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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2013
    Posts
    59

    Default EarPlug Tricks?

    I have a horse that is very sensitive to sound, which actually caused me to fall off because of it today. I was wondering: Any tricks to help him not mind earplugs?

    When he recently came over from Europe, he didn't mind them, because he had never used them before, but he slowly became more and more hateful to them, and now its impossible for anyone to get them in. The problem is, is that he's just a little too tall so when he sticks his head up, you can't quite reach. Any tips? Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    A step stool?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2013
    Posts
    59

    Default

    He has the tendency to back up and stick up his head. Its very annoying.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2005
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,247

    Default

    I have one that hates his ears touched and I can get his ear puffs in if I use an apple and let him bite peices off while someone else stuffs them in.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2005
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,213

    Default

    Twitch him. I know it sound mean but won't take long for him to figure out. Works like a charm.
    Quote Originally Posted by EquineImagined View Post
    My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2006
    Posts
    241

    Default

    When I first got my horse, I put him in his stall to put in his earplugs. With his head facing the front so he couldn't back up, I stood along side him. Facing the front of his stall (so my back was to his rear), I ran my hand over his nose. I squeezed his nose hard so he couldn't toss his head and then I put an earplug in. I switched hands and then did the other ear. After doing this for several horse shows he just gave it up.

    Also, I use the pompons from Hobby Lobby because they are easier for me to grab a hold of and get out.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,977

    Default

    Treat in one hand about waist level, ear puff to the ear in the other. No treat until nose down toward treat and ear puff in. Use the fluffy ones that are easier to grab onto and get out. Mine is down to one treat for two ears now. For me, it is always easier in the long run to teach them to accept things via bribery.

    I guess none of the above works, if you are at a boarding barn and dealing with others that twitch, grab ears, etc for other "procedures". I use bribery for everything.
    friend of bar.ka


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    79

    Default

    When I got in a real pinch with one particular horse I groomed for at a show, I would use a shoulder twitch. Just roll the skin in front of their shoulder into your hand (fingers aiming towards the butt), and they'll cave in around your hand and bring their head around to you. Take ear-puff in other hand and shove fast. Repeat other side. That horse also liked to "levitate" and that would help bring him down to real-people height!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2011
    Posts
    434

    Default

    I thought it said "Earplug 'ticks' " and felt ill



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2000
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    822

    Default

    Honest question here: is it now legal and accepted to use ear plugs/puffs in the show ring? I know a lot of folks use them at home, but...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2008
    Posts
    609

    Default

    My new import was the same way ...I used a twitch made of some bailing twine and a double end snap...crank it pretty tight and snap to his halter ... Also... I use those foam cat toys that you can find in the pet aisle at the grocery store as my ear plugs- they work much better than the cotton fluffy puffs .... After a few times of using the twitch he got used to it and gave it up!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,840

    Default

    Uh...paw...in the hunter and jumper rings at any show in America, there are dozens of horses wearing ear puffs. Many have them in under those cute little ear bonnets. They aren't illegal, ASAIK there, but in dressage they are. If I could get them in and keep them in my horse, he'd wear them every ride, the spooky devil.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    4,978

    Default

    The cookie method has worked for me. Hold cookie in one hand, while they nibble at it, I put the earplug in with the other hand. Use the same cookie method for removal if necessary. Eventually, mine have gotten to where I don't need the cookies all the time, but I'll still use them once in awhile.

    I use the foam cat ball toys. I find they stay in better than the fuzzies, myself, and feel they work better to muffle noise.

    I also make the earplug administration part of the tacking up process. It is no big deal anymore, just part of getting dressed to ride. It took some time initially, and a lot of cookie feeding, but it paid off eventually. Just be patient and persistent.

    Until I finally took the time to do the cookie thing and teach my one very large and opinionated horse to accept them easily, it was a two or three man battle. Which sucks when you are tacking up at a show and trainer is at the ring and you can't get that #%^! earplug in. We did our homework after that!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2008
    Posts
    4,579

    Default

    Link to what kind of foam cat toys we are talking about? I've only ever used poms.
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2011
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Posts
    2,336

    Default

    What kind of earplug are you using? My jumper will NOT let me put any kind of plug in his ear other than fleece. He feels it going into his ear and freaks unless it's fuzzy.

