Ear clipping....

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Ear clipping....

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  • Horse won't let me clip his ears
  • Horse does not like ears clipped

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    10-03-2009, 09:32 AM
Ear clipping....

So, my horse came to me in May, ears all nicely clipped. We've tried so many times to get his ears clipped and he won't let us do it! I've tried just running the clippers near them and he freaks out. He lets me touch his ears, but won't allow anything else near them, I've tried the muzzle trimmers, dull ended scissors, and the most quiet clippers we have, and nothing is ok with him. This horse cannot be twitched, and ace shots seem to make him worse. We've basically decided that "Less is more" with him.

I just want to be able to work with him through the winter time, and hopefully be able to clip his ears by next May for the horse show season.

Any suggestions on how to get him desensitized? Anything you guys do that works with your horse??
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    10-03-2009, 03:33 PM
Is there any way you can contact the previous owners to ask what they did? Since he came with clipped ears, you know he will stand still somehow.
    10-03-2009, 05:46 PM
Originally Posted by Vidaloco    
Is there any way you can contact the previous owners to ask what they did? Since he came with clipped ears, you know he will stand still somehow.
Since he is so terrified now, I'm sure they didn't do anything worth doing again. O_O

How long did you have him before you tried to shove scary, noisy, vibrating machines in his ears? It's entirely likely that you pushed him too far before he was ready and now he just doesn't trust you. If you gave him ample time to create a bond with you before you tried clipping his ears, his previous owners probably went about things poorly, and now he's scared of the clippers.

Either way, at this point, you need to step back and re-introduce the clippers as a positive thing. Don't start with his ears, start at his withers, his butt, his fetlocks, wherever he is most comfortable with them, and SLOWLY work them closer to his ears. Say you start at the withers. Keep the clippers turned off and rub his withers or shoulders. If he's okay with that, bring them higher up his neck. If he starts getting antsy, just hold them there and wait until he regains his cool, then take them away. Put them down, take him into the yard and let him hand graze for a minute or two before you go back and try again, starting at the withers and going slowly higher until he starts to get upset, and when he calms down, reward him by taking them away. Once you get to his ears and you can rub the still turned off clippers around them, go back to his withers and turn them on, repeating the whole process. It will take time, and I'm glad to hear your giving yourself until May. If you do one or two twenty minute sessions a day, he should be clip-able in no time. Good luck. =]
    10-03-2009, 05:47 PM
Ace does make some horses goofy. If you get desperate try to get a different type of sedative from your vet.

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