Clipper Woes - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Clipper Woes

So my yearling is having clipper problems that I can't seem to work through.

She is very soft to the halter when flexing. I can rub her ears, rub her nose, rub her face all over. She is not afraid of the buzzing clippers. I can rub her with the buzzing clippers all over her head and she has no problem with this. I have been using the approach and retreat method. So I approach with the clippers, rub her, and retreat when she stands still.

However, the problem comes when I go in to cut the hair. As soon as it buzzes a single hair on her nose, she slings her head. I will go back to the approach and retreat, just rubbing her. She's fine. I clip a hair, and she slings her head and starts walking circles around me. Now she gets worked up and when I go back to trying to rub her with the clippers, she's spinning circles around me.

I get really frustrated. Every time I try we always end up the same way (I have been doing this for months, hoping not to have the "last minute" problems). I do the approach and retreat, she's fine with me rubbing until I have to clip a hair. I even bought brand new clippers freshly oiled and she still slings her head fiercely. She must be clipped because she is a show pony, otherwise I wouldn't care.

She is great about the approach and retreat method with everything else, even when bathing she is very accepting to stand still. I can throw ropes over her head the same way.

I need a new technique. I do not want to twitch her if I don't have to, I have tried before and it made things worse. I was wondering on what your opinion is on using a little demorsedan gel in order to show her that I am not trying to kill her... Has that worked for anyone? I have run out of ideas. :/

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post #2 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 06:40 PM
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Have you tried neck twitching her?
Muppetgirl is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 06:51 PM
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Is your blade getting too hot? Are you rubbing the blade on her, or the clipper body?

You can use the dormosedan if you get to the point where it HAS to be done because you're going to a show, but I don't know how well they remember experiences while sedated.

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post #4 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 07:01 PM
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Is there any spot on her body that she doesn't mind clipped (or pretend clipped). Start with that spot. My one horse from a yearling on, would let me clip him anywhere, except inside his left ear, right was a bit tentative but if I was quick I could do it, but not the left. So after a few years of twitching him for that ear (I don't bother messing around, he gets one chance when I am clipping), he finally lowers his head & lets me clip out the left ear.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Pretty much any hair on her face is a hot mess. You can put any part of the clipper on her, but as soon as it cuts, she flips. If I could clip her neck I would, but I don't want to give her an ugly clip job. Maybe I will try clipping her feet next time and see if she accepts that.

I'm thinking about attempting to use a lip chain instead of a twitch. It releases endorphins, right? I really hate to do it, but I'm hoping the more she associates endorphins with clipping eventually she will not need it. Or she will focus more on it than the clippers cutting her hairs.

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 07:50 PM
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My horse did the SAME exact thing, he would be 100% a OK with them all over. It took a couple months of hacking a little bit off with the guide combs. Then He just shed out his winter fluffs and wala! :) There is hope, just follow her when she moves and continue on as if nothing happened. And good luck!
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 07:51 PM
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My filly had the same problem...She didn't mind the clippers one bit the buzzing, etc. But when it was time to clip the actual hairs she would freak out.

I just went ahead and did it. I didn't twitch or anything. I clipped a few hairs then I rubbed her with the clippers, clipped some more, etc. Eventually she realized that she wasn't going to die and she is now pretty good with them.
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