Update on Arie - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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LOL kevinshorses. I used to clip whiskers a long time ago and my horses never hurt themselves because of it :)

Thank you charlicata :) The relationship he and I have has absolutely helped. If this had happened when I first got him, there is no way it would have gone smoothly. Disaster would be an appropriate word to use!
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post #12 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
?

Spirithorse: Please don't trim the whiskers on Alberta Girls horse. She is afraid it will bump it's chin or get cut on barbwire.
Kevin put me down also for not trimming the whiskers. I feel in the dark stall they are feelers that tell the horse when his head is about to meet a solid object, when his muzzle is about to reach the bottom of the grain bin, when his grazing muzzle encounters the ground.
How can you tell what your horse feels when he lowers his head???
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post #13 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 07:56 AM
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Glad to hear that Arie's doing well since his injury, Spirithorse!

As far as the clipping goes, I only clip the bridle path if I'm not showing, sometimes excess feathering if it starts to collect snowballs or mud too badly. If I do show (something that happens less and less these days... I think I'm becoming disillusioned with competition, lol) I do a full trim: Feathers, beard, whiskers, and the fold-and-clip-what-sticks-out method on ears. I don't notice anything different about the behavior of my guy whisker-less vs. whisker-bearing, but as a matter of general grooming I do let them grow. My sister's QH, on the other hand... well, his whole head could be one giant whisker and he'd probably still be a klutz with his head and face.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 10:13 AM
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Boy you people are really defensive. I did not come across as pointing a finger, just opening a discussion.

Think about it. We all know that whiskers on animals are there for "feelers". Mother nature has put them there and they have been there for thousands of years. It is only the "show" world that made it be that they need to be trimmed. If you had never, ever seen or been to a show I am sure that trimming off your animals whiskers would never even cross your mind. As a matter of fact, it seems cruel to take that away from them and they have no say if we cut them off or not. I also found the following info.

"Whiskers are a very important sensory device for the horse especially in discriminating feed. The softer blades of grass versus the coarser textures that do not bend as easily. This apparently gives the horse information as to what is potentially toxic versus non-toxic, sweet versus bitter etc. In addition the whiskers too provided 'line-of-sight' information for distance and angle assessment."

Again not pointing fingers at anyone however I think it is a point worthy of some thought. This is a natural forum right ?? Does not get much more natural than that.
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Alberta Girl View Post
Boy you people are really defensive. I did not come across as pointing a finger, just opening a discussion.

I don't see anything that terribly defensive, just discussion and statement/support of differing opinions on the topic of whiskers and their maintenance...

Think about it. We all know that whiskers on animals are there for "feelers". Mother nature has put them there and they have been there for thousands of years. It is only the "show" world that made it be that they need to be trimmed.

Agreed. If the show world didn't require it I probably wouldn't do it myself. I showed 4-H Grooming and Showmanship for years with some success, and I got flak for not pulling my gaited/morgan cross' mane QH style, let alone whiskers. IMHO, if the horse is clean and in good condition, uber-correctness of clip/trim shouldn't mark a competitor down, esp. In a situation like 4-H where the aim is to introduce horsemanship, competition, and sportsmanship. I really can't speak for higher level comp., I never really wanted to go there and deal with all of the fuss and politics of it.

If you had never, ever seen or been to a show I am sure that trimming off your animals whiskers would never even cross your mind. As a matter of fact, it seems cruel to take that away from them and they have no say if we cut them off or not.

I'm not justifying this, either, but what about removing the dew claws of dogs, or declawing a cat (I lied, I have had this done to my rescue housecat, for the sake of the carpet, sofa, tv stand, wallpaper, dressers, cabinets...)? Whiskers are hair, and hair grows back. Several bad clip jobs and haircuts attest to that. I have a bigger problem with needless declawing, or tail/ear docking than I do with clipping hairs that will be back in 3 weeks.

I also found the following info.

"Whiskers are a very important sensory device for the horse especially in discriminating feed. The softer blades of grass versus the coarser textures that do not bend as easily. This apparently gives the horse information as to what is potentially toxic versus non-toxic, sweet versus bitter etc. In addition the whiskers too provided 'line-of-sight' information for distance and angle assessment."

^Interesting stuff. Sheer curiosity, where did you find that info? I wouldn't mind reading more.

As far as a practical reason for whisker removal, in my area of perpetual winter, my guys routinely accumulate little ice/snowballs on their whiskers, between grazing and condensation freezing there in sub-freezing temps. Occasionally a trim is merited there... I feel so bad for them out there scratching their muzzles on their knees because the ice chunks are pulling the whiskers.

Again not pointing fingers at anyone however I think it is a point worthy of some thought. This is a natural forum right ?? Does not get much more natural than that.

Agreed 100% and Amen!
My response in bold.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown

Last edited by Scoutrider; 01-19-2010 at 11:00 AM.
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 11:22 AM
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I never cut any of my face or nose hair for the same reason as it helps me FEEL my food better when I eat.

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post #17 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 11:26 AM
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^Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!
I nearly fell out of my chair reading that!!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #18 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Marecare View Post
I never cut any of my face or nose hair for the same reason as it helps me FEEL my food better when I eat.

Not to mention saving a little food for later.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 04:31 PM
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All I said was parelli. Wasn't saying it in a negitive way.

Glad things are looking up.
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-19-2010, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by HorsesAreForever View Post
All I said was parelli. Wasn't saying it in a negitive way.

Glad things are looking up.
No you didn't say it in a negative way, but the message was implied...don't think we are stupid
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