Ear Clipping Issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-20-2008, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Ear Clipping Issues

My new horse Phineus is a pain when it comes to clipping ears. He refuses to let me get anywhere near his ears with clippers and I try to use scissors, but he wants nothing to do with it. Last time we clipped his ears he sat there for hours throwing his head and moving around like some kind of untrained monkey. He is big and he knows it and tries to push me around during this process. So, does anyone have any suggestions to make this a more pleasant process?
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-20-2008, 10:55 PM
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All I can say is be patient and get him used to the clippings. Eventually, it shouldn't matter to him.

Blu hates getting his whiskers trimmed! lol.

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post #3 of 16 Old 02-21-2008, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BluMagic
Blu hates getting his whiskers trimmed! lol.
Whiskers are probaly a lot more tickelish because (let's just use the "cat example") their wiskers are like feelers, just like cats need them in small spaces.

Some horses just never really get used to the clippers. Do a ton of clipper excersises with him, build his "trust" with the clippers.
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-21-2008, 08:58 AM
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Twich. Thats what i have to do to my horses.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-21-2008, 09:59 AM
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i heard if you get one of those cheapy hand massagers and use that to get your horse used to that feel by his ears. Hopefully he'll like the massager and when you use the clippers, he'll think he's just getting a massage
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-21-2008, 10:05 AM
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Most horses have to be desensitized to them. Some horses don't even like the noise so you may have to get them used to that first. I often go into their stalls while they're eating and just turn the clippers on so they'll get used to it while being distracted with something else. :) The first step is to get your horse used to you touching their ears all over. Stroke thier ears, rub your thumbs inside of them, etc. It's more tolerable if you follow the direction of the hair. It's very important that you don't let him jerk his head away from you. Hang on to his halter and keep your hand on his ear and then pull away when he stops struggling. (can be hard if he's bigger). Then with the clippers turned off rub them all over his ears, face, etc so he'll get used to those touching him. Then, turn the clipper on, but touch the clippers to the back of your hand as you rub your hands all over him. -it greatly diminishes the tickly vibrating feeling but he can still feel it a little bit. Then rub him with the non blade end of the clippers so he can feel the vibrating directly but you're not cutting any hair. Then the last step would be to actually use the blades on him. Short spurts at a time wtih lots of treats when he does well so it turns out to be a positive experience!
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-21-2008, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by .Delete.
Twich. Thats what i have to do to my horses.
tim is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 02-21-2008, 05:14 PM
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Either a twitch or put a chained lead rope on his gums right above his teeth and apply medium but constant pressure, it gets them focus on their mouth more than their ears. You could also get quieter clippers.

"Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness."
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-25-2008, 11:14 AM
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You may already do this, but do you use ear plugs? I have found them to be very helpful. That way the hair doesn't fall into their ear and the clippers aren't as loud.
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-25-2008, 05:58 PM
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how to clip your hores ears

I like upnover's suggestions as well as Gypsie29's.

A twitch is something you should have your dentist try on you. If you then find it makes anything more pleasant and builds trust in your dentist, use it on your horse.

A twitch can be used when your horses foot is caught in barb wire and you don't have a tranquilizer in hand, not for simple tasks like clipping.

Use patience and your imagination to train your horse to stand for ear clipping. And soon you'll have a willing partner in this chore.

"My horses are my friends, not my slaves."
Dr. Reiner Klimke
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