Naughty, Naughty Poneh ^^

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Naughty, Naughty Poneh ^^

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  • Naughty clipping
  • Pony naughty clipping ears

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    06-19-2010, 05:04 PM
Naughty, Naughty Poneh ^^

My mare is basically perfect. She never has a bad day, she's always consistent, and very easy to work with. I can do just about anything with her except two things. When I pull her mane, she jerks around, rears, paws, breaks the cross ties, flips over, you name it. As soon as I begin to pull her mane, it starts. Its like it hits that switch and she goes off. For braiding, however, she just gets restless after a while, so all I do is make sure she got worked nice and hard and ate before I braid and she's fine. But no matter what, she HATES her mane pulled. I've tried brushing her mane before hand to make her think its just a nice brushing, but as soon as I pull it, she freaks. I've tried brushing, pulling, brushing, too. She calms when I brush but goes back to misbehaving when I start to pull it. How do I stop this behavior? I'm afraid she'll hurt herself or me or someone else. :/

Her other issue is clipping her ears. I can stick anything in her ears and she doesnt care. She doesnt mind loud or weird noises and lets me touch her head without fuss. But when I clip her ears, even if I work up to it, like start on her nose, go to around her eye lashes, then slowly to her ears, she still reacts. And its the same reactions as the mane pulling, only faster and more violently. I've tried twitching her, which did no good. I've tried clipping until she stops, but usually she backs up and rears until the clippers unplug themselves.

Both of these issues are her ONLY quirks and become very violent sometimes. I was thinking for the ear clipping thing, that I could maybe try getting her used to an electric toothbrush or something, then working up to clippers, but I really don't know what to do about the mane pulling problem.

Any advice?
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    06-19-2010, 05:11 PM
*I also thought maybe it was a respect issue. I worked on ground manners and undersaddle manners, and everything I could think of! She NEVER bites me, never tries to kick, buck, misbehave. I tell her to do something, she does it. She respects my space and does what she's told. Until I pull her mane or clip her ears. And even then, she's not attacking me, she's trying to run. How do I stop that flight reaction? She never runs away from anything any other time. She's fairly brave. Except for these two things.
    06-19-2010, 05:12 PM
Green Broke
I can't imagine pulling the mane is very pleasing to any horse. It may be that she is very sensitive and saying, ouch that hurts!

How does she act when you just touch her ears? Does she get upset? Again, there are a lot of horses that are really sensitive to the clippers, even the quiet ones. It may be that she will never like having her ears clipped (few horses where I board that are like that).
    06-19-2010, 05:19 PM
Originally Posted by Solon    
I can't imagine pulling the mane is very pleasing to any horse. It may be that she is very sensitive and saying, ouch that hurts!

How does she act when you just touch her ears? Does she get upset? Again, there are a lot of horses that are really sensitive to the clippers, even the quiet ones. It may be that she will never like having her ears clipped (few horses where I board that are like that).
Well first, horses don't have nerves in their mane so pulling it doesnt hurt. I can tug on her mane and she doesnt give a care, but when I actually get to pulling the mane with a pulling comb, she hates it.

And when I touch her ears, she acts like I'm petting her any other place. She goes to sleep mostly. Never gets upset. And she doesnt mind getting clipped anywhere else, just her ears. And my trainer is also a vet who gives her check-ups frequently so there arent any sores or sensitivity in her ears that would be causing her pain when getting clipped.
    06-19-2010, 05:28 PM
Green Broke
Horses are like people in the way there are things they like and things they don't. Obviously the mane pulling and ear clipping irritates her in some way and it's something that knowing it, you'll just have to work through. She may eventually get over it or she may just continue to not liking it and you have to deal with her attitude each time you do it. There are things my draft horse doesn't like - he hates being brushed, but we push through it.
    06-19-2010, 10:09 PM
Yes, but since I do a lot of showing and have to keep her mane short, I have to find a way to make her behavior less dangerous. I'm afraid she'll hurt herself or people around her if it keeps up. :/
    06-20-2010, 10:45 AM
    06-20-2010, 11:59 AM
I have three Saddlebreds, only one will tolerate mane pulling... the other two hit the roof. After experiencing this, I have to wonder about the 'no nerve endings' theory... it sure looks and seems like a pain reaction to me.

Saddlebreds are genearally thin-skinned and very sensitive horses... I've found they tend to react to things my PaintX wouldn't even bat an eye at, and I've learned to resepect that about them. We work through things we need to, but in some cases it just isn't "worth" it. For me, mane pulling falls into that category.

So... I, when needed, use a pair of scissors, a thinning blade and some thinning shears... and I can get a pretty "pulled look" without making my horses absolutely freak. I cut the mane so that it's about an inch or so longer than I want to finish... then use the thinning blade and/or shears to thin the mane a bit... finishing with clipping the scissors "up" (towards the crest) to give the ends a 'chunky' look so that it takes away the snipped look. I know many many other people who use this method too - it's actually faster and really doesn't look bad at all.

If you're determined to pull though.. the first thing I would do is to untie her. No point making the situation any tougher than it needs to be, and sometimes just feeling like they can 'escape' will help settle a horse prone to flight. Take smaller 'chunks' at a time... and just be patient. I'd probably take breaks and do something else every time she stood still for one pull, just to give her the idea that that's exactly what I want - her standing still.
    06-20-2010, 12:06 PM
Green Broke
Try a Stud chain. I find it much less offensive than twitching and our girls when twitched still misbehave and the stud chain works because when they do relax and behave you can immediately release pressure.

The stud chain in case you don't know is usually on the head of a lead. And it goes through the ring at the noseband of the halter and on the top gum in the mouth, to come out on the other side and snap in the other ring on the noseband of the halter. If she were to pull back it will tighten on her gums and she may fight it at first but this really is dangerous behavior and your going to have to find someway to get by it. Stud chains are looked down upon sometimes as it's not pleasant but it gets the job done. Of course eventually your going to want to find out whats wrong and fix the problems but the stud chain is what I use for our qh/tb girl who wont stand still to be shod and trimmed, or to have her foot rebandaged from the barbed wire incident.
    06-20-2010, 12:07 PM
The Last Unicorn has great suggestions! I was going to suggest the thinning scissors method too. Also, I've heard mixed opinions on the nerve endings. Personally I feel that while there may be no nerve endings directly at the base of the mane, there certainly are on either side of it, the length of the neck, and perhaps she is just very sensitive there. . . I really have never trimmed the inside of a horses ears, so I don't have a suggestion for that beyond getting the quietest clippers you can find and taking things super slow. Good luck!

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