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Is this cruel and unusual training?

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  • #21
    Also, you might want to try approach and retreat to just the point where he tolerates the, or rather accepts them up his neck. Short sessions going a little bit farther each time.
    Along those lines expose him to all sorts of things up there (neck and poll) starting with hand, then small dishcloth, then bigger towel, crinkly paper, plastic bag, etc, etc making sure he fully accepts each before moving on,
    That is with the understanding you are trying to TEACH the horse. If you are just trying to get him all clipped for a show, then better living through chemistry might be your answer!
    "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

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    • #22
      I just witnessed the way not to get a young horse used to the clippers tonight. 8 month old colt in cross ties in the grooming stall. Clippers turned on and taken right to the bridle path right by his ears. Colt gets scared and jumps around. The owner jumps ugly on him yelling and kicking him in the stomach. (I HATE to see people kick horses in the stomach.) Then she tries again. The colt panics and fights harder, rearing, hind end slipping and sliding, trying to get away. His eyes were bugging out with fear. Again the owner yells and kicks him. I heard lots of banging and clanging of equipment and who knows what else as I quickly walked away. I couldn't watch and there was nothing I could do about it. After it was all done, the owner commented, "funny, every time I take the clippers out he's worse." To which I replied, "Yeah, funny how that happens." This is a professional with years and years of experience. Go figure.
      "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp

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      • #23
        Hate ear twitching. Worse mistake anyone could make.
        Chris
        Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
        WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)

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        • #24
          Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
          I just witnessed the way not to get a young horse used to the clippers tonight. 8 month old colt in cross ties in the grooming stall. Clippers turned on and taken right to the bridle path right by his ears. Colt gets scared and jumps around. The owner jumps ugly on him yelling and kicking him in the stomach. (I HATE to see people kick horses in the stomach.) Then she tries again. The colt panics and fights harder, rearing, hind end slipping and sliding, trying to get away. His eyes were bugging out with fear. Again the owner yells and kicks him. I heard lots of banging and clanging of equipment and who knows what else as I quickly walked away. I couldn't watch and there was nothing I could do about it. After it was all done, the owner commented, "funny, every time I take the clippers out he's worse." To which I replied, "Yeah, funny how that happens." This is a professional with years and years of experience. Go figure.
          Lovely. What an ignorant, impatient assh*le.

          And what BEARCAT said...
          "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

          "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

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          • #25
            My husband (who sports a beard) trained our filly to accept the clippers by clipping his beard first in front of her, and then her. Worked like a charm..Go figure.

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            • #26
              Ick to ptownevt's story. That will grow up to be a horse nobody can clip.

              To the OP, definitely do NOT create a big deal out of any situation at this point. If you make a big hairy deal out of it, then they think it is really something worthy of having a big hairy-canary big fat deal over.

              Babies especially need the patience of Job and a whole lotta time to learn and get used to new ideas. Youngsters have little to zero life skills and experiences, so make sure the experiences you give him are positive ones!!

              As others have said, don't push the boundaries too much, too fast, or too soon. With youngsters and training, this is literally where the tortoise wins the race. Don't try anything new, or resume training on any day where you feel off kilter, or you feel low or have a sour mood. Training new things with babies is done only at times when you know you have a bright, sunny disposition. If you feel yucky from a bad day at work, do not take up the clipper training routine or any new training. Period. In fact, you're better off not going anywhere near him. He won't really totally forget the lesson from last week, let alone yesterday.

              The electric toothbrush is a nifty idea. No cords to trip over. Light-weight and easy to manage.

              Instead of putting the toothbrush near his upper neck, keep it low and under his nose and let him reach down and to sniff and think about this strange contraption you've got there. It might be the boogie monster out to eat him, but then again maybe not. He won't know until you let him investigate, ponder, think about it, and decide for himself. Given the chance to investigate, sniff, and experience it in a location that is considered safe, i.e. beneath him, most youngsters should start to relax into the idea. Only when he relaxes is it appropriate to move it to a new location - that being in the air a little higher in front or to the side, slowly, and when he relaxes then get a little higher (still not touching him). When he is relaxed with you holding in the air above his head with it on and buzzing, THEN and only then, is it a good idea to actually let him TOUCH it on his muzzle. Again, repeat the methodology - you can only touch him in a new place when he lowers his head and relaxes. Start with the muzzle, then higher up the nose where the future noseband would be, then a cheek, then the forehead, then the forelock, then perhaps the poll.

