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PSA! Clipping ears/bridle paths

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  • PSA! Clipping ears/bridle paths

    This is so scary, I wanted to pass on the info. I was given a big box of old magazines and ran across an article that gave me a cold chill.

    It was the story of a horseman who is permanently blind in both eyes after his horse slammed him in the head with its poll during ear shaving. Apparently the horse freaked, threw his head up violently and clocked the man in the head hard enough destroy sight in one of his eyes. It became infected, the infection spread to the other eye and he became blind in both eyes. He had his head down close to the horse's head to get a good view of the clip job he was doing.

    I briefly skimmed the article so if anyone knows which one I'm talking about, there may be more details I'm missing.

    But in any case, when I trim ears and bridle paths, I make a point to keep my face well back out of the thrashing range, should the horse throw its head up suddenly.

    This is showing/clipping season, so I thought I'd pass on the info. just as a reminder. It's easy to get complacent and forget that even mild mannered horses can act out of character if the circumstances are right.

  • #2
    My great grandmother was blinded when one of their work horses banged into her in the stall. My mother is still leary of being around horses. Remembering that they are big creatures is always important.


    • #3
      Big animals with huge, heavy (50#+), bony heads...

      A friend walked underneath her crosstied horse's nose - he bonked her on the top of her head hard enough to cause a compression fracture of her spine.
      The doctor told her a little harder & she'd have ended up in a wheelchair.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • Original Poster

        Geeze both of those are scary stories

        I landed in the ER a few years ago with a ruptured ear drum after getting cracked in the head with my horse's poll. I was riding bareback and best I can figure, a bee or fly went up her nose. She half reared and threw her head back so violently she cracked me in the forehead with her poll. I had a concussion and next thing I knew, I was "coming to" on the ground. Not sure if the ear drum rupture happened at the initial whack, or if I landed with my ear flat down to the ground, but in any case I had a good sized perforation that took weaks to heal.


        • #5
          1. Don't think I'll continue the bad habit of walking under my horses' heads.
          2. Very common for one eye to become infected and then the other one does, too. That is how Louis Braille lost his vision.
          3. My 4 are so calm and trustworthy I know I've become somewhat lax. Will quit that bad habit, too.
          Thanks for the info.


          • Original Poster

            Wow I walk under heads all the time. I never considered how dangerous that is. I will definitely knock it off pronto!


            • #7
              Geeze, I guess I never even considered that possibility. Two years ago I got clocked in the head by my horse's head, it hit me right in the eyebrow, I actually saw stars and got a little light headed, and I immediately got a huge egg where I got hit, that blossomed into the loveliest black eye you have ever seen.
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


              • #8
                Always a good time to review one's safety practices - too easy to get lax out of a sense of confidence.

                I was ging to the Christening of my godson and was all dressed up when I decided to nip out and put medicine on a front fetlock cut on my horse. He cow-kicked a fly on his belly, giving me a pretty good goose egg on the back of the head - I could have been ging to my funeral instead of a Christening, but I was
                lucky. Now I pick up a foot that needs dressing.
                Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
                  Geeze, I guess I never even considered that possibility. Two years ago I got clocked in the head by my horse's head, it hit me right in the eyebrow, I actually saw stars and got a little light headed, and I immediately got a huge egg where I got hit, that blossomed into the loveliest black eye you have ever seen.
                  The same thing happened to me too. Right in the left brow bone, felt like a sledghammer hit me. Doc said if he (horse, not Dr.) hit me in the cheek bone it would have shattered.

                  Thanks for the PSA
                  Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                  • #10
                    It's amazing to me to watch people stand directly in front of their horse when clipping. All horsey has to do is strike out or rear up and you're toast. My horses are pretty trustworthy, but I won't even stand directly behind them when I brush out a tail. Uh uh, no how.

                    I guess growing up on a ranch taught me a thing or two...
                    Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."


                    • #11
                      I can not even touch my TB mare's ears if I am standing to the side of her. Probably still has memories about someone grabbing her ear, esp the left, back on the training track. If I stand directly in front and go slowly she will let me clip the outside edges.

                      While I always try to be careful around horses, esp if the younger kids are around to set a good example, I am FAR more worried about the car drive to work and the barn...
                      “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky


                      • #12
                        I wear a helmet when I clip most horses - the only one I don't wear a helmet for is my own, even though I probably should just in case.


                        • #13
                          I've also heard the horror story of a guy killed when his calm, reasonable horse flipped up his head at a fly as he was being bridled, cracking the man in the head and killing him.

