Training For Medical Procedures

It’s every horse owners nightmare when their horse gets ill or injured. It’s bad enough seeing your wonderful horse in pain, but it’s even worse when you have to fight to treat him for it. It’s common to need several people to manage or use a twitch or always need sedation for medical procedures, which isn’t fun for anyone.

Luckily, there is training you can do which helps significantly. By using rewards, you can train your horse to be calm and co-operative for medical procedures.

As with most horse training, it’s often not as simple as it sounds and there are some key training principles to bear in mind as well as some important questions to ask when you’re training through pain and discomfort.

I discuss some of these here and show you the training in practice for wound care and injections.

Learning these techniques has made training through medical procedures so much easier, safer and less stressful for both my horses and myself – I hope it gives you some tools to do the same for you and your horses.

You can watch more on this in my video on Treating Wounds Using Reward-based Training (

Or, if you want to learn how to make this process easy for you and your horse, check out our Healthcare Procedures Home Study Courses (link to:, which is packed full of step-by-step video tutorials.

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4 thoughts on “Training For Medical Procedures”

  1. Loved it Hannah! I can attest to your comments on how a good +R foundation helps your horse become more willing for medical procedures… Most people know my “wild child” Willow is the reason I found CT and that she was deemed downright dangerous for any type of medical handling. Well, she came up lame 2 days ago with a hoof abscess and honestly my first reaction when I thought about treating her was “Oh good lord, this should be fun!” I hadn’t worked on giving oral meds up to this point but after only a few clicks, she took her bute like a champ! I was SO impressed!! Then came the poulticing of her foot which a.) requires hoof handling of which she isn’t the biggest fan and b). requires wet poultice material and noisy Vetrap and duct tape applied to her hoof… I thought for sure I was in for a rodeo but guess what? She stood like and absolute dream for the whole thing! Words cannot even explain the joy I felt in my heart. I honestly thank my lucky stars each and every day for the changes +R has made in so many aspects of our lives. Just thought I’d share 😉 Cheers!

    1. That’s fantastic! It just makes it so much easier to deal with tricky situations calmly and safely for everyone without fighting. That strong base makes a huge difference. thank you for sharing your story, it’s wonderful 🙂

  2. Great idea using the target cone! I hadn’t thought of that part. Raven doesn’t like her vet either because of the yearly jab for the Coggins test, so plan to use an ink pen to get her used to the slight poke. Thank you for putting this video out showing the use of the target also.

    1. where would be without targets??! 😉 Using an ink pen is a great idea. There are loads of different ways to approach training medical procedures, especially if the horse has a really bad history or associations with them. Good luck with your injection training and keep us posted!

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