A lot of horses have unwanted behaviours around worming time, their heads go up, they backup and the try their best to resist eating the nasty tasting wormer. These behaviours are instinctual but we can change them if we take time to help our horse relax and understand what we want.
Worming had not been a problem with our horses as we’ve been giving them the tablet form and they all took them like treats. Now we are syringe worming I’ve discovered that Solly has some negative behaviour with it all. He throws his head up so high I can’t reach him, he’s turning away and if I didn’t have a halter on him he’d be off. So instead of getting upset, I thought, what a prime opportunity to do a Training Tip Video of me teaching him how to take a syringe wormer with relaxation and positive reinforcement, and here is the first part….
So, I have done three practice sessions of worming on Solly (and the other herd members) and have progressed to not treating now and doing it at liberty. Here are some pics from our 4th practice today.
Pic 1) is of Solly looking at the syringe, I’ve placed it in the area I want his head to be.
Pic 2) is of Solly sniffing the syringe…smell is a huge part of this so it will be interesting to use the real wormer with him!
Pic 3) is of Solly taking the syringe himself .
Pics 4&5) are of him taking the apple sauce…all at liberty.
Pic 6) is Stormy taking the syringe for some sauce.
Pic 7) is Tara smelling the syringe.
Pic 8) is Tara taking the sauce, I held my hand on the outside of her head to encourage and sooth her, she could move her head that way and I wasn’t forcing it all, she just needs more support and love.
- Shelley – HorseSavvy