Clipping my horse's ears??? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Clipping my horse's ears???

My horse really HATES the clippers in her ears she rears and it is not very fun to deal with. So how can I teach my mare that there is nothing to be afraid of and not to rear and just to relax when I am clipping inside her ears. She is fine when I clip her everywhere else but just not inside her ears. Can anyone help?!?!?!

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post #2 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 12:51 AM
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Why are you using clippers on her ears?

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post #3 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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I am using the clippers on her ears for our show
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post #4 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 11:26 AM
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You don't have to clip the insides of her ears, you know. It won't count against you in the ring.

When I was showing, I just clipped the outside of the ears and the hairs sticking out to give them a cleaner appearance.
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post #5 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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she even hates it on the outside of her ears and anywhere near them. But all of the shows I have been to, you get extra points (you could say) if you do the inside of their ears because my instructor is a judge. I wish that wouldn't matter though lol!
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post #6 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 12:47 PM
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You should not actually clip in their ears as they use the hairs to keep dirt out it their ears
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 12:57 PM
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One reason they don't like clippers is because they sound like a very big bug to get away from.
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post #8 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 01:16 PM
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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.
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 01:26 PM
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Putting flame suit firmly on; IMO and IME, the hair in a horse's ears is remarkablely ineffective at providing any protection. I've never bought into the whole "It's cruel to clip the ears because you're removing the natural protection" idea. It may be cruel because the horse is convinced that the world's largest bumble bee is attacking their ears, but not because you're removing the hair.

I've experimented with leaving the ears natural and clipping during the summer months and the inside of the ear gets just as raw from gnats and no see 'ems either way. Personally, I prefer the clipped ear, because if you try to put Swat or petroleum jelly in the unclipped ear, you make an unholy mess with the hair, blood and insect grit. I also prefer the clipped ear because I'm immediately aware when they're getting bitten up and know when to reapply SWAT.

If a horse was going to be turned out 24/7 and not have anyone look at it for weeks, yes, I'd leave the ears fuzzy. If they're being checked out even weekly, I'd still clip the ears.

If my horse hated it and through a temper tantrum every time I tried to clip ears? I'd do the best I could with scissors first in order to minimize the amount of time the clippers were on, but I'd still clip ears.
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post #10 of 26 Old 06-14-2012, 02:01 PM
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Boy are you brave to use scissors I would be afraid I would cut the ear,
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