Clipper phobia - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-23-2010, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Clipper phobia

The horses I have bred, I have clipped since they were babies. Two mares that I bought that are older will let me nowhere near their bridle paths with the clippers. The one mare will try to bust out of the cross ties, yet I can clip anthing below the eyes on her. Do I have a neighbor come over and twitch them for me? I am by myself and trying patiently every day to get them over this and I am getting nowhere. I wished someone had done this with them when they were younger. Any tips?
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-23-2010, 05:54 PM
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Are they going to be shown? If not, why bother?
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-23-2010, 05:56 PM
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Do they let you handle their ears and all around their head without the clippers okay? If so, then it is likely just the sound that is setting them off. If you can handle their head okay without the clippers, then an easy solution might be to buy a pair of manual clippers like this
Hand Operated Horse Clippers / Manual Clippers

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-24-2010, 09:24 PM
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ask somone over so they can give your horse treats while you clip there mane than after awhile they will like being cliped
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-24-2010, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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clipper phobia

Yes, I do use treats...I guess I just need to be really patient. I'm not use to it taking this long. The older mare (9yrs) really stresses over something that has not been done to her before. I'm starting to win her over with treats. Thx
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-25-2010, 12:36 AM
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My mare was never touched with a clipper before I got her...she's 10; she is fine with clipping, but it took 'approach and retreat' type of desensitization. I use cordless clippers on her bridlepath, and facial whiskers, ears, etc...if you have a cordless, that can help with desensitization, as you don't have the cord to have to worry about...though I have an extra battery, and had to use it the first few times, with the desensitization process. Some people have used those battery op. tooth brushes, to help a horse get used to the sound a clipper makes...I think that is a really good idea, and will probably use that when training other's horses, other than my own.

I also DO NOT tie a horse during this process, as that can cause them to be more clausterphobic and panicked...if she has to move, let her move around you in a circle (again, a good reason to have cordless, though doable with corded too, been there done that.).Start out with the clipper a bit away from her 'problem area, and Keep the clipper on while she moves (don't try to 'touch' her with it, just let her get used to the sound above her eye level), and turn it off, and praise her when she relaxes.

If you are going to use a more 'approach and retreat method', Start out at a place that she is comfortable with, and use that spot as a 'return' area to help her remain relaxed. Try to gradually bring the clipper up to her bridle path, without causing her to move...

I am not sure that treats would help in an instance like that...I don't reward using treats, so I'm not sure about the effective-ness of treating as a'd have to be 'really quick' in administering a treat, and sometimes you just can't get into your pocket fast enough! haha! The reward/praise has to come quickly in order for it to 'work', otherwise you're just feeding the horse.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-25-2010, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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clipper phobia

Yes, I have the cordless clipper and and older cord pair. I have more of the problem of the clippers getting too warm than the battery getting low. I will try the approach and retreat method. The younger mare lets me clip her wiskers and legs just fine. The older mare just her legs. She is an arabian and never really handled much. Seems to have some issues. I have started her under saddle and she does quite well at times. I have her on magnesium supplement just to try to calm her a little. I let them stand next to the horses in the barn that are calm about clippers and this seems to help a little. Progress is so slow though.
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