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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > The Yard > Get it out their system? Advice on getting pony used to rugs

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gemCal

Joined:

Jun 09

Posts: 720

gemCal says:

Get it out their system? Advice on getting pony used to rugs

My pony is a very fluffy New Forest who copes really well in winter – unless she gets soaking wet (she won’t do the sensible thing and go in the shelter to stay out the rain). Then she can occasionally get the shivers. Normally a bit of hay and she’s fine again, but as she gets older I’m assuming she will get worse. So I got her a light-weight waterproof rug just for the really wet days. The trouble is getting her to accept it.

I can put it on her fine, and last time left her in it in her field shelter with some food in the far corner so she could get used to the feel of it. The idea was she would have to move to get the food but she stood there still for half an hour. Every time she tried to move she felt the rug and just froze to the spot. Eventually we moved the food to just in front of her and she (eventually) got up the courage to put her neck down to eat it.

Obviously I want to get her happier with the rug so I could use it if necessary, but not sure on the best way to do this. I can rustle it and move it on her and she will tolerate it, but I need to get her happy moving in it. I think if I let her out the shelter with it on she would (if she got the courage to go outside) go berserk and run round the field bucking. Would anyone recommend this? I guess it could mean she would get the fear out of her system and learn it won’t actually hurt her?

Any advice on what you would do to get her used to it? At the moment I’ve been sticking with the putting it on her occasionally and rustling it whilst telling her it’s all okay. I’m a little worried to lead her out in it as I think she would throw a wobbly and career off round the field with the lead rope trailing after her if I couldn’t hold her.

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leannemccabe

Joined:

Jul 10

Posts: 616

leannemccabe says:

Re: Get it out their system? Advice on getting pony used to rugs

Sorry, i dont have any idea on this one, but would like to wish you good luck as i think as you've said she would probably benefit from a having a rug on.

 

i didnt have this trouble as when i first bought pip in she was in pretty poor condition and i just put the rug on her which she took very well and left her for a while and she seemed to be happy then left her in it over night and turned her out and she had no objections :)

 

Good Luck

You Can't Expect A Horse To Read Your Every thought, Without first Teaching Him The Alphabet . . .

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kirstylouise1207

Joined:

Nov 09

Posts: 238

Re: Get it out their system? Advice on getting pony used to rugs

I personally would put it on her and let her out... she'll soon realise it wont hurt her...

 

Have you considered that by putting a rug on her - you will be squashing down all her hair - which otherwise will be standing on end nice and fluffy to keep warm? We did this with my friends Welsh D filly who was wintering well but shivering in the rain - and now needs a rug every day in winter as her hair isnt correct for keeping her warm anymore...

 

Not sure if this would happn with yours - but just thought i'd share! :o)

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gemCal

Joined:

Jun 09

Posts: 720

gemCal says:

Re: Get it out their system? Advice on getting pony used to rugs

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

Fredhead - She is reasonably happy with a numnah on although still a bit cautious. I think with the rug it is more she can feel it down the whole length of her back when she moves, and around the tops of her legs. It’s only a very light rug anyway. I’m a bit worried about walking her around the shelter in case it gets dangerous, she would never intentionally hurt anyone but can get quite upset. Which was why I was hoping she would find her own way around gradually and build up confidence when I left her in on her own with it.

Leannemccabe – Thank you.

Kirstylouise1207 – thanks for the comment on squashing the hair down. I had thought about this but only intend to use the rug very occasionally when it is really, really wet, and then whip it off when the rain stops so her natural coat can do it’s job. When it rains really badly it squashes down her coat anyway so I don’t think I’d be doing too much harm, so long as I limit use to when needed.

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Micki

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 3579

Micki says:

Re: Get it out their system? Advice on getting pony used to rugs

I think you are either going to have to risk it and walk her around the field in it or just let her get on with it to work it out for herself that it isn't going to hurt her. If you decide to lead her about with it on then use a lunge line so you aren't too close to her incase she does explode on you.

. .A horse is a thing of such beauty. . .none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor. ~Xenophon https://www.facebook.com/browbandsandbracelets

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