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Horse hates being clipped..

ForbiddenHorse

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24 April 2013
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1,537
Hello all!

I have left clipping as long as possible but with 2 natives, both who get sweaty walking around the block and a hunter trial coming up, it has to be done (to my hatement of it)

My Welsh is the problem.. he really lives up to the Welsh name! Had him from a youngster, hes lived a lovely (spolit brat) life comes to mind. Bought him up with the clippers nicely, never was a problem. Use to clip him loose in the stable as a 3yr old just his belly to get him use to it, gave him a few treats, he liked it, then I progressed to a bigger clip the more work he was in. The older hes got, the worst hes got. Hes now rising 6.. as soon as i turn the clippers on he runs back like a wild animal, eyes pop out his head. He won't ever kick or rear but he won't stand flippin' still. Same clippers, sharpened, no other horse has a problem but hes a down and out drama queen (hes the same with every aspect of life)

I really don't want to pay for him to be sedated.. does anyone have any ideas? I trained my coloured (who had a hard life, so can understand it) from being so dangerous and scared to clip, even 2 vets and friends said your never clip him unsedated, he now stands there loose and I can clip every inch of hair off without a problem but my Welsh is a entire new level.
I'm the nicey nicey type, treats, praise.. but i'm wondering if this isn't the way to go with him.

I'd leave him unclipped, but we have 2 fun rides coming up and he'll get far to hot in his winter woollies!
 

Antw23uk

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3 October 2012
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Buckinghamshire
I have THE most perfect horse, everyone wants him .. But he will down and out stamp on your head if you try and clip him. He isnt scared he just wont tolerate clipping un sedated ... and I mean he literally has to be on the floor knocked out sedated! So not much help but life is too short, sedate him, lol!
 

pansymouse

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11 May 2012
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Amesbury, Wiltshire
My welsh x TB doesn't like being clipped but is a hot horse so needs to be. I just sedate her with paste and get a professional clipper in who works very fast. With her it's the vibration on her skin she hate; she completely indifferent to the noise.
 

JillA

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1 May 2007
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Shropshire
Are you sure the clippers aren't overheating? Sounds to me as though there is something unpleasant or uncomfortable about the process and there shouldn't be
 

ForbiddenHorse

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24 April 2013
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Are you sure the clippers aren't overheating? Sounds to me as though there is something unpleasant or uncomfortable about the process and there shouldn't be
They're the new liveryman Black Beauty clippers, well had them nearly 2 years now and will service this year but haven't used them enough to warrant a service yet and clipper man said to wait until this year as they're barely used 5 times a year, blades get sharpened regularly. They never get hot and I have a spray which cools them down if they feel warm. If I had cheap, loud clippers or there was something unpleasant I'd understand but they are pretty quiet when turned down and I've clipped plenty of difficult horses no problem.
 

FfionWinnie

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20 July 2012
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It’s very easy to teach a horse not to stand, every time it fidgets or messes about remove the clippers. You can make them not stand in a few sessions of this training. Same goes the other way. Only take the clippers off when they are standing still. I would do the training without actually trying to clip initially. Then only aim for a small area and make sure you don’t take them off if he’s being silly. Personally I think treats and praise are a waste of time. Treat the horse like a horse and train it by thinking like a horse.
 

Celtic Fringe

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13 April 2014
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471
Don't know if this will be of any help but I essentially followed the advice given by FfionWinnie with my 6 year old cob. I found that he was most frightened of the noise, once the clippers were on and touching him he stood ok (not perfectly still but good enough).
I started with him not tied up but with a fairly long lead rope. I switched the clippers on and off a few times a few metres away. He jumped everytime, snorted and rolled his eyes but after a few times he didn't back off violently. I then didn't switch them off until he leaned or stepped towards me as I stepped away - so essentially he was 'chasing' the noise. I then touched him a few times with the clippers off and then switched them on near to him and then onto his coat, only removing them when he stood still. After that I started taking hair off at his shoulder.
We had a couple of short breaks - coffee for me, a carrot for him and then started again. I managed a low trace-type clip in the end without any major drama. It helped that mine is good at yielding to pressure so he will stop at the end of a lead rope even in the face of something quite frightening. My old cob is an expert at breaking ties or pulling away so can be much more difficult to deal with. It is also important not to make a drama out of a crisis - I know someone who has 'trained' her horse all summer to get used to an electric toothbrush but was still a nightmare to clip as he was reflecting her anxiety.
 

oldie48

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15 April 2013
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South Worcestershire
I had a horse that wouldn't tolerate clipping unless he was sedated. He'd always been in professional yards, had travelled all over Europe competing and was perfect to do in every other way. I had him sedated, IMHO it wasn't worth risking my life or anyone else's just to be able to clip him without sedation. He always looked wonderful clipped because we could do a proper job. I take the same view with teeth unless they are totally comfortable I'd rather sedate and get a proper job done.
 

HashRouge

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16 February 2009
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Manchester
I would sedate, personally, but see if you can do it using Domesedan (sp?) gel from the vet as that is very effective and will save you the call out fee. I don't mess around with horses that are dangerous to clip. I used to work as an SJ groom so clipping was part of my job, and I came across a few nightmare horses in my time. I have been kicked before while clipping, too, which made me very wary! In fairness, though, the downside of being an SJ groom was that we just didn't have time to work with the horses who were scared of the clippers to see if we could desensitise them (though most of them improved with time). I think my instinct would be to sedate this time to get him clipped, but then see if you can get him more comfortable around the clippers over the next few months.
 

atlantis

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16 March 2006
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Leics
It’s very easy to teach a horse not to stand, every time it fidgets or messes about remove the clippers. You can make them not stand in a few sessions of this training. Same goes the other way. Only take the clippers off when they are standing still. I would do the training without actually trying to clip initially. Then only aim for a small area and make sure you don’t take them off if he’s being silly. Personally I think treats and praise are a waste of time. Treat the horse like a horse and train it by thinking like a horse.
Currently doing this with my mare. Started with trimmers as she is a total wuss. Turn on, she goes tense st the noise, wait until she relaxes praise and treat. Stand nearer, repeat... today hD the trimmers running up near her difficult ear and under her elbow, she was mugging me for the reward lol. Waited until she stood still, praised and treated.

She learns quickly like this and learns her groundwork with a similar release, reward and relax system. I use the same cues.

Used it to desensitise to fly spray too. She was a total nightmare with fly spray!!!
We'll see how we get on with the big clippers. I'm hoping by after half term I can get her clipped. Just a trace/blanket clip (blanket front, trace back) but want to bet her fully clipped before summer coat comes through. She gets so so hot in April/may if not.

Previously I have sedated to clip her, last time we used Sedalin and she wasn't knocked out but it took the edge off and my friend did it quickly!!
 

ForbiddenHorse

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24 April 2013
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He's been clipped about 6 times so it isn't a new thing. Well everyone, I was shocked. Gave him some of this years hay, tied him up and got on with it with the means to get it done! He just stood there.. the best he's ever been! Usually I do him in a stable, this time I didn't (outside the barn) and he was much better!

So thank you for all the comments but I managed to clip him on my own out fully including half his face in about 40 minutes!
 

PoniesRock

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2 April 2010
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269
Sometimes I just don't think it's worth being a hero with horses like that. Yeh, in the ideal world we wouldn't need dope for anything. But when it comes to a horse of that size and power and mains electric, sometimes it's just a safer idea for all involved to just dope and get the job done.
 
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