Horse Care: Restrain and Medicate Your Horse

For horse owners who are ready to try looking after some of the health needs of their animals themselves, veterinarian Randy Kidd offers several tips on home horse care.



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Tools of the horse care trade: (top to bottom) a balling gun, a horse pill or bolus, another balling gun, and a dose syringe.
PHOTO: RANDY KIDD
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Don't stand "back" from a horse and excite it by jerking on its lead rope.
RANDY KIDD
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You can hold a horse's front foot in your hand.
RANDY KIDD
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Get in close to the animal and reassure it with a confident voice and firm hand.
RANDY KIDD
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Train your horse to raise a foot when you press on that leg's tendon.
RANDY KIDD
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A jerk on the rope will get the critter's attention.
RANDY KIDD
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A twitch's loop is slipped over a handful of upper lip.
RANDY KIDD
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If you need more control, thread a lead rope through the ring on the left side of a horse's halter and pass the loop in the line under the animal's upper lip.
RANDY KIDD
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It's easier to cradle a rear foot between your knees.
RANDY KIDD
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Stand to one side and hold the twitch firmly. If necessary, two people can grasp the horse's ears, hold its head down, and cross their legs in front of it to keep it from striking forward.
RANDY KIDD
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The "same-side leg lift."
RANDY KIDD
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The "skin curl."
RANDY KIDD
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Mouth restraint: hold the head down with one hand and insert the thumb of the same hand into the gap between the horse's teeth.
RANDY KIDD
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Hold the tongue outside the mouth.
RANDY KIDD
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Gently pull the tongue out through the gap
RANDY KIDD
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A balling gun or dose syringe can be used while you mouth-restrain a horse.
RANDY KIDD
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Outline of the area into which neck I.M. injections are given. 
RANDY KIDD
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Hold the tongue out and insert the applicator into the toothless gap, then push the instrument over the tongue.
RANDY KIDD
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The applicator needs to go this far back into the animal's mouth.
RANDY KIDD
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Sub-Q injection site.
RANDY KIDD
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The thigh injection.
RANDY KIDD
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A neck I.M. injection.
RANDY KIDD











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