How important are those long "hairs" around the eyes?... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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How important are those long "hairs" around the eyes?...

Don't kill me but I'm thinking about trimming those long eyelash-like things around Lacey's eyes.
Basically, since she pretty much has to wear a flymask 24/7, those long hairs have started curling around and into her eyes. Then, they collect eye boogers which irritates her even more.
I remove the eye boogers when I see them but, since I'm not magic, she often ends up dealing with it for a few hours before I can help her out.

Anyway, for a horse that's flymasked 24/7 (her time in the flymask may decrease during the winter but she really can't tolerate much brightness at all, we're playing it by ear - eye?), do those hairs serve a real purpose?

They mostly fell out/were pulled out by boogers on one of her eyes and I haven't seen any bad side effects from that, I just wanted to check before I intentionally give them all trim.

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 12:46 AM
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In her case, they are probably more hindrance than help, but for most horses, they are a help to keep them from bonking there face on things. I am an advovate for not trimming ANY whiskers or ear hair, but I don't show, so it doesn't matter.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Good to know! I think it would be more comfortable for her to have them gone but like you, I strongly dislike trimming whiskers+ear hair for any old reason - it's protection! So I wanted to make sure that in her case it makes logical sense for them to be gone.
Thanks! :)

As an aside, I do use flymasks with larger "cups" for her eyes at night time so her eyes have a chance to "breath" but her daytime flymasks are your average close to the eye style (made of special eye-protecting fabric though!).

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 01:04 AM
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I clip it all but my horses are inside and in non-dangerous places and are shown...xD I think you should clip them personally, if it's causing her issues.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 03:28 AM
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Yes, those hairs are like other 'whiskers' in that they're not regular hair & are connected to special nerves. Remember reading a report of a study done into cutting dog's(I think) whiskers that showed it was also painful to them. It was a long time ago, so can't give you the source & don't recall looking into it further to verify the research, FYI. I imagine it would be the same for other animals. For those reasons, I too am against trimming/shaving whiskers for the sake of supposed cosmetic improvement.

BUT you're talking about doing it because they irritate her, not just you, so there may be more 'pros' than 'cons' to that.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 08:55 AM
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Clip them. They are causing more problems than they are providing benefit. If she's in a fly mask 24/7 they can't serve their natural purpose anyway.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 02:21 PM
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I had a horse who would act like he was drunk when I put on a fly mask. Turned out that he also had these super long hairs around the eyes who obviously were sending mixed signals to him as of where to go. I trimmed the ones who were touching the mask and he was fine. And I usually NEVER trim any whiskers or such. I believe Mother Nature knows what is needed.

Last edited by deserthorsewoman; 09-22-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 07:29 PM
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Wow, interesting deserthorse! Might mention that to a friend who reckons her horse always 'acts weird' in the paddock over summer - maybe because of that.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 07:36 PM
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I also keep those lashes cut during fly mask season because they bend down into the eyes.

I let them grow out when winter gets here and the horses don't need their fly masks anymore.

I don't cut nose hairs or the long hairs on their chins either.

I am keeping the long straggly hairs on the jowels clipped back for now. I just clipped some of that jowel hair this past weekend but it's probably the last clip for the year.

It makes the bot eggs a lot easier to find --- that would be those miserable Throat bog eggs that migrate themselves into the horses mouth
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-22-2012, 08:19 PM
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I've clipped Ricci's almost the whole time I've had her. She's yet to bonk her head/eyes into anything. I say do it.

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