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To trim whiskers or not to trim

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  • To trim whiskers or not to trim

    that is the question. I have just bought a 4 yr old QH filly. She has never had her whiskers trimmed, and while she does look kind of cute, I have always loved a whisker free muzzle.
    I know what the whiskers are for, but since my horses are turned out in groomed paddocks and in stalls at night, I figured they were pretty safe without them.
    A friend of mine has told me that it goes beyond that and we are depriving our horses of their natural way of getting information.
    Like having cable?
    Any way, what's the opinion out there? We won't be showing, so I guess it doesn't matter. And I am guilty of not shaving as often as I should, so.....should I let the little girl go natural?

    Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

  • #2
    I'd keep them. They use them to sense things, and they ARE cute.


    • #3
      I always clipped them, but now that I have the horses at home, my (non-horsey) husband gives me a hard time about it being "cruel", so I stopped. He was astonished that I would clip them in the first place - "You wouldn't do that to the CATS, would you??!!" and they are not show horses, so I settle for just trimming the long hairs under their chins.
      Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


      • #4
        I only trim when showing..
        "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


        • #5
          The horse i ride only gets trimmed when he shows. I like his ol man whiskahs!


          • #6
            Mine gets trimmed during show season (usually the day before a show). She gets very whiskery in the winter.

            I'd say keep them, unless you have some reason not to.

            OTOH, accustoming her to the clippers on her muzzle wouldn't be a bad idea. (Mine LOVES the feel of the clippers on her muzzle, which is very silly.)
            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


            • #7
              I prefer not to. I don't even trim for shows. The only time I ever did was when I had one of my horses at a barn that mandated it.


              • #8
                I'd keep them. They have hair for a reason, just like we do. I don't even trim mine when showing.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by supaflyskye View Post
                  I prefer not to. I don't even trim for shows. The only time I ever did was when I had one of my horses at a barn that mandated it.
                  What an odd rule!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                    What an odd rule!
                    completely par for course for H/J show barns, at least in this area.
                    whiskers & legs trimmed, mane pulled, body clip in the winter; or they'd do it for you and charge you.


                    • #11
                      I used to do them all as a matter of style for years; then heard the line of thought that they need them for sensory input, particularly if they're on pasture. Which all of mine are.

                      So for years after that, I only did them for someone showing.

                      Now everybody keeps them, but I still do "goat hairs" under jaw for everyone I ride.

                      I vote for letting her keep 'em!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by supaflyskye View Post
                        completely par for course for H/J show barns, at least in this area.
                        whiskers & legs trimmed, mane pulled, body clip in the winter; or they'd do it for you and charge you.
                        ^ my area too.

                        At home and not showing I don't trim them - I do trim the grandpa hair that grows out their ears. I fold the ear in half and trim what is sticking out and a bridle path...

                        I too think whiskers look cute.
                        Live in the sunshine.
                        Swim in the sea.
                        Drink the wild air.


                        • #13
                          On hunters - I'd say pretty much mandatory. But the German magazine St Georges had an article that panned the practice. In fact, the glossy magazines advertising the breeding stallions, while braided up and done to the nines, they support full facial hair.

                          Whenever I have clipped muzzles, there is inevitably a bang of some sort pretty soon afterwards, from the loss of sensitive hair, but they have learned to adapt.
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                          • #14
                            I didn't do a lot of showing, but I never trimmed, even for those shows. A trainer put it this way: "Imagine going through life wearing heavy mittens."
                            The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                            Winston Churchill


                            • #15
                              I trim my horses' whiskers all the time. They are not constantly show clipped, I just clip them off when I do their bridle paths. It's just a personal preference.


                              • #16
                                Another vote for leave them.

                                They are helpful to the horse and the only reason to clip is purely cosmetic.

                                Even if you are showing in the hunters, honestly, does the judge ever get close enough to see whether the horse has whiskers? Have you ever heard of that being a tie-breaker? (unless it's a conformation class)


                                • Original Poster

                                  Well whiskers it is! At least for as long as I can stand it.
                                  But Swamp Yankee, I'm with you, goat hair has to go!

                                  Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare


                                  • #18
                                    I'll trim the whiskers on their muzzles, but never the whiskers around their eyes!


                                    • #19
                                      My horses always have trimmed muzzles, bridle paths, ears and chin hairs. They live outside 24/7 and have no problems. I don't show but the unkempt look bothers me. I trim them about once a month
                                      "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                      So you might as well have a good time"


                                      • #20
                                        I trim whiskers, bridle path, jawline, and if necessary, I trim the long stray hairs on the bottom of the neck.

                                        I like a clean headed horse. I do a short 1" bridle path. Also keep the really long hair in the ears out. Like long tuffs hanging out are trimmed. Just really light trimming only for ears. I like a hairy in the ear for protection year round. No trimming at the eyes ever.

                                        I let the jawline grow long in the winter, but keep the long goat hair jawline looking stuff trimmed in a nice shape but not short like summer, same for the underneath neck.

                                        I keep them trimmed year round. Mine live out 24/7, and I also like a neat trimmed horse year round too. No issues.

                                        On my gaited horse, she had long tufts on her fetlocks. We had lots of snow, and she got ice balls on them and it was really painful for her. So I keep those lightly trimmed to prevent ice balls which were pulling her skin. I hosed her feet and they melted then I towel dried her fetlocks, then whacked off with the clippers.