I understand about the showing, and I personally prefer the look of a cleanly clipped ear, though I don't do it often for my mostly pleasure horses.
First off, start by thinking about this from the horse's point of view. There's just no reason that they should tolerate having clippers near their ears (from their point of view.) They seem like nothing else but the world's biggest, loudest biting insect trying to get inside their ear. Besides being loud, and vibrating, they smell funny!
Try putting cotton fairly far down in the horse's ears, below where you clip the hair, to minimize the noise factor.
The rest is just classic desensitization. Use the clippers and work closer and closer to her ears, praising lavishingly when she tolerates the clippers a little closer. Give her a treat and quit. Repeat daily or even more loften, leaving the clippers on longer and getting closer each time. Keep the sessions brief and reward often. You want her to associate the buzzing and tickling with GOOD things.
It may take you several weeks or longer to improve her clipper behavior, and you may end up going to some shows with partially fuzzy ears until you've completed the desensitization.
Last edited by maura; 06-14-2012 at 01:27 PM.