View Full Version : Questions about OTTB & spray-on thi

26-10-06, 02:31 PM
My OTTB (as recently discovered) is giving me a bit of trouble. He has several cuts on his body thanks to an over-exuberant paddock-mate, and whenever I try to spray iodine on it, he flinches or jumps or just bolts. I've tried sponging the iodine onto him, but I get the same reaction - I'm not sure if it's the smell he doesn't like, or if it's triggering a memory. He's the same way with flyspray; not a chance in hell of spraying it on from the bottle or even sponging it on.

The moment I don't have a sponge covered in iodine/flyspray or a bottle in my hands, he's perfectly behaved again, but he just won't stand still to let me put either on him. The first time I tried doing it, I had him tied up, and he reacted badly (bumped his foreleg on the fence), so I've avoided it since and just let him roam around, while I try and spray him as he's eating. It's getting to be very frustrating, as he hates flies, and only really has his flyveil as protection.

Is there anything that indicates he's having a memory trigger, or that he's simply sensitive to certain smells like flyspray and iodine?

27-10-06, 02:26 AM
Have a long rope, and hook it around a rail or through baling twine and hold on to it when you try to do it. And never try and spray round the face, spray it on your hands and wipe it round his eyes.
Perhaps if you think its the smell or sound that bothers him, have a spray bottle of water handy, and everytime you are handling him, spray him just once or twice on the body, as a matter of course, don't make an issue of it, but slowly desensitise him to the spray noise & feel. Speak to him calmly as you do it, and reward him with a carrot, so he knows its all good.

Does he let you spray him with the hose, or is it always a song and dance?

Could very well be he's having you on.

And if someone in the paddock is picking on him, put a rug on him, so he's not getting covered in sores & it will also protect him from the flies. If he's rugged and wearing a fly mask, you really shouldn't have to spray him with flyspray, except for perhaps when you ride him.

27-10-06, 02:37 PM
We had an ottb a number of years ago that raced till he was 9 - until he retired he was fastest out of the barriers in every race he ran.

The reason? Terror, sheer absolute terror.

We had tried spraying him over summer with citronella spray and had a quiet horse flip over and be a sweating shaking mess. We kept trying and he did not improve. Then someone recognised the horse and told us about the trainers 'methods'.

These involved a cattle prod and a rag soaked in citronella. On race day as he let the horse onto the track he would wipe the horse's nose with a rag soaked in citronella...

Poor horse was terrified. I dont have the trainers name or details. He has been warned off once before for this 'training' method, he is based in Qld IF he is still training that is. I doubt that he is the only person doing his as it was quite successful for him.