DbarH Equine Training. Natural Horsemanship.
Medicine Lodge Valley, Dillon, Montana

Deworming Techniques

Pellet Technique
Sugar Technique
Never Experienced Deworming Technique

I have a horse that used to see the tube and put her head up in the air. Then we would get tough and finally get it in her mouth. That was enough of that. And retrained her and now she along with all the other horses I have deworms standing still, unhaltered and does not really care.

More times than not, it is the anticipation of what goes on while t he horse is trying to get dewormed. Examples: person getting frustrated, halter with gadgets, verbal tone, and getting something shoved in the mouth at the same time.

There are a couple of different ways I have tried. It just depends on the horses.

Pellet Technique

  1. Does he know what a pellet is? A pellet is round like the tube.
  2. Start feeding him some pellets ever now and then. Not just when you want something from him. If you feed him pellets by the palm of the open hand then start feeding him a pellet in-between your thumb and finger length wise. This is similar to having that tube go into his mouth.
  3. When he takes a hold of it don't let go so quick. Let him hold on to it for a few second while you are holding on to it. This would be the reaction you would want when he gets dewormed. No tongue spitting or head throwing.
  4. Now on to the tube (oh torcher). Let him see the tube. He wants to get away- yes. But this torcher tube isn't going to do anything with his mouth on this day or a lot of the days to come.
  5. This tube is just an ornament that you have on you.
  6. He is anticipating again that the only time that thing comes around is for a fight to happen.
  7. Do your thing what ever it is( grooming, petting, whatever), but not deworming. Soon he will see the torcher tube as just another thing that you have with you.
  8. When you feed the pellet to him between the thumb and finger take that tube and see if you can put it on or near his face. Not at the mouth though.
  9. If not go to the neck area and work up to the face. When you get it on his face give him the pellet. You are saying to him, good job you let it touch your face with out going nuts, and you found out that the torcher tube isn't going to bite you.
  10. Then when he has his pellet take the tube away. Don't let it linger around right now, his brain will start thinking that you are up to something and you are just trying to butter him up.
  11. Do this until he thinks that the tube is cool to be around. It is desensitizing him.
  12. Now take that pellet and do the holding on exercise again but this time put the washed and emptied tube right beside the pellet (No not going up the corner of his mouth).
  13. Do this until he figures out than you aren't going to do anything bad to him.
  14. Next would be when the time comes to actually deworming him. Now you haven't stopped the exercises with him from the time when he ok'ed the tube beside the pellet to actually going and deworming him. he is still learning and the lesson isn't over. So you want to deworm him now. Let him see the pellet and he knows he is going to get it. Give it to him and let him chew the pellet.
  15. When he comes back for more this time let it be the tube. He will grab the tube and with out showing emotion (different emotion) give him the paste. Yes he will kind of tongue it, but the neat thing is there was no fighting or anything out of the ordinary going on to get dewormed.
  16. Offer him a pellet. He may take it and eat it while mouthing a little or he will grab it and spit it out. But offer another pellet to him until he eats one. Positive experience!! And keep up the exercises periodically. Not just when you deworm.

Sugar Technique

  1. Do the same with sugar as you did with the pellet. No its not round, but oh so good.
  2. Give your horse sugar cubes or lose. He will love that. Bring the sugar out in a round Jar. Feed it, let them lick the jar inside and out.
  3. You can start to bring the tube around like you did with the pellet idea. Just let him have his good sugar.
  4. Start putting sugar on some other object that is like the tube (syringe). and let him lick it . Getting the feel of the object that is like the tube.
  5. If he wants more give him some more on that object.
  6. Were to the tube again. If he doesn't like it go with the touch on the face exercise again and the following exercise except with licking sugar.
  7. Put some wet sugar on the tube (empty clean one). When he is licking your hand (and you will have a very stick hand/arm when you are doing this) but it is fun.
  8. Let that tube come down to his mouth, but so the tube is horizontal. He will start licking that and then you can take away the hand and he will be licking the tube. Ah getting somewhere!!! And of course he wants more. so coat that tube again. And let him lick the tube.
  9. Then you can put it vertically and let him lick the sugar off.
  10. Next would be to take sugar water and let him lick it out of your hand until he gets used to the texture and feel.
  11. Dip the tube in the sugar water and let him lick it. Next pull the plunger back and pour some of the sugar water in it.
  12. Let him lick it again this time let some of the water come out of the tube.
  13. He may or may not care at first.
  14. Slowly let the plunger empty. Do this until he takes the whole tube full of sugar water in at one time.
  15. When the time comes to deworm no sweat.

Never Experienced Deworming Technique

When I get the untouched foals to work with I want them wormed ASAP. And I don't halter or touch them them until a ways down the road.

  1. Let the horse know what a pellet is.
  2. When the horse knows the pellet I slip in a tube instead of a pellet. The horse does not think any thing of it.
  3. There has never been a bad experience and there isn't one started now with the first time.
  4. Every time that horse is dewormed the horse only knows that deworming is just another thing and a good thing, no anticipation or haltering and you go on with your business 10 seconds from when you brought out the tube.


Horse Training Articles

Body Position Articles


Training Approach Articles


More pages

Donna Hildreth 1998 - 2009
DbarH Logo designed by Horsedesigns.