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Myth or Fact? Shaving muzzle (NOT ears/eyes) is bad for the horse

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  • Myth or Fact? Shaving muzzle (NOT ears/eyes) is bad for the horse

    Hi Coth,

    My barnmate and I had a conversation tonight about the "safety" of shaving a horse's muzzle. I have always shaved my horses' muzzles... absolutely HATE the look of chin and muzzle hair on an otherwise meticulously groomed horse.

    My friend was told never to shave the whiskers because horses can injure themselves without them

    I find that very hard to believe, but I'm open to hearing both sides!
    Last edited by Tiligsmom; Aug. 21, 2009, 12:24 AM.

  • #2
    I have always shaved whiskers-don't think any of my horses have injured themselves because of it.

    That said, I freak when people cut the "feelers" around the eyes...I have seen horses with freshly trimmed "feelers" bop their heads on things...
    "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

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    • #3
      I agree with Vindicated, in my experience. Never asked the horse though.
      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

      Comment


      • #4
        I think this obsession with hair removal must be an American thing. I don't think people in Europe do that, or do they? I get confused when people shave the insides of their horse's ears and then have to put a fly bonnet on them. Well, duh.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Let's keep the focus to MUZZLE only! I'm not talking about ears or eyes....I don't remove those at all and have no issue with them.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have not heard it is dangerous, but that they do use them when they eat. Personally, I just shave under the jaw and chin, maybe trim the longer whiskers, and the ear tufts (but not clean in the ears).

            I've seen many dressage horses in shows with big whiskers- quite a difference from all of the h/j horses around that are shaved so meticulously!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tiligsmom View Post
              Let's keep the focus to MUZZLE only! I'm not talking about ears or eyes....I don't remove those at all and have no issue with them.
              sorry 'bout that... pet pieve of mine

              as for muzzle hair, I admit I don't understand what its removal has to do with good grooming? Why can't it stay?

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              • #8
                Feelers

                Coincidently I have been looking at these lovely all natural horses
                fairviewarabianstud.com/sales.html
                but I definately do notice my horses are lost without their feelers when they are fresh off. After a while though they seem to do fine without them. Those who are routinely without their whiskers are fine as well. It is just the fresh shaved that are verklempt? PatO

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                • #9
                  the whiskers are there for a purpose! they use them to feel the ground , etc.

                  most folks i know leave them on.... including me.

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                  • #10
                    I have always shaved my mare's muzzle (plus ears and eyes). She has never had any issues with eating or bumping her head. I just prefer the clean shaven look.

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                    • #11
                      Actually, in some places it's illegal.

                      Technically speaking, they do use those whiskers for feel. I personally don't feel that it's abuse, but in some countries, it is not allowed.
                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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                      • #12
                        taking the whiskers is taking one of their abilities to sense the world around them. seems a little silly to me to take that away for vanity.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have always shaved them off with never a problem. My last horse I was a little lax in shaving it one winter and he ended up with severe frostbite on his chin because water froze on his whiskers. If the horse was out 24/7 I would be more inclined to leave them, but since mine is stabled, off they come.
                          Frogs in a Basket. Oh, one jumped out.
                          EC Level 1 Coach, ARIA Level 3 Dressage Coach
                          www.dressagelife.com
                          http://piaffing.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            Cant you clip their muzzle without shaving it completely off?

                            Kind of like a middle of the road.

                            I also prefer the shaved look, but as many have said they are there for a reason, so When they are not showing, let them grow a little, and just keep them trimmed. This way everyones happy. Your horse doesnt have a naggy looking muzzle, and yet they have some whiskers for feelers, as they were created to.

                            Just a suggestion. Clipped still looks ok.
                            "Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." *Thomas Edison
                            A champion is a dreamer that refused to give up!!

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                            • #15
                              I've noticed that my 4yo seems to have more "dings" on her face when I've taken her whiskers off completely. Hairy faces drive me bonkers. We compromise and I trim them but leave her some length; they're just evened up and shortened. Seems to work for both of us!
                              "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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                              • #16
                                I think horses are more relaxed with their whiskers on. Horses are generally quite good about feeling around in the dark, I've seen them avoid things that weren't even in 'whisker range'. But I feel the whiskers are something that helps them, and so I don't remove them. I don't trim the whiskers around the muzzle or eyes. I trim the ears so the hair is flush with the edge of the ears, but don't clip the insides of the ears. I feel those keep bugs and dirt from getting down in the ears.

                                I love seeing a good set of chin whiskers trailing in the breeze.

                                I have no idea why so many Americans are so obsessed with shaving their horses hair all off. It's peculiar. Maybe a hangover from so many years or halter classes, or something.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                                  I think horses are more relaxed with their whiskers on. Horses are generally quite good about feeling around in the dark, I've seen them avoid things that weren't even in 'whisker range'. But I feel the whiskers are something that helps them, and so I don't remove them. I don't trim the whiskers around the muzzle or eyes. I trim the ears so the hair is flush with the edge of the ears, but don't clip the insides of the ears. I feel those keep bugs and dirt from getting down in the ears.

                                  I love seeing a good set of chin whiskers trailing in the breeze.

                                  I have no idea why so many Americans are so obsessed with shaving their horses hair all off. It's peculiar. Maybe a hangover from so many years or halter classes, or something.
                                  LOL....horses are more relaxed with them on....

                                  Hunter people shave everything and their horses don't come in with cuts or bumps because of it nor do they eat things they shouldn't. Do what you are comfortable with but don't fall into the trap thinking it is bad to shave their whiskers. It always amazes me how many dressage people act all self righteous about shaving whiskers but they turn around and never turn their horses out. Before I'm jumped I'm talking about the expensive ones and yes the hunters that are in the hundreds of thousands get turned out.
                                  Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ridgeback View Post
                                    LOL....horses are more relaxed with them on....

                                    Hunter people shave everything and their horses don't come in with cuts or bumps because of it nor do they eat things they shouldn't. Do what you are comfortable with but don't fall into the trap thinking it is bad to shave their whiskers. It always amazes me how many dressage people act all self righteous about shaving whiskers but they turn around and never turn their horses out. Before I'm jumped I'm talking about the expensive ones and yes the hunters that are in the hundreds of thousands get turned out.
                                    Well, I'd be more relaxed if I wasn't bumping into things cause my feeler whiskers are gone- after all dressage horses deal in nuances.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Hazelnut View Post
                                      Well, I'd be more relaxed if I wasn't bumping into things cause my feeler whiskers are gone- after all dressage horses deal in nuances.
                                      Now I'm ROTLMAO... Exactly how do dressage horses deal in nuances? A horse is a horse is a horse.

                                      Like I said dressage horses are no more relaxed then hunters and equatation horses...Most of the higher level(expensive) dressage horses don't get turned out...tell me how that is relaxing? I bolded and highlighted the word most so people would not come back and give me their one or two examples of upper level dressage horses that get turned out Please go to a hunter show and find all these horses with bumps and scrapes on their heads.
                                      Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by ridgeback View Post
                                        Now I'm ROTLMAO... Exactly how do dressage horses deal in nuances? A horse is a horse is a horse.

                                        Like I said dressage horses are no more relaxed then hunters and equatation horses...Most of the higher level(expensive) dressage horses don't get turned out...tell me how that is relaxing? I bolded and highlighted the word most so people would not come back and give me their one or two examples of upper level dressage horses that get turned out Please go to a hunter show and find all these horses with bumps and scrapes on their heads.
                                        I'm glad you laughed, Ridgeback...I was laughing when I wrote it.

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