• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Horse afraid of people due to static electricity shocks

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Horse afraid of people due to static electricity shocks

    I am nearly in tears as I write this.. I am so disheartened.

    I have an 8 year old mare who is having issues. In the last month or so she has gone from an in your pocket, first to the gate, loves attention kind of horse to one who is afraid of people and won't let anyone catch her or touch her. This was a big mystery to me until earlier today as no apparent traumatic human encounter was glaringly obvious. It all began while I was out of the country for a few weeks and my hubby was caring for her at our neighbor's ranch where we board our three horses. He said that nothing traumatic had happened to cause it, but that one day he went over there and she simply would not let him anywhere near her.
    Since I have been home, I went out there the very girst day back and she came up to me like she always has, but the very next day wouldn't let ME anywhere near her either. (For those of you who might be tempted to suggest that she was simply trying to get out if work, this mare has been on holiday from work for 8 months due to medical issues I was dealing with that prevented me from riding etc. She has only been coming up for grooming and positive interaction.) It has taken me three weeks to get to the point where I can catch her, groom her, and do ground work with her again, but she still does not WANT me to touch her, and looks away and moves away at any human touch. She really does not wish to have much of anything to do with people by choice, it is obvious in the way she acts. She is like a completely different horse. So anyway, today I brought her up for grooming outside her pasture and everything seemed to be going OK. I was finishing up grooming her with the soft brush and she was pretty relaxed but alert. Well, we live in a very dry place, and static electricity had apparently built up, and when I put my other hand on her neck it discharged a HUGE shock. She just about jumped out if her skin and wanted to run away from me, no attempt to console her made any difference, all she knew was that my touch HURT. I distracted her with some ground work exercises, disengaging the hindquarters and such and she calmed down after several minutes.

    Back in the winter time a similar thing happened where I walked out into the pasture on a very cold -30 C day and she came up to greet me. Well, I normally greet my horses by bending slightly at the waist, and blowing into their noses etc.. On this particular day my mare touched her nose to my winter hat and got zapped right in the nose. She just about had a heart attack and ran off, no amount of coaxing would get her to come near me the rest of the day, and she was VERY wary of me for days afterward.

    So now, this static electricity business has turned into a HUGE issue and working with her is taking up all of my time. It is my guess that my hubby had inadvertently shocked her one day while he was grooming her etc while I was away and that is why she wouldn't come near him the next day. Let me also add that they are fenced in with electric fencing, not sure if this has anything to do with it.

    I am so discouraged, sad, and frustrated that I could cry. It took me three weeks to begin gaining her trust back and now all that work was for nothing and we are back at square one all over again. At least now I know what the root cause is anyway, but I have NO CLUE how to fix this. Anyone have any ideas??? We need HELP!
    Thanks everyone...

  • #2
    I just googled it coz heaps of the horses on our agistment property have that problem too. Mine don't interestingly enough and the only difference is that they don't wear light rugs. Just heavy rugs. Could that be a correlation??

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh ps. There's HEAPS of ideas on old mate Google!

      Comment


      • #4
        Make sure your footwear is better at earthing electricity than hers! Wear natural soled shoes / boots or even get metal heel plates put on. Then her touching you will cause you shocks but not her.

        Comment


        • #5
          I haven't googled, but I shocked my mare that way once this past winter, and fixed it by getting my hands damp when I handled her, and with of course cookies.
          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

          Comment


          • #6
            Had this problem with the quarter sheet and fleece cooler. Static Guarded both to death, which stopped him from being shocked again. To regain his trust of both objects, I fed him LOTS of treats, while holding the sheet and sometimes right out of the sheet.

            You have to do everything you can to stop from shocking her and then provide a ton of positive reinforcement that you're okay again. She'll come around as long as she doesn't get shocked again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Happens with dogs too here, we are so super dry, lizard, desert dry.

              Water is your friend, carry a spritzing bottle or a wet hand towel and use that first, before touching her.

              Now, any time a horse for any reason is hard to catch, you don't want to keep that horse in the situation where it can be hard to catch, training 101.
              Be proactive and put the horse up and work at catching it several times a day, until it remembers that is what it needs to do.
              Don't turn it out before you have it retrained and let it practice running away from you, if a horse you can catch out there is important to your management.

              Many cowboys can't catch their horses, they run them into something and rope them.
              That is not a problem for them.
              Most of us want to be able to walk up to our horses or better, call them to us, so that is what we have to train our horses for and reinforce it.
              I have trained plenty of cowboy horses that at first almost go over a fence if a human approaches them with a halter, expecting to be roped.
              They are worse than a feral horse that doesn't know what you want, is just wary, not scared out of it's wits.

              I hear you, it is very disheartening at several levels and it is causing you anxiety and anguish that she is so scared and with reason, shocks hurt!

              Now, just get on with the retraining with a smile, all will be fine, just as if you were training for some other you do with her.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a similar, though not as bad, issue with my mare after I zapped her something ferocious on her muzzle. Lots and lots of hand-fed treats got my mare's head out of the stratosphere!

