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Horse uncomfortable wearing fly boots on hind legs--kicking out/stomping--noooooo!

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  • Horse uncomfortable wearing fly boots on hind legs--kicking out/stomping--noooooo!

    Well, this is a new one to me. My new boy is apparently exceptionally tasty to flies, far more so than my old girl and my mini, and he does a lot of stamping and stomping to get the b*stard bugs off of him. He has old, healed splints and sore (not lame, just sore) upper suspensories, so that stomping makes me nervous. I figured fly boots made more sense than fly spray.

    I put them on the front, no problem. I put them on the hind legs, and he's walking like those dogs you see on American's Funniest Home Videos wearing booties. He lifted the hind legs super high, up to his belly (yeah, I made sure those leg straps were secure!!), and semi-kicked out. It's not a true kick--it's more like a "Gah, get it off! Harrumph."

    When I came to check on him early this afternoon, he had three boots still on. He'd played with the front ones a bit (I resecured them and sprayed them with BitterYuck), and a hind one had come off. Guess which leg was a magnet to flies? Guess which leg was being stompy stomp stomped?? Grr. I put the hind leg fly boot back on, and he's acting like a cat with tape on his paw again: lifting it high, kicking out in the "Gah!" kind of way again, but not truly frightened or angry. There was a touch of breakfast left, so he walked back over (taking a few big steps with the newly booted hind) and went back to nonchalant munching, if that gives you an idea of his stress level over this.

    Can't have this thread without a token pic of him in his new SmartBlue best. "What, you couldn't be bothered to get the matching fly mask too?"

    Having him kick out at all, even just lifting that leg high, is counterproductive to the reason I put them on him to begin with, but I'm banking on him getting used to it and ignoring it soon enough.

    Any of yours do this? Am I right to hopefully assume he'll just forget they're there eventually?
    Last edited by Lauruffian; Jul. 9, 2012, 10:22 AM.
    SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
    CP Trilogy 2002-2015
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie
  • Original Poster

    Heh heh...I think everyone was very busy over at Off Topic Day. I'm bumping my own thread in hopes of getting some advice/shared experience, as my boy continues to be annoyed by the fly boots on his hind legs. He's no longer walking funny, but continues to shake/stomp/kick out (again, not a cow kick; more of a stretch/kick out/shake motion). I fear he's going to make himself sore (if he hasn't already); at the same time, at some point in his life he may have an injury to a hind leg and need to wear a boot or wraps. I half figure get him acclimated now.
    Last edited by Lauruffian; Jul. 9, 2012, 11:33 AM.
    SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
    CP Trilogy 2002-2015
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


    • #3
      I had the same problem with my mare who is allergic to flies when I first put her hind boots on--stomping (violently inher case) untilI took them off.
      I ended up using older boots that are broken down some so not as tall and doing up the lower velcro just above her fetlocks, loose but tight enough they won't slide down over the joint. They cover up to her hocks but don't interfere because of being broken down shorter from prior use. I just spray her well on her pasterns where the boots don't cover now. It's the only way I've been able to get her to tolerate them on her hinds (she's fine w/her front boots).
      I am going to try again soon to see if she will wear them as meant (like you have them in your pic). Her boots are the Kensington ones, nice boots and are holding up ok considering how rough she is on stuff.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
        Any of yours do this? Am I right to hopefully assume he'll just forget they're there eventually?
        I'm he'll get used them eventually, especially if he's wearing them all the time. Bet it won't take that long either.

        I don't use fly boots, but I do put sliding boots on my horse to show. We've been doing this for 3+ years now. She STILL kicks out on the first couple of steps after I put the boots on. But she settles down after a minute of me moving her feet. I just chalk it up to the Arabian in her!


        • #5
          Apparently, some horses just hate 'em.

          The Little Bay Alpha Mare is uber-sensitive to fly bites and must taste extra yummy because she attracts the little bloodsuckers like nobody's business. She has a good fly wardrobe, to which I opted a few years ago to add boots to spare her poor legs.

          Well, that went over like a ton of bricks. LBAM did not care for things on her legs, and did not get used to them. End of first day, she came in with naked legs. I found the wraps strewn about her paddock, basically intact. "Hmmm," I said to myself. "Perhaps the velcro failed and LBAM managed to stomp/shake them off. I can fix that!"

