My horse hates clippers: Any sugestions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-19-2013, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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My horse hates clippers: Any sugestions?

My mare HATES the clippers. When i try to clip her ears or bridle path, she has a fit and sometimes rears up. She is fine with them around her face when they are off, but when you turn them on, its the end of the world. Do you think its the noise or vibration that scares her so much, or is she just being subburn? Do you have any ideas that i could try to help her get used to the clippers? I dont not want to be forceful and use twitches or anything.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-19-2013, 04:03 PM
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Are you using small clippers - I prefer the cordless rechargeable for heads as they are quiet and easier to handle
Its generally better to begin on the underside of the neck rather than go straight for the head and if you don't want to clip her there have them upside down so she's just feeling them against her skin and hearing the noise. Once she's OK with this you can clip the underside of her head. I find a lot of horses don't like someone reaching up at them with clippers but seem Ok when you stand on something like a mounting block and are then at their height - must feel less threatening
I usually find that patience and staying calm and relaxed works in the end but
if it doesn't and she still reacts badly and you don't want to twitch her then you could talk to your vet about using a small dose of ACE to take the edge of her the first few times.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-19-2013, 04:15 PM
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Ear plugs make a world of difference for my guy.
Ear pomms or the sheepskin ones.

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-20-2013, 05:22 PM
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I suggest using ear plugs and a twitch. We have a stroppy little pony mare who kicks at anything making a buzzing noise. We just twitch her, give her natural callers and put ear plugs in her ears and she's fine with it
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-21-2013, 10:41 AM
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Are your blades sharpened regularly? Is your clipper cleaned after, and during use? Do you use Kool Eze, or whatever is available to spray on during clipping, to coat and cool the blades?

And are you switching blades too, as what is used for mane is different from ears?

Are you waiting until the clippers are hot and burning her skin?

All of those things will add up to horse that hates clipping.

If you are careful about all of that, then you may just have to drug and/or twitch to get this done.

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-22-2013, 07:46 PM
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You could just use scissors. Thats what we have always done in my family. Of course there could be some danger involved if your horse spooks a lot but I personally have never had trouble doing it. When I was younger I always enjoyed when it was time to trim the horses up and liked to help make them all pretty. We use scissors on whiskers, ears and bridle paths.

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-22-2013, 11:04 PM
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I also use scissors for regular maintenance. My horse hates clippers and gets tranquilized for his annual full body clip.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-22-2013, 11:42 PM
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Have you tried desensitizing her to the clippers? It could be the sound. It could be the vibration. It could be the sensation of being clipped. It could be the clippers pull her hair. It could be lots of things. We have a busted up set of clippers that still makes noise and vibrations that is taped to the end of a stick about five foot long and we do a lot of desensitizing with them while they are turned on. The stick helps keep us out of the range of strikes or kicks if the horse decided to shoot for the clippers. Don't tie, but keep her on a long rope. Make sure the rope is long enough that if she rears, she isn't going to pull the rope out of your hand or pull you into her. Maybe put the chain over her nose or a stiff rope halter on her so that she can't run through you.

Start with the air around her, then move on to touching her. You want to be able to touch her neck, withers, shoulders, up on the poll, maybe the face if you have good stick control and can avoid bashing her accidentally. Don't worry about her throwing a fit. Stay safe. Don't let her bull you over, run away, push you around or anything aggressive or overly dangerous, and work like she is not misbehaving. This issue usually starts off as a fear of clippers but turns into an "I DON'T HAVE TO!" ordeal. Don't get mad at her, as you can't teach if you are mad. Don't baby her, as she won't learn anything. Turn this into a daily routine either as you groom before you work her, or as you groom before you put her up for the night. And might be a good idea to have another person keeping an eye on you.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-01-2013, 12:41 PM
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I agree with Lady Dreamer, little and often will desensitize your horse over time.
We found a few minutes of rubbing the clipper over our horse , then hanging the clipper up and running it and getting on with another regular duty. Slowly the horse accepts the clipper and will let you clip small areas steadly increase the area you clip. Oh yes you have a period when the horse is half clipped but now we can give a full body clip in one sitting.
Good Luck
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-01-2013, 01:09 PM
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Make sure you are using one made for horses - quite buzzing sounds and that can cut her type of horse hair.
Work with the clippers around her. Turn them on and just hold onto it as you brush her or sit with her. She probably is not sure about them and might see them as a danger to her.
You need to have them on and around her more often. Find something she loves doing - whether is is eating or just standing or whatever. Go with her to that place or just sit in the pasture with the clippers on. She needs to understand that they won't hurt her and are happy, friendly friends.
when the clippers are off, then act like they are on and pretend to be clipping her hair. Just move it in the same motions and areas as you would if they were on.

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