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Silly question-Why don't dressage people clip their horses nose?

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  • Silly question-Why don't dressage people clip their horses nose?

    Coming from the hunter/jumper world where they clip every stray hair I was wondering why dressage people don't? Thanks
    Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

  • #2
    Those hairs have a purpose, they allow horses to feel their feed bucket, water buckets, where they are grazing and where the wall is before their actual muzzle encounters danger. A lot of people feel it is cruel to clip these whiskers. By clipping these whiskers, it impairs their sense of touch.

    ETA: Its not required to have these whiskers cut, so many leave them because of this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Grooming is a personal preference thing... I have seen dressage horses clipped up nice and slick, some that looked cleaned up and others left natural with fuzzy ears, whiskers, chin hair and all. Just depends on what you like I suppose.
      \"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks Most of the upper level horses I've seen over the years have all had their nose whiskers..
        Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ridgeback View Post
          Thanks Most of the upper level horses I've seen over the years have all had their nose whiskers..
          It's quite different from arabs, where their noses are bare, huh? I like the natural look

          Comment


          • #6
            I leave 1" of whiskers to let horse feel with them. Clipping them seems more neat, but it does take away one of the feelings that horse uses. Since horses have quite a bad, blurry vision, whiskers do help them.

            I don't care for clipping ears inside as well - flies just flock to the clean clipped ears. I trim the outside: I flatten the ear with my hand and cut all of hair ear that sticks out and leave everything inside.

            I do clip the top of the tail - that actually helps to keep it cleaner.

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe you might ask why some people clip them.

              Do you clip the whiskers off your dogs and cats?

              I don't think it's necessarilly cruel to clip them but I don't see the need and, yes, they have a purpose. Especially the ones around the eyes. i've seen people snipping those off as well.

              I don't think whiskers look bad on a horse any more thanthey look bad on a cat or dog. I clip fetlocks and the hairs under the jaw if they get long but not the whiskers. I don't clip inside the ears but will tidy them up and trim them flush. Personal preference.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's more accepted in the dressage world? More traditional? (Peggy dons flame suit) More European? I've also seen some less-than-trim fetlock areas in the dressage world. Based on experience doing both, including high-end dressage shows, and keeping in mind that my dressage experience is now four years dated, dressage people on average seem a bit more casual about clipping and sometimes grooming for shows. Not to the point of being sloppy. And not that there aren't totally clipped up dressage horses and somewhat casual HJ'ers. I also suspect the gap is closing, at least here on the left coast where stray hair is more of an issue (see ManScaping: I know you all can Google).
                The Evil Chem Prof

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with DressageArt. Leaving an inch or two while still staying tidy is a good middle ground. Part of the overall impression is one's turnout. Maybe a clip clip right before a show? Who wants to go to a triple rated show with a horse lookng like walrus or my 90 yr. old grandmother? I tried to pluck those once but she woke up. Hence the restrainig order but that's another story altogether.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    i leave 'em most of the time, i think they look like plucked chickens or some sort of shaved poodle otherwise. it's british and european to leave 'em, and very american breed ring to cut 'em off.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Some riders do clip muzzles. I don't mind doing it, but I absolutely leave untouched those around the eyes, and I trim the ears for extra long fuzz.

                      The eye whiskers give the eyes DEW (distant early warning), while the ear fuzz keeps bugs out.
                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                      • #12
                        I leave the nose whiskers alone and the insides of the ears. I'll trim under the jaw and chin to make the area look clean and to help avoid getting hairs stuck in the noseband. My horse doesn't tend to get lots of long hairs on his ears so I may or may not do anything with those depending. I much prefer a natural ear and will only clip the long outside hairs if there are any. I will do the bridle path, though, as I think it looks clean and neat. I also clip around the hooves and fetlocks since it looks cleaner and dries faster which helps prevent rainrot and fungus.
                        Bernadette

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Peggy View Post
                          It's more accepted in the dressage world? More traditional? (Peggy dons flame suit) More European? I've also seen some less-than-trim fetlock areas in the dressage world. Based on experience doing both, including high-end dressage shows, and keeping in mind that my dressage experience is now four years dated, dressage people on average seem a bit more casual about clipping and sometimes grooming for shows. Not to the point of being sloppy. And not that there aren't totally clipped up dressage horses and somewhat casual HJ'ers. I also suspect the gap is closing, at least here on the left coast where stray hair is more of an issue (see ManScaping: I know you all can Google).
                          Great post, Peggy. I think you've suggested the most likely explanation for more stray hair in dressage than hunters -- dressage is more influenced by the Europeans, who are not as offended by naturally-growing hair. The ManScaping reference is a good point of comparison for the prevailing U.S. attitude.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by egontoast View Post
                            Maybe you might ask why some people clip them.

                            Do you clip the whiskers off your dogs and cats?

                            I don't think it's necessarilly cruel to clip them but I don't see the need and, yes, they have a purpose. Especially the ones around the eyes. i've seen people snipping those off as well.