              Each time ONLY when he relaxes, do you reward him by telling him what a good boy and brave little man he is. No reward until he relaxes and accepts - no correction either, just silence on your part until he gets it, and then a verbal, and happy "GOOD BOY!" When he accepts, you can go higher. If he doesn't, you go lower and work back up again until he accepts the new level. Up and down and up and down until he relaxes at the new level, then move to a higher level.

              With youngsters, you have to break it all down into teeny-tiny itty-bitty little pieces. If those small pieces he still doesn't get it, find a way to break it down into even SMALLER pieces.

              It's really rewarding for all concerned when suddenly, they get it, the lightbulb goes off and bazinga! And then everyone wonders what in the world the big deal was?

              It may or may not take a day, but could take longer, depending on the horse. That area by the poll and upper neck is an area of sensitivity and it takes a certain amount of trust from him, so earn his trust before you touch!

              FWIW, I would never clip a horse of any age for the first time with a corded clipper. Until you know how said horse reacts to clippers, that cord creates something dangerous to get tangled up in. Not just you, but also the horse.
              Practice! Patience! Persistence!
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              • #27
                Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
                I just witnessed the way not to get a young horse used to the clippers tonight. 8 month old colt in cross ties in the grooming stall. Clippers turned on and taken right to the bridle path right by his ears. Colt gets scared and jumps around. The owner jumps ugly on him yelling and kicking him in the stomach. (I HATE to see people kick horses in the stomach.) Then she tries again. The colt panics and fights harder, rearing, hind end slipping and sliding, trying to get away. His eyes were bugging out with fear. Again the owner yells and kicks him. I heard lots of banging and clanging of equipment and who knows what else as I quickly walked away. I couldn't watch and there was nothing I could do about it. After it was all done, the owner commented, "funny, every time I take the clippers out he's worse." To which I replied, "Yeah, funny how that happens." This is a professional with years and years of experience. Go figure.
                Some people need to be slapped. It is your civic duty. And possibly a moral obligation.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by rodawn View Post

                  With youngsters, you have to break it all down into teeny-tiny itty-bitty little pieces. If those small pieces he still doesn't get it, find a way to break it down into even SMALLER pieces.
                  We call it deconstructing the lesson. Breaking it down into very small pieces and then putting it together in a way that lays the foundation for each new lesson. For us it works great. All the foaling in our program clip well. In fact they usually clip better than most adult that come here.
                  Here is a video of our colt Aut of the Balou getting clipped for the second time ever. http://youtu.be/CKCloktoV74 Because we have made the first experience a good one, it was easy to build from that. I never try to make it perfect the first few times. It is all about the experience.

                  Here he is getting vacuumed for the first time. All these lessons tie into one another. I bet he will be one of the easiest babies to body clip now that we have taught him to enjoy the vacuum.
                  http://youtu.be/ow0BmbyW0Ow

                  We just had an opportunity to work with another colt we bred, who clipped like a champ when he left. A year later his owner said that the trainer was having a hard time clipping him and he needed to be drug in order to get it done. I was shocked. Somewhere along the line it sounded like he lost his confidence. She brought the colt back to me and we started to regain his trust. Yes, at first he was a real turd and at some points bordering on the verge of dangerous. I kept my cool, but I am admit that they have respect for my personal space, even when they are scared. It took an hour of positive reinforcement, trust building and patience and this was the results.
                  http://youtu.be/rQpl9-cPH54
                  I really believe that if he had some turn out before this was shot. ( 8 hour trailer ride, in the stall for 24 hours) we could have cut the time down by half. In the end I was proud of him and sent him home with his owner with some new things to work on. I was glad to see that the foundation I set was still there, we just had to "unpeel his onion" (as my mom calls it) to get him back to the trusting confident youngster he once was!

                  Originally posted by Ladybug Hill View Post
                  Hate ear twitching. Worse mistake anyone could make.
                  I agree 110% I will cup the ear to cut down on noise and vibrations, but it pisses me off when I see some one twist a horses ear and then wonder why when you switch side and now need to clip that ear, that they are even more objective to it.
                  Worth A Shot Farm
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                  • #29
                    If you frighten him it will just make him worse.

                    Wal-Mart sells battery powered three-pronged massagers that give off a low vibration. It fits right in the palm of your hand. My horse got to love this little $9.00 gizmo, used on his rump and shoulder first and worked around his whole body.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                    • #30
                      It's not cruel, but it won't work either. And the chance of accidents is high.

                      How many times have you rubbed him with the clippers while they are off? If it hasn't been AT LEAST 25 sessions of 15 mins each, you haven't given it enough time.

