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Clipper Advice

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  • #21
    Well I guess I'll be the one to ask... have you considered some chemical assistance?
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by DMK View Post

      *snort* guess which ones good trainers don't have a problem with?

      Hint: because they are not dogmatic and understand that ... of course... sometimes a horse needs to move, they allow for that in their training. They might even point out that this sort of gradual progression is entirely the point of getting to a quiet, stationary horse when the situation is less than optimal.
      My post was not directed at your advice, but since you seem to have an issue with it I'll clarify.

      My point was that getting the horse to simply stand in "all situations" is not the end goal. Relaxation is the key.

      My perspective is from the person that often doesn't know the horse I'm being asked to work with. I clip and braid as a side gig (after years working as a groom, BM, and a two year stint at a breeding facility). So even though I'm more comfortable with strange or excited horses, I know that it isn't *safe* to be clipping those nooks and crannies if the horse isn't relaxed. When the adrenaline is pumping, fight or flight takes over. And it's especially a PITA to braid a horse who keeps looking around every time they here a sound.
      And I'm definitely not doing a full clip or braiding a horse without tying them in some fashion, unless the owner told me ahead of time and they're willing to stay and hold their horse. Otherwise, I tell them I'll come back when they have some tranq.

      There are many roads to Rome. I emphasize relaxation over simply standing, because I find that horses who are relaxed prefer to stand and cock a foot anyway. I also agree that every horse also needs to learn to stand, we blew a tire on our way home from Florida one time and had to unload four horses on the side of the road.

      The OP just needs to decide what path she wants to take. If her baby has difficulty focusing, but is relaxed in most respects than I would work on standing and tying first.
      If the OP knows what things set her baby off, then it may be time to work on some of those things before focusing on clipping. ie if she has a fit every time a horse leaves, etc
      But she can also get her used to the sound and sensation of cordless clippers in the stall, so that when it does come time to clip, the clippers themselves won't be the issue.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
        Well I guess I'll be the one to ask... have you considered some chemical assistance?
        Truly not a bad suggestion at all. I clip *a lot* of horses, and find that the real worriers only get better if they have a bit of help learning to tolerate clipping. For some, a twitch is enough to give them something else to think about, and for others, having the edge taken off with sedation is best. I have clipped some horses for several years in a row now, multiple times a year, and they have gone from terrible to great with some help to settle. There is nothing worse than trying to clip a horse that is worried and wiggling - you end up poking them with the clippers eventually, which just reinforces their concern, and makes them worry more. A twitch or sedation helps to give them a calm experience, and if done well, makes them easier the next time around.

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        • #24
          As the OP wrote, timing is everything. I'd consider whether the given rewards are timed well-enough that they're reinforcing the right thing. And, I'd recommend having a second person there, both to hold, and to quickly reward in the moment.

          For instance, don't reward afterwards, reward during -- I mean talk to the horse, and treat (assuming a food-oriented animal) while the clippers are turned on, or while they are on the body, or both, rather than afterward (as in, touch the horse with clippers, remove clippers, then reward the horse -- this latter timing is off and reinforces the wrong thing, IMO).

          The holder could also be the person rewarding the horse for appropriate behavior (so you only have to deal with the clippers), then you remove the clippers before the horse can't take it anymore, even if that's just a matter of seconds. The reward happens while the horse is cooperating, while the clippers are touching and/or on, not later (even if just moments later). This requires split-second timing.

          The horse needs to learn that, not only will the clippers not hurt (and this absolutely has to be true), but that you are looking out for it, and will not ask for more than is possible at that moment (still working on gradually increasing the length of time, of course).

          This is so that the horse will come to trust you, and understand that it is capable of holding it together, because you're going to remove the stimulus before the horse can't take it anymore (there's that timing issue again). Otherwise, the horse will come to believe it's every horse for itself.