                Now I really should do something to avoid shocking her. Yesterday I think she got mini shocks as I was brushing her. I didn't feel anything, but she was getting upset.
                Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a horse who seems to hate the sound of electric discharges...she flinches at the shock itself, but anything that has a similar "clicking" sound makes her agitated. Camera flashes have a similar effect, and lightning. This horse HATES being shocked. I am not exaggerating, if you put her on one side of some fence posts with NO FENCE, she'll avoid trying to walk between them for DAYS, just in case there's electric.

                  My horse is now well broke, a working horse...she got over the huge "spook and run away" thing, but it did take a while. It's just something that she had to respond appropriately to...the panic/run away was an overreaction...I don't WANT to shock her, but it's something that happens, she needed to respond appropriately. Flinching is fine, I don't mind her getting a bit tense, even the odd jig step...jerking her head up, pulling/setting back, running off...not ok.

                  Make sure that you don't get upset by the shock/flash...it's tough, but if you act like it's no big deal, she will eventually start to trust that it is no big deal. If you startle and immediately make a fuss of consoling her, she'll keep thinking that it is a big deal and act out. Cookie, pat, return to grooming. If she does blow up, ok, make sure you're safe, and as soon as she is calm enough, just lead her right back to where the event occured, and go back to whatever you were doing.

                  I think that the anti-shock stuff for laundry is called "static guard" here, it's an aerosol. This might help de-static your brushes and clothes. Different types of brushes will have different tendencies to create a buildup of charge on the horse, you can experiment and make sure that you use the less static-collecting ones...although as you use any brush it will collect oils and dirt and probably not accumulate charge as bad.
                  Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for the responses everyone, I truly appreciate all of your thoughts and ideas.

                    I guess I should have given more details in my original post. This mare is pasture boarded on our neighbor's ranch of a couple hundred acres. There is a barn, but there is not a chance in hell that I would get her or any of my horses in it b/c it also doubles as the ranch owners shop where he cleans and dresses his hunting kills. (Horrible place to do that, really.) So, keeping her up in the barn is not a good option. I don't really have any small padocks to keep her in right now that have both good access to water and hay/forage, not to mention that she turns into a totally neurotic fence running maniac if paddocked off from her herd mates, which only causes more problems (ie: extreme buddy sourness) when reunited with them.
                    This mare is such high maintenance, truth be told! She is my "problem child."

                    I only blanket her in the very coldest part of winter, like -40, or when we are expecting a lot of snow. Blankets and coolers are not an issue for us because we rarely, if ever, use them.
                    It is more the static that builds up ink the brushes and in people's bodies that gets discharged upon touching her that are causing a huge problem. I think I will try the spray bottle and Static Guard ideas. I've never lived in such a dry climate before, so this is totally foreign to both her and I, I never even thought to use static guard. We never had this problem when we lived in KY!

                    Again, thanks everyone for your replies and ideas, they are greatly appreciated!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Discharge yourself before you handle her. Touching a metal part of your car will do.
                      Flickr

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Body brushes will really build up charge, wear a damp glove on one hand and after you pass the body brush over her, neutralize the bristles by touching them to your glove. BTW, you will not feel much sting with a glove as opposed to with your bare hand. Same goes for your mare. The first time you touch her, lean into her a bit and let the the static discharge on your coat or through your clothes. Sounds wacky but it does work haha
                        "Disapproval of the way other people run their businesses and treat their horses is the meat and drink of the hunter-jumper industry."
                        Working Student Blog
                        Current Blog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Moisturize her coat too: that Healthy Hair Care (or something similar) works well.

                          She is just reacting as a rational horse would to an electric fence.
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Like what CHT said, moisturize her coat too. I use the one on the below link and it's amazing. We have incredible electric shocks in Calgary from the dryness and since I've started using this I've never zapped my horse. You mix it with water and it lasts for months!! It smells divine and really helps keep the horse dust free and glossy (but not slippery so you can use it all over) as well. When I'm grooming I spray it onto his body on the really dusty parts and then also give my groom brushes a spritz. Amazing stuff!

                            http://www.bigdweb.com/Healthy-Hairc...ductinfo/1014/
                            Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My horse had a similar thing happen to him. I kissed him on the nose, and shocked him pretty badly. Honestly I probably shouldn't have kissed him on the nose anyway. He didn't get too upset, though, but he won't let me kiss him on the nose unless he is awfully relaxed, otherwise he goes into giraffe mode with his head straight up in the air! I can touch his nose and brush his face, etc. he just gets worried when my face is near his.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Been using gloves, spray bottle etc, works great unless I forget. I forgot a few days ago and gave her a tiny shock that caused her to jump and run away, but I was able to work my way back up to her and finish after wetting the brush.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  When all else failed, I used to spit on my brushes when I lived in Colorado (blush).
                                  “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                  St. Padre Pio

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    What is worse is the owner accidentally touching electric tape when trying to put on a horse's halter. The horse will not appreciate that at all. BTDT.

                                    Be careful not to touch the face. Static electricity shock to the side or shoulder is not nearly as bad as a shock to the nose or ears.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I would be looking into a possible thyroid issue or lymes or other things that may cause skin or muscle sensitivity.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        She has not had any other symptoms of Lyme, she has always been a very sensitive mare, and she is fenced in partially by hot wire. I believe now that she is simply reacting like a normal horse does to electric fencing, by avoidance. There is no other problem with muscle or joint stiffness or pain that is even remotely evident. Now that I am taking extra care to prevent static electricity shocks we are having no problems.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X