          So on go the wraps the second day, amid much protest from LBAM. I harness the amazing power of duct tape to reinforce what I believed to be sub-par velcro. "Yup," I tell myself. "They will stay on now, and LBAM will come to appreciate non-chewed-up legs. All is well."

          Shows what I know! I am in the home office all day, so I peep out at the horses periodically. One such viewing reveals LBAM -- sans front wraps, of course -- trotting around looking pleased with herself. Hind wraps are still on, so I shrug and plan to take a break shortly and replace them with more duct tape.

          An hour or so later, I take myself out to the paddock and find LBAM now missing one hind wrap and STANDING ON THREE LEGS RIPPING THE ONE REMAINING WRAP OFF WITH HER TEETH! Strewn about the paddock are the remains her her wraps.

          Still undeterred, I dash out to the tack store that afternoon and purchase a new set of fly wraps. The next day, I apply them, add duct tape and spray liberally with McNasty, again amid much protestation from LBAM. "Now they will stay on!" I tell myself triumphantly. "No WAY will she chew them off now." And inside to work I go.

          Lunch break comes around and I pop out to see the horses, expecting to see all fly gear intact. Nope. Once again, I see LBAM standing on her three naked legs and determinedly ripping off the last wrap with her teeth.

          Now she just gets her legs chewed up. Her own damn fault. I tried; I really did!

          ETA: This mare wears shipping boots/wraps, standing wraps, polos, splint boots, etc., without any issues beyond a few strides of Silly Walks with the shipping boots. I've no clue why the fly wraps were so objectionable!
          Equinox Equine Massage

          In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
          -Albert Camus


          • Original Poster

            Aw man, coloredhorse! I hope that's not what's awaiting us. Right now I'm trying to outstubborn him. We shall see. kewpalace, heh, he is a full-blooded Arab...perhaps they are boot repellent?

            When I went by at noon to take off his fly sheet (pushing triple digits today), he had taken off both front boots, but both hind were still on, though sagging. I expected that of the front boots; he is one to play with anything like that, so I put them back on and soaked them in BitterYuck! (Can't find McNasty just yet.) Is there something better? Is McNasty or ChewStop nastier?

            Meanwhile, I adjusted the hind boots and realized almost immediately maybe I should just let them sag. Kick, reach, kick, stretch, stomp...UGH.

            It's supposed to be 98-100 most of this week, so I don't want to use the fly sheet but thought using the boots would still protect him from the worst of the fly problem. And it would, IF HE'D COOPERATE. Harrumph.
            SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
            CP Trilogy 2002-2015
            My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
              kewpalace, heh, he is a full-blooded Arab...perhaps they are boot repellent?
              LOL, well, one of the quarter horses that shows reined cowhorse with HATES his sliders - he tries rubbing them off or stepping on them with the other hind foot (sort of looks like he has to pee but is holding it, ). So maybe not a total Arab trait. Glad to hear they stayed on ... it's a start, eh?


              • Original Poster

                Heh heh kewpalace--trying to step on the boots to take them off was my other Arabian's thing. In her case, the boots weren't as well made (I'm using the Kensington ones on my gelding, knowing how desctructive he can be), and they easily scrunched around her fetlocks with just a little stepping and pushing down.

                I'm not ready to give up yet, but may be putting a little Bute in my boy's bucket tonight. All that kicking/stomping would sure make my legs sore!
                SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


                • Original Poster

                  I showed up to feed him Monday night, and he still had all four boots on. I come back Tuesday afternoon, and he's wearing ONE front boot. His crushed kills were scattered about the paddock.

                  Harrumph. I see what you did there, boy, but I'm a middle school teacher and a mother of 6yro and 2 1/2yro boys. I'm a beast to outstubborn. HARRUMPH I say!

                  I put them all back on last night. Let's see how long this game continues before one of us caves.
                  Last edited by Lauruffian; Jul. 11, 2012, 02:20 PM.
                  SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                  CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                  My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


                  • #10
                    Hey, as long as the wraps are intact and useable, you are still in the game! I'm rooting for you!
                    Equinox Equine Massage

                    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                    -Albert Camus


                    • #11
                      THis is why we use clay. Easy on and easy off.

                      Protects as much as you want from flies just like they would do by rolling in mud. You can add all sorts of things to it, but be careful you don't add anything that can irritate.

                      It cannot be removed easily and I have not had a horse try.

                      I have had them reject fly boots.
                      “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                      ? Albert Einstein