          There are other things I could add -- for instance, is there a hand on the horse's shoulder (as an example), so that the touch of the clippers isn't a sudden surprise? Determine what about the situation disturbs the horse: for example, is it the noise, or the vibration sensation; would earplugs help, or make it worse? Are horse-handling ground skills solid, does the handler know how to keep/or get out of trouble? Can the handler read a horse well?

          Good luck. I personally like Wahl clippers - as the OP wrote, they tend to be quiet and don't vibrate badly, IME.



          Comment


          • #25
            Well I got some full size Andis cordless ones, and they are strong enough to clip my donkeys and are very quiet, if OP still needs a clipper suggestion. However my new pony objected to those as well and will just get dosed with dorm and clipped with faster body clippers instead.
            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

            Comment


            • #26
              I have the new cordless Wahl KMs and like them.
              Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
              you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                Thank you DMK. Yes, we spent a fair amount of time outside the crossties before introducing them. In fact, they tended to make her panic (from the constraint, I suppose), so I did something very similar with her (introducing one with a lead rope, and then slowly trusted her with both). She's learnt her limit with them though and knows she can reverse and come forward before the crossties stop her. Perhaps it's worth a refresher!

                GoodTimes yes, that's something I really should consider beforehand. In the winter/spring time, it's hard to bring her for a chase or a lunge since the arena is usually full. I've been conducting these sessions with (I'm assuming) a lot of pent up energy in her, so this likely plays a factor! I will definitely consider purchasing one of those then, thank you for the feedback.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  TheJenners you're not the only one with chemicals on the mind. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, she will be worked beforehand and likely tranquilized for the scary parts (especially hind legs and ears) for my own safety. I was just hoping to get through most of it (the easy parts: neck, chest, barrel, general body area) without it. Small Change that's reassuring!

                  Jarpur yes I've been trying to be very sensitive with timing. I think the next time around I will be asking for a hand, just to ensure I am rewarding at the right moment. Every session has ended on a good note, and it's definitely the noise/vibration that gets to her, otherwise I can rub the clippers (not operating) all over her body. I almost believe we had too much time to do ground work (yielding to pressure, staying out of my bubble) and the when she feels the vibration, she is urged to move away from them, which is what we don't want. Hoping this subsides with time!

                  soloudinhere how do you find the battery life/power compared to corded clippers? That would be my only concern since body clipping can take upwards of 2hrs without the right cooperation.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    When I started Xander on clipper training it was just more important to get him clipper, so we did dormosedan thank you very much... Then went back to our regularly scheduled desensitization.

                    I have the Andie agr plus clippers with both a battery and a battery pass through attachment, that solved the battery problem. It didn't solve the fact that I hate then for body clipping and promptly went back to my Lister stars, but that's another thread.
                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by kwpn_01 View Post
                      TheJenners you're not the only one with chemicals on the mind. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, she will be worked beforehand and likely tranquilized for the scary parts (especially hind legs and ears) for my own safety. I was just hoping to get through most of it (the easy parts: neck, chest, barrel, general body area) without it. Small Change that's reassuring!

                      Jarpur yes I've been trying to be very sensitive with timing. I think the next time around I will be asking for a hand, just to ensure I am rewarding at the right moment. Every session has ended on a good note, and it's definitely the noise/vibration that gets to her, otherwise I can rub the clippers (not operating) all over her body. I almost believe we had too much time to do ground work (yielding to pressure, staying out of my bubble) and the when she feels the vibration, she is urged to move away from them, which is what we don't want. Hoping this subsides with time!

                      soloudinhere how do you find the battery life/power compared to corded clippers? That would be my only concern since body clipping can take upwards of 2hrs without the right cooperation.
                      I get about an hour out of each battery, but it has a quick charge function that gives another hour in about 15 minutes, so I just give the horse a break and go for a little graze then come back to clipping if I need to do the whole thing in one session. It's more than enough for a trace clip on one charge.
                      Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                      you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                      Comment

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