    You could also try soundproofed earbonnets if he's a jumper... They're made so the fabric that goes over the ear is extra dense to work the same way. I've never used that kind of bonnet but it might be worth a shot.
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    4,978

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Long Spot View Post
    Link to what kind of foam cat toys we are talking about? I've only ever used poms.
    i think these are like what I've gotten (can't tell size for sure from pic):

    http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

    For show, colored them with magic marker (I have all bays). Home use stayed neon so I can see and remember to remove them.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    970

    Default

    Before you even think about sticking another plug in his ears, you need to regain your horse's trust with his ears being handled. If the only time my ears were handled is because someone wanted to jam something in them, I'd feel pretty damn sour about it too. Not saying *you* do this, but it happens a lot...the only time a lot people handle the ears is because they want to clip them or plug them. Too many horses are ear shy because of this. You need to touch them....all the time, not just when you want to plug them. Associate ear handling with pleasant things - a massage behind the ear and the upper forehead, feed treats while touching them, etc. Do this everytime you see your horse, several times a day. It will probably take a good amount of time to get him comfortable with it, so be patient.
    Now you have to think about why he hates this so much? Maybe the plugs just feel weird, or maybe they hurt. Not all ears are created equally in size. Once you've desensitized his ears, try a new type of plug. When you feel he's ready for the plugs again, have someone feed him treats. Not only to lure his head down, but to associate plugs with a happy thing - treats! "Hmmmm...everytime this lady tries sticking things in my ears I get treats, maybe this isn't so bad afterall!!"
    If you've desensitized him to plugs after all of this, still touch his ears all the time, not just ear-plug-time. If you don't, it won't take long for your horse to be back at square one with his head in the sky.

    If all else fails and he just wants to be a twit about it no matter what, time for a twitch!


    4 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    4,978

    Default

    Yes, good point on getting the horse accustomed to handling ears. All mine are used to scratching and rubbing ears, and it is part of the regular grooming. Much easier to do this when you've had them since young...those horses that come from the track, where they might have been eared to behave, are much harder to convince!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2013
    Posts
    59


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    2,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Satin Filly View Post
    Before you even think about sticking another plug in his ears, you need to regain your horse's trust with his ears being handled. If the only time my ears were handled is because someone wanted to jam something in them, I'd feel pretty damn sour about it too. Not saying *you* do this, but it happens a lot...the only time a lot people handle the ears is because they want to clip them or plug them. Too many horses are ear shy because of this. You need to touch them....all the time, not just when you want to plug them. Associate ear handling with pleasant things - a massage behind the ear and the upper forehead, feed treats while touching them, etc. Do this everytime you see your horse, several times a day. It will probably take a good amount of time to get him comfortable with it, so be patient.
    Now you have to think about why he hates this so much? Maybe the plugs just feel weird, or maybe they hurt. Not all ears are created equally in size. Once you've desensitized his ears, try a new type of plug. When you feel he's ready for the plugs again, have someone feed him treats. Not only to lure his head down, but to associate plugs with a happy thing - treats! "Hmmmm...everytime this lady tries sticking things in my ears I get treats, maybe this isn't so bad afterall!!"
    If you've desensitized him to plugs after all of this, still touch his ears all the time, not just ear-plug-time. If you don't, it won't take long for your horse to be back at square one with his head in the sky.
    This. You need to be patient and take your time when you want to put the plugs in. Your horse was fine at the beginning and started to be ear shy after a while. It doesn't mean he was nice because not accustom, he was nice because he trusted you but you probably went to fast and not so nicely (according to him) and he became ear shy.

    And it is not just the 'putting in' phase but also the 'taking out' that creates the problem; you might have scratch him with your finger nail, it's pulling hairs out in the same time or rubbing the inside of his ear...maybe he has a small wound, a wart, or something that bugs him.

    I use the T-Foam ones, I squeese them a lot (twist them actually) put them in, hold the ear and scratch her until it's fully expand. Then I put the other one the same way.

    Also, I don't always put them at the same moment; just before I put the bridle on. just after I put the bridle on. While I'm grooming. So she is not expecting it.
    No treat, no twitch and she used to be something. I just took it slowly.



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