good Luck and take your time.
  16. dirtbug

    dirtbug Gold Member

    oooh this is a good thread...

    my boy is petrified of sprays to the point he starts quivvering and backing up :(

    some very good hints here guys!!!

    and so after we have got the 'washing down' after a ride well and truely conquerd we will have a go at getting him used to the various sprays...

    but for now i will continue to use the ointments or wipe the spray onto my hands then onto him or ill spray his halter and rug b4 i put them on him :)

    and yeap patience is the key...
  17. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    i remember monty roberts saying something about whistling. horse cant concentrate on too many things at once, so if you're patting, whistling and using the spray bottle, he'll tend to focus on the whistling.

    also, like another poster said - make the noise of a spray can/bottle as often as you can.

    also, approach and retreat is always effective.
  18. springbok

    springbok Well-known Member

    Untill the horse gets used to it keep a soft rag with your grooming gear and instead of spraying into the air while getting them used to it, spray onto the rag (no wastage!) and apply to the horse. Eventually you won't need the rag but it's handy to have them used to you wiping things over them (ie. ointments, glosses and makeup etc.).

  19. horseygal44

    horseygal44 Well-known Member

    I tried to spray Kresta's neck (supposedly his least sensitive area for him) and he broke the baling twine & took off the the other end of the pen. I was standing there with this bottle in my hand just wondering what to do. After that, I just decided to put it on his brush & brush it into his coat.
  20. Ace

    Ace Well-known Member

    We did our first training session today and I figured out a few things. Its not the bottle or the noise he is afraid of it is when the liquid goes on his body.

    I managed to get on his girth area and flanks no problem today so will do that until he is really comfortable then move on to a more harder area.

    Thanks everyone!



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