                            I don't think whiskers look bad on a horse any more thanthey look bad on a cat or dog. I clip fetlocks and the hairs under the jaw if they get long but not the whiskers. I don't clip inside the ears but will tidy them up and trim them flush. Personal preference.
                            I think cats need them more then dogs or horses.. I can touch my dogs whiskers and they don't flinch but boy most cats hate it when you touch their whiskers. As for the question about clipping dogs whiskers I have to say yes..My ridgeback was a show dog and many clip the whiskers to have a more clean sleak look.. I flipped the first time the women who was showing my dog did it.. I will say he didn't care and it didn't make a difference to him but after he finished his championship that was it for me..no more showing or at least taking the whiskers off. I think you are right it's a personal preference thing..
                            Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I could be wrong but I was told clipping face hairs and inside the ears is not permitted in Europe. Can some of our friends over the pond weigh in on this?

                              We never clip face hairs or inside the ears on any of our horses and ponies from the time they are born until the time they are sold. We KNOW they need them and I feel it's not necessary.

                              Maybe we should have riders trim all the hair on their bodies as well.......ha ha
                              Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                              "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by EvelynJK View Post
                                Those hairs have a purpose, they allow horses to feel their feed bucket, water buckets, where they are grazing and where the wall is before their actual muzzle encounters danger. A lot of people feel it is cruel to clip these whiskers. By clipping these whiskers, it impairs their sense of touch.

                                ETA: Its not required to have these whiskers cut, so many leave them because of this.

                                I agree with Evelyn.

                                I don't clip the inner ear hair of my horses, and when I trim their whiskers I only do the ones around the nose and I just shorten them up some with a pair of scissors.

                                I do clip/trim, under jaw hair, fetlocks, and I neaten up coronet bands. I bang the tail if needed, and of course the manes are done.
                                "The higher you hold your pinky, the more dignified you be." -Patrick Starfish

                                "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance" -Coco Chanel

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ise@ssl View Post
                                  I could be wrong but I was told clipping face hairs and inside the ears is not permitted in Europe. Can some of our friends over the pond weigh in on this?

                                  We never clip face hairs or inside the ears on any of our horses and ponies from the time they are born until the time they are sold. We KNOW they need them and I feel it's not necessary.

                                  Maybe we should have riders trim all the hair on their bodies as well.......ha ha

                                  This correct... RE: muzzle anyway. I have never clipped inside my horse's ears..ever. I have though, many years ago, done the muzzle but for the past ten have not. The only ear and muzzle hair clipped in my barn is my own!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Xerintha View Post
                                    I leave the nose whiskers alone and the insides of the ears. I'll trim under the jaw and chin to make the area look clean and to help avoid getting hairs stuck in the noseband. My horse doesn't tend to get lots of long hairs on his ears so I may or may not do anything with those depending. I much prefer a natural ear and will only clip the long outside hairs if there are any. I will do the bridle path, though, as I think it looks clean and neat. I also clip around the hooves and fetlocks since it looks cleaner and dries faster which helps prevent rainrot and fungus.
                                    I do exactly this. And I showed Arabs in dressage!

                                    In 4H I remember everyone shaving every ounce of hair they could from their horses. It was strange. I didn't like it and so I didn't do it. I got marked down in showmanship. I didn't care. I wanted what was best for my horse and that meant him having fuzzy ears.
                                    My Dad's Site: http://www.horsecrazy.net

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Wow I never thought I would be a minority on this one.

                                      I have worked as a show groom for more than one FEI trainer. We clipped muzzles and jaw lines, bridle path, trimmed bushy ear hair (never inside the ear), trimmed fetlocks and coronet bands to look neat. Manes stayed pulled, tails banged across the bottom between fetlock and just below the hock (depending on tail quality) and clipped the tail dock to keep things neat and clean. That is still how I do it.

                                      When I got involved with some breed show stuff and made some friends in the Arabian horse world I was shocked to see ears "scooped" clean, eye whiskers gone (this REALLY freaked me out!), shiny blacked hooves and baby oiled heads. Strange.

                                      Of course I never thought clipping the muzzle was strange either. I mean we don't BALD them or anything, they have some stubble. I dunno, it just completes the clean look to me. I had never considered that it might hinder them in some way... none of them ever cared!

                                      I guess everything is relative. My friends in the Arabian and Saddlebred world would agree my guys are pretty au naturale. I mean I don't even know HOW to put a tail up in a tail bag!
                                      Last edited by Denali; Apr. 4, 2008, 02:35 PM. Reason: added bridle path

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I keep jaw line hairs clean and neat- not shaved all the way down. I keep bridle path cut, ears trimmed, but not clipped inside (ever) and I do not clip his nose. I will maybe buzz off a few really long ones a few inches from his nose but that's it. You can't even see it... and it doesn't take away from an over all neat and clean appearance.
                                        "Personally speaking, if for whatever reason I was stuck with absolutely only having to chose one breed, then it would without hesitation be a thoroughbred."

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