How to clip ears?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-18-2014, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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How to clip ears??

My pony is very sensitive to his ears being clipped. He reacts quite violently by shaking his head and jerking it away from me, and now he won't even let me touch anywhere on his face with the clippers. He immediately relaxes when I move out of his upper shoulder area. His ears are quite bushy, and i think he doesn't like the tickling he feels when I move the clippers on his ear. Help??
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-18-2014, 05:42 PM
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Is there a reason he NEEDS his ears clipped? If you just want to clean them up a bit without completely taking away the protection of the ear hair, here's what I used to do:
Hold the back of the ear in your hand and fold it like a taco (gently, of course)
Take a small comb or your fingers and arrange the hair that pokes out betwwen the two sides of the ear.
Use scissors and carefully trim the hair that extends beyond the exterior of the ear.

Now since I don't show, I don't touch their ear hair! It is there for a reason, it traps debris and keeps it from getting in the inner ear and causing all sorts of infections. If you don't need to trim his ear hair, I suggest you don't.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-18-2014, 05:57 PM
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Unless you're showing him, I'd say leave his ears alone since there is no reason to clip them. The hair is there to keep bugs and dirty out.

You need to go slow, just like desensitizing to anything else, find the place where he just starts to react and hold there until he stands still. Once he does take the clippers away. Try again in the same spot until he will stand still immediately, then move a little higher. Start with the clippers turned off, then work up to them being on.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-18-2014, 06:28 PM
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another tip that may even help with the scissor trim. You need to relax there neck. when they tense up and raise their head put a hand on front of face and one on top of neck in the middle and gentle rock back and forth until they relax. I was amazed at how this worked when clipping.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-19-2014, 03:31 AM
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Are you trying to completely clip the hair out? If so the only easy way to do it is gonna take time and patience as you will need to desensitise your horse to the clippers.
You could twitch your horse as a short term method only, but you aren't solving the issue by doing that.

If you are neatening them up, you could do what I do, which is what others have suggested (fold the ear like a taco) and trim any sticky out-y bits. I then neaten around the edges and on the back of the ear.
Here is the sort of result you can get doing that method - He has black chalk in his ears to make it look like his ears are fully clipped out as I am not a fan of fully clipping ears out as the hair is there to protect the ear canal from wind,water, bugs and sand.
8.jpg

Here is my other horse - Same method and you can see the hair left in his ears.
9.jpg
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-19-2014, 03:33 PM
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nae nae,, doesn't the chalk drop into his ears ? This could cause an infection
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-19-2014, 05:25 PM
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I wouldn't clip them unless you really need too
If you do then buy the quietest, smallest cordless clippers on the market and get him used to them a bit at a time always stopping short of a panic attack and rewarding for good behavior
It took a year to even be able to touch my Irish Drafts ears without her getting anxious and now I can clip them without her even having a halter on
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-19-2014, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenson View Post
nae nae,, doesn't the chalk drop into his ears ? This could cause an infection
Sure a tiny bit might drop in, but it is just the ends of the hair that are coloured so the chalk mostly falls on his head. Also he still has ear hairs that protect the ear canal, and he has ear wax would collect the tiny particles if any got that far.

Horses roll in dust and dirt, if a few fine particles caused infection that easily we wouldn't let them roll in sand and a lot more horses would have ear infections.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-28-2014, 02:29 PM
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I watched Dennis Reis at one of his no dust tour stops get a horse that hated ea clipping get his ears clipped in about 30 minutes. The prop he used was a hair dryer. Spent a lot of time getting the horse acclimated to the hair dryer blowing on the ears prepared the horse for the ear clipping. I was impressed.

At the same event, I watched as Reis rolled out these GIANT rubber balls off the horses. Then the horse lied down on command. This older guy sitting next to me turns and drawls, "That's pretty neat, but I just wish I could catch my darn horse out in the pasture".

Last edited by Wallaby; 09-28-2014 at 03:40 PM.
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