Horse Rears When Clipping
I have this horse, that hates the clippers. All my other horses do fine with the clippers. He is fine having his legs clipped and when i turn them on. But when i try a bridle path, he freaks. He will rear and do anything he has to do. He is like that for the first half an hour then he calms down and he lets me do it. Does anyone have any ideas?
My boy was like that only it was because he was beat over the head before I got him.... he was very very headshy. He didn't like the noise of the clippers that close to his ears so I switched to scissors. You could try scissors because there is no heat or noise invloved. The first time I did his bridle path(with the scissors) it took me about an hour and a half because he was so scared. You just have to go slow and make sure your arm is not blocking his eye on that side so he can see you it might be making him nervous if you are holding your arm infront of his eye that's how it was with phantom. Just take it slow and easy praise him when he holds his head down and back off if he starts to get upset then pet his nose and ears and tell him it's okay and what not. Then start again. Praise everytime he hold his head down. Eventually he'll get it. It took me a few weeks of consistancy but now I can do Phantom's bridlepath in about 3 seconds.
Hope this helped good luck =D
He just needs to be desisitized to it in that area which may take time.
I'd suggest getting one of those small handheld massagers (from a drug store or wal-mart). They buzz & vibrate just like clippers do & just get him used to having that around his ears without doing any actual clipping.
It's worked for me with a mare i had that had never been clipped in her life.
I used the "approach-retreat" method, where i held the massager in my hand & rubbed the mare with the back of my hand as i work my way up her neck to her ears & back down again. repeated this for as long as it took for her to get comfortable with it. Then i held her ears with my opposite hand & pretended to cut lol
There are lots of horses that don't do well with ears and bridle paths. If it's just the clipper noise you might try getting a smaller quiet bullet clipper, there are some that are virtually noiseless. I got a pair from my beautician, the little ones they use to shave men's necks. It's super quiet and the perfect size for ears.
You also might try stuffing his ears with cotton, I like to use the rope kind they tend to shake cotton balls out and put a little vaseline on it so it is easier to work with.
I had a mare that HATED her ears clipped (she was a dream otherwise). We took an old set of clippers and hung them outside of her stall near her hay rack at ear level. After hearing them run for a couple days she was a changed horse.
I have one that will allow clipping anywhere but his head. He will flip his nose almost in tune to the clippers. I do approach and retreat but he's too wise for that. This year I plan on utilizing some clicker training with him.
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