                          I've learned to turn my horse's head slightly toward me when bridling/haltering. He knows to put his head down, so I drape my right arm over his poll and pull him gently toward me as he puts his head into the halter/bridle. That way if he yanks his head up suddenly my arm is there to soften the blow a little, and he can't swing his head with much force toward me if something startles him on the off side, if that makes sense. At no point will I put my head over a horse's head, ever... even if I kiss his nose, it's only the tip. I'm careful about hugging him. (:
                          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                          Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                          • #14
                            Not walking under horsies head/neck is horsemanship 101, as is not working directly in front of it. Honestly, with so many folks lacking basic horsemanship knowledge, it's amazing more injuries don't occur.

                            Originally posted by 3dogfarm View Post
                            3. My 4 are so calm and trustworthy I know I've become somewhat lax. Will quit that bad habit, too.
                            Thanks for the info.
                            Me too. Everytime I have been injured on the ground, it's because I made a mistake positioning myself.
                            Last edited by Calico; Jun. 8, 2010, 08:58 AM. Reason: eliminated redundant phrase


                            • #15
                              Decades ago, when my grandmother was a 4-H leader, one of the girls was found dead with her horse. She was at the fairgrounds, had bathed him for the show, and was hand grazing him to dry. She was found lying in the grass with a broken neck, the horse grazing calmly beside her. The only thing they could think that happened was that she must have leaned over his neck to put some mane back in place, or he may have swung his neck at a fly. Either way, he caught her under her chin and broke her neck.
                              ::With age comes wisdom. Apparently "wisdom" weighs about 40 pounds.::


                              • #16

                                A 17 YO girl fell down the steps inside her home last week, and was found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Terrible accident.

                                Should this warrant a PSA about....



                                • #17
                                  Yes. Stairs are inherently dangerous. Please do not become too comfortable with them. They will hurt you. In fact, anything involving gravity must be viewed with caution. Gravity becomes stronger as you age.

                                  And never try to clip your horse when standing on stairs.
                                  ::With age comes wisdom. Apparently "wisdom" weighs about 40 pounds.::


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Calico View Post
                                    Not walking under horsies head/neck is horsemanship 101, as is not working directly in front of it. Honestly, with so many folks lacking basic horsemanship knowledge, it's amazing more injuries don't occur.

                                    Me too. Everytime I have been injured on the ground, it's because I made a mistake positioning myself.
                                    I agree. And when I have made the mistake, I always knew better.

                                    Originally posted by katarine View Post

                                    A 17 YO girl fell down the steps inside her home last week, and was found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Terrible accident.

                                    Should this warrant a PSA about....

                                    You are right in that almost anything can be dangerous and that freak accidents occur in many circumstances. However, as Calico mentioned, there are some practices when handling horses that are just bad horsemanship. That doesn't mean freak accidents won't happen even when we go out of our way to do things the correct way, but as with any sport, there are certain safety precautions that are basic to horsemanship.
                                    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


                                    • #19
                                      That's my point, Seabreeze.

                                      A PSA pointing out that clipping a bridle path or ears is hazardous, is akin to a PSA that running with scissors is stupid.

                                      Somethings a body just knows, as it is Basic Horsemanship.

                                      If one routinely stands on a bucket setting on slick concrete in flip flopped feet ... bent over some horse's neck blithely running clippers hither and yon whilst tiny kittens fly up and down the loft ladder and kids ride bikes up and down the hall...do ya really think a PSA's gonna change that


                                      • #20
                                        A few years ago, my horse sent me to the hospital for stitches in the face because he hit me in the face.

                                        He was a yearling at the time. I was walking him back to his stall after grooming him. He liked to toss his head like a bad boy sometimes (sassy an all that). All I did was take my eyes off of him for a second. He must have tossed his head and caught me with that bony, pointy part between the ears right in the cheek bone below my eye. All of a sudden I was sitting on the ground and it was pitch black. I remember thinking - open your eyes silly - and then realizing my eyes WERE open. Blood was running down my face where my skin had split open. And my brain had slammed hard enough into the back of my skull that I could not see for a few seconds.

                                        But no concussion and just a few stitches. The most irritating/amusing part was every person, including DH, had to look at my cheek after I SAID I need stitches, and inform me - Yep, you need stitches... Thanks, I knew that.

                                        Only point other than it's another story - well, I was walking him correctly and in "proper position". All I did was not keep an eye on the sassy youngster 100% of the time.

                                        S--- happens, even on stairs or following the 'rules'.