06-14-2011, 10:47 AM
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So, last summer we started working with clippers on our mare, who wouldn't let us within 5 ft if we had them on. By the end of summer she would let us rub her shoulder with them running but she was very tense and unhappy. Then we slacked off and didn't work with the clippers all winter so we took a few steps back. We started back up again in April with very little success. Then about a month ago we took a different approach and lo and behold - success!! We stopped giving our horse treats unless she let us run the clippers on her muzzle. If she stays still for a few seconds and WE pull the clippers away she gets a treat. If SHE pulls away - no treat. She doesn't get in any trouble, she just doesn't get a treat. We don't make her stay still for very long, just a few seconds as we know she can't handle any more at this point (she really hates them). We have increased our "stay still" time but only in 5-10 second increments. This past weekend we pulled out the big guns for motivation - watermelon. She fully understands now that the clippers mean something good will come her way if she stays still for a short time. We now have a fully clipped muzzle!! Yea!!