Trimming fetlock feathers and bridle path. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-16-2015, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Trimming fetlock feathers and bridle path.

So, Im not exactly 100% sure what I am going to say here, so I'll just start.
I have never trimmed any of my horse's fetlock feathers in the time I have been owning horses, which is only a year, but you get my point. My main reason is I don't have clippers to 'shave' it off. Plus, I kind of like how Pistol's look on him (I know, I'm a nut). Pistols are extremely long because I like them that way. Since he is a mustang, I figure no one would be there to trim them in the wild, so I figure it helps him keep his mustangish looks, though I do trim his bridle path, mane, and tail (but not his forelock. It's so pretty and I'm afraid to mess it up.). I do all of this with scissors since I have nowhere to buy a thinning comb or anything. Dixie's mane currently doesn't look very nice because Nan really wanted the thin part trimmed off (the tips were very thin). I guess it needed done though. Unfortunately Nan rushed me quite a bit so it didn't turn out so great.
Anyway, I guess I have two points.
1. Does anyone else do trimmings like I do?
2. Is it safe to trim fetlock feathers with scissors?
Ps I don't show, just to clarify.

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post #2 of 8 Old 08-16-2015, 09:02 AM
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I have never used clippers on any part of my horse, so I suppose you are good to go in that regard. I even do bridle paths with scissors.

There is nothing wrong with leaving fetlock hair, and may be beneficial. The only time it is truly necessary if if there is infection like scratches going on underneath, then trimming them back becomes a matter of airing out the area and opening it up for medicating.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-16-2015, 09:03 AM
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P.s., a thinning comb is not necessary for mane pulling, you can use your fingers and/or a regular comb, just wear gloves. ;)
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-16-2015, 09:06 AM
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I've done scissor trimming. When it comes to fetlocks, comb the hair outward, catch it between two fingers and make the cut vertical so it doesn't look chopped. If you want his eyes and ears to pop, trim the forelock between his ears to narrow it. Start nearest the base of the ear and remove an inch on each side and see how it looks. You should be able to trim 2.5" each side. You maintain the length, just tidy up the sides.



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post #5 of 8 Old 08-16-2015, 01:17 PM
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I end up using scissors most of the time because cutting hair never occurs to me until somebody is getting washed

I keep my Scratches-prone horse cut or shaved really close. It is amazing the white leg is the most prone and grows the thickest/longest fetlock and leg hair.

I cut it twice to the brown-haired legs.

I also use scissors on their bridle paths.

While my horses stand great for clippers, I always seem to be in too much of a hurry to drag them out, then clean and oil them.

Except for Spring. Clipping all that winter hair is like Spring cleaning the house and clippers are required, lollol

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-16-2015, 03:38 PM
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The crazy horse I had as a kid hated clippers. The only way the BO used to be able to clip her was with a twitch, and even then no one could clip her ears. I didn't like the twitch method, so when I was about 12 I started trimming her myself with a small pair of scissors. I left her ears alone, and I liked her feathery legs. Her bridlepath and nose were as neatly trimmed as they would have been with clippers.

A few years later at a new barn, I mentioned that I used scissors to trim my horse, and the BO insisted that he could clip my horse. That big old cowboy who went by "Buckshot" got his twitch and tried to clip my horse's ears. Well... a little while later, my furry-eared horse stood quietly while I trimmed her bridlepath with my scissors.

If the scissors get the results you want, I see no problem.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-16-2015, 05:19 PM
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I don't trim my guys although I will very occasionally trim a bridle path on a thick-maned horse, and if the ears are REALLY wooly, I may trim the ear hairs even with the sides of the ears. I don't trim legs and fetlock hairs unless they look uncomfortable for the horse. Some white-legged horses in damp climates can get Scratches more easily because if they have long hair on their legs and fetlocks, it holds in the moisture and bacteria/fungus for Scratches, so in that case, I might be tempted to trim the legs.

One of the New Zealand instructors at a clinic did a grooming lesson and told all of us that we should never trim the fetlock hairs as they allow the water that runs down the horses' legs to drain off and away from the hoof. I had never heard that, but it sounds good. :)

When I worked with polo horses, we'd roach their manes for safety . . . Keep fingers from getting tangled.

If I need to trim hair from around a wound or do any other kind of trimming, I have a pair or roaching shears that are good to use around the horses because they are curved, and the points of the shears point away from the horse in case of quick movements or spooks.

Be sure that if you do use scissors around your horse that you use safety scissors or roaching shears just to be safe.

Mine have larger handles that these, but these are similar to what I have:
Horse Care :: Shears & Scissors :: Roaching Shears - Nylon Horse Tack and Saddles|Western Saddles

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post #8 of 8 Old 08-17-2015, 03:04 AM
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Why do you want to trim his feathers? If they aren't causing problems and you don't need to for showing just leave them alone. They can give good protection to his fetlocks. My horse got his foot caught over a gate latch chain. After I got him loose I checked him for injury and saw that his feathers were so thick it would take a lot more than a chain to cut through them. Scissors work fine for bridle paths although I don't usually bother with that anyway since the bridle goes fine over his mane.
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