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 Clipping tips

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Posts : 17
Join date : 2009-12-11

PostSubject: Clipping tips   Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:29 pm

Its that time of year again!!! Where we start to clip our horses.

A couple tips to remember:

1) Remember to only clip areas on the horse that can be covered with a blanket if the horse will be outside for long periods of time. If your horse stays outside most of the day and/or overnight, then you should consider leaving the face/belly/legs unclipped.

2) Start with a massage!: If you are unsure how your horse will react to clippers, you can start with a massage! Cordless hand held massagers are a great way to introduce a horse to vibrating type feel and the soft vibrating noise. Cheap hand held massagers can be picked up at places like walmart for around $10 and just require double A batteries.

3) Approach and retreat: If your horse is scared of clippers, remember to reward him when he stands still by taking the clippers AWAY/ turning them off. Then restart and clip a little bit, and when the horse is still reward by taking the clippers away/turning them off. Remember that you don't want to stop clipping when the horse is being a 'fidget' because then you will teach the horse that when he fidgets he will get the reward of the clippers going away... wait for the horse to be still before you reward. Once your horse is comfortable and used to the clippers... you can clip for longer periods of time without stopping... except to brush off the clippers!

4) Start with an easy spot: Horses tend to be most sensitive on their bellies, faces, shoulders, and chests. Starting on their side might be the best place to start with your horse.

5) Be prepared! You may think it will be a quick clip job, but be prepared to take the time to deal with a nervous horse. If a horse is extremely scared and clipping is required, you can consider being prepared with chemical tranquilizers.... everyone has there own opinion on using tranquilizers. My personal opinion is that using a tranq can be quite pleasant for the horse (especially if you use the powder that you feed with some treats!) and is definitely preferable than trying to deal with a dangerous behaviour (especially if you are inexperienced or physically not able to handle a horse that may try to flight or fight).

In understand that the best way to build a relationship with the horse is to do a lot of approach and retreat, or perhaps getting the horse to follow a set of cordless clippers (that are turned on- to get them used to the noise without 'chasing' the horse with them (instead the horse gets to follow))..... but sometimes you may not have the time it takes if the horse is really agitated, really threatening, and/or the situation is urgent.

What are your thoughts on using tranquilizers (either needle injections or the edible powder)?
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