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Question:

Horse keeps spooking at rugs?

Okay, a its getting colder ive started rugging my horse again, but theres one slight problem. He' terrified of them. It never happened before, but for the past couple of weeks the only way i can get a rug off him is by undoing the straps and letting him spook while holding onto the rug, and then putting it on i have to have very skilled aim and try to get it on while he is running in circles.This isnt happening because this is his first year of having a rug, he has had them for all 14 years of his life, its just ridiculous, and its not like the rug is different in any way at all. Its not my method of putting on/taking off the rug either, no one at my stable can do it without him spooking. Just wondering though, is there anyway i can desensitise him to this? Or find a better way to get the rugs on and off?

Answer:

heis just being silly and the more he does it and gets away with it the more frightened he will become. Get a long rope and put that through a secure ring so that you have him tied by holding the rope in your hand. Take an old large towel or material and keep throwing that over his back and neck. Take no notice of him freaking out and just continue to do this until he accepts it. Then progress to the rug. Just throw it over his back and keep doing so until he stands and accepts. Keep hold of the rope so he cannot dart off, do not allow your heart rate to change, just keep singing or whistling whilst you are doing it all. When he tries to dart forward keep the rope tight so that his head is right by the ring then let him looser when you put the rug on or off. He must learn that he cannot just run away from the rug and that A) you are in control and B) no matter what he does you are going to continue to throw the rug on and off until he stands correctly.
Aug 23, 2017
Silly horses. I don't have too much advice about desensitizing, I haven't had to deal with that a lot, but I do have a great way to take it on and off! Undo all the clasps, and then starting in the back, fold it half way up his back. Then take the front and fold it until it meets the folded back part. Then you will just have a strip of blanket on his back that you can remove without a lot of noise and fuss. Keep it in that same shape to put it back on. Unfold the front and then the back, then do all the clasps. I take off blankets and put them on this way on all horses I deal with and its really fast and effective. It's also a great method if the horse is really tall.
Aug 23, 2017
OKAY: He had to be desensitized to begin with. Just pretend he is a yearling and seeing this for the first time. Let him walk up to you. Then rub him all over with it. Preferably someone holding him while doing that. Then just always have it around him. Anywhere your going, while grooming, tacking, untacking, riding,etc. If this doesn't work, then talk to your vet. Show him how you do everything. See if there is anyway you could be hurting him. Also try not to throw it on him anymore. Think about it, if something was flying at you, what would you do? Stand there. I don't think so!!
Aug 23, 2017
allow the horse to sniff the rug and you should try hanging it in the stall to get him use to it. this doesn't work try having someone pet him and keep his head turned to distract him while putting on and removing it
Aug 23, 2017
Let him sniff the rug first so he won't get so scared
Aug 23, 2017

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