Foal Education - Maserati and the worm paste [Slideshow]
Worm paste is not known for its delicious taste! Every Horse Owner knows and maybe even fears the drama that comes with it.
There are two very understandable reasons why horses hate it:
- it tastes awful
- they are forced to take it
Just imagine you are force-fed something really disgusting - and you have to swallow!I would like to show you how you can turn this dreaded event into something fun and enjoyable.
No force and no drama! Without the foal losing trust. All I will use is some applesauce and the foal's curiosity.
Discover in the picture story how I make worm - paste - day a pleasant day
I take a big 60 ml Catheter Tip syringe and a jar of applesauce with me into the herd. All the other horses already know the game. Mayana and Tara are first to come and have a taste.
Maserati quite quickly got curious about what his sisters where up to. It seems to smell nice…
Maybe it also tastes nice? This is not the first time he has a worm paste, it is already his third, so he already know a bit about it. Anyway most foals a super curious and will try to bite into it - that's the moment to squirt a bit into their mouth to give them a taste. Real soon they discover it's deliciousness.
First he learnt to accept to have my hand on his nose. Most foals hate it when we touch or hold their face. I just lay my hands there and follow every movement. I don’t try to hold him or fix his nose - this will only trigger his defense.
I wait until I have 1 second of stillness and immediately take my hands away. With every repetition he will hold still sooner and longer and gain confidence.
Then I rub the side of his mouth with the syringe with the same goal that he can keep still. He can already smell the applesauce but he is impatient.
There he looks better. He is accepting my touch and the touch of the syringe, I don’t need more than 1-2 seconds. If I try to hold too long, he will start defending himself again.
I reward and release immediately when he accepts and holds still.
And again, but now with the next step in mind: Insert the syringe into his mouth
When he was really little I used my finger at first, like this I was sure that I couldn’t hurt his gums by accident. I like to insert the syringe from the back towards the front at first and only turn it once inside the mouth. Maserati seems to find the taste interesting.
Mum is watching us closely and seems to want to have some as well!
Before I go to the actual dewormer, I give him applesauce from all kind of positions. Believe it or not, every change matters to them.
"Gabi, what is this? Come on hurry up I want more!" Once they get´s really interested in it, it´s time for the real deal.
After I adjusted the syringe according to his weight, I dip the tip of the wormer in applesauce in order to not raise suspicion and to make it less awful
I found that he showed less defensive behaviour when I had my arm over his neck rather that just holding his face when giving the wormer. Of course as he grows this will not be possible anymore. I first rub and scratch him, I don’t hurry and do everything as if it was just another applesauce.
I make sure that the tip of the syringe is pointing enough backwards. Now I see the benefits of practising: no wormer on my clothes or on the ground and he is holding nicely still.
That was a different taste!! Maybe the applesauce went bad?
I quickly give some applesauce again to help him to get rid of the awful taste - of ourse only after he swallowed.
Maserati is still trying to figure out all the funny tastes. With this easy and fun technique I never needed a halter in order to hold him for worming and on top he seems to find it fun and yummy.
Deworming can be stress-free and fun. A little bit of applesauce can be a big helper!
Read more about Maserati's Foal Education