                      How many times have you stood about 6ft away and let the clippers run till he relaxes? If not AT LEAST 25 sessions of 15 mins each, you aren't giving him enough time.

                      Get what I'm saying?

                      Desensitizing horses isn't brain surgery, but it does take LOADS of time with some horses.

                      Some horses hate the sound, some hate the sensation; you need to work on both aspects.

                      Also, use scissors to trim his bridle path for now while you are working on de-sens to sound. They make special ones that curve up for safety. That will get him use to the "pulling" of hair that bothers some horses.

                      Make sure your blades are super-sharp so they don't tug on the hair.

                      Until you have done ALL of this without any degree of success, I would not even consider your horse a "failure" and in need of such drastic measures. That's because until you have done AT LEAST all this, you haven't done the "basics" of clipper training.

                      Many young horses don't need all this, but some do... and your guy is one. I've had youngster stand for body clipping and fall asleep 5 mins after their first exposure to clippers, then others get flat-out hysterical if I turn the clippers on in the stall next door!

                      Just depends.

                      Take the time it takes...or you will end up forming a bad habit of resistance.

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                      • #31
                        Why are you clipping an 8 month old?
                        Hyperion Stud, LLC.
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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by HyperionStudLLC View Post
                          Why are you clipping an 8 month old?
                          I know a lot of people take great pride in having their youngsters do and/or tolerate things at an early age, but imo Hyperion asks a good question, because in my experience, really young horses are generally super skin sensitive, and much more so than an adult horse. Things like baths,clippers, and spraying for insects are a big deal for some. The majority of them will get a lot less skin sensitive as they get older, and you can achieve a lot more without having to spend a great deal of time, and the experience will be less stressful to the horse in most cases. You can do a lot of good just brushing them at this young age.
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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by HyperionStudLLC View Post
                            Why are you clipping an 8 month old?
                            Originally posted by Indy-lou View Post
                            I know a lot of people take great pride in having their youngsters do and/or tolerate things at an early age, but imo Hyperion asks a good question, because in my experience, really young horses are generally super skin sensitive, and much more so than an adult horse. Things like baths,clippers, and spraying for insects are a big deal for some. The majority of them will get a lot less skin sensitive as they get older, and you can achieve a lot more without having to spend a great deal of time, and the experience will be less stressful to the horse in most cases. You can do a lot of good just brushing them at this young age.
                            For those that choose to show their youngsters on the line, they will need to learn how to clip, bath, be braided and all those things. I find starting early with them makes it a non issue when it comes to the time when they need to be prepared "for real". We actually make an all natural fly spray for our broodies and babies. I don't like using the chemicals on them. They do gets lots of showers (without soap) and then when we are going somewhere, we use as mild of a soap as the job takes.
                            Worth A Shot Farm
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                            • #34
                              We have had great luck desensitizing youngsters using a blow dryer. It doesn't hurt them, the warm air actually feels good to them. And you can blow dry them without being so close. Especially nice if you have a head flinger. Every one we have done this with has not minded the clippers at all.
                              Patty
                              www.rivervalefarm.com
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                              • #35
                                I understand showing on the line and getting them "ready" to do so. But OP hasn't stated why they are doing it? Unless I missed a post.

                                I would have to refer to the hunter experts on this and when they start them for yearling division, and what they do to get them ready if that's what the OP is aiming for.

                                Cheers
                                Hyperion Stud, LLC.
                                Europe's Finest, Made in America
                                WWW.HYPERIONSTUD.com
                                Standing Elite and Approved Stallions

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                                • #36
                                  Amazing how many folks can seriously discuss clipping/cross-tying an 8-month old foal......
                                  Siegi Belz
                                  www.stalleuropa.com
                                  2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                                  Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                                    Amazing how many folks can seriously discuss clipping/cross-tying an 8-month old foal......
                                    I think Siegi and Hyperion bring up an important point. IMO an 8 month old really is too young but I know a lot of people who show babies so they learn to clip and tie. When we have shown yearlings in hand we have clipped them, but first they had calm, easy sessions with the blow dryer. We also vacuum them which they get to like. They do learn to cross tie, but our cross tie area is a grooming stall so they have a wall behind them. I absolutely hate cross tying in the alleyway. Just a wreck waiting to happen, IMO.

                                    The other thing that I would never do is "advance and retreat". Every time you retreat, you are teaching your youngster that they control you. Instead, take your time with preparation so it doesn't end up in a battle.
                                    Patty
                                    www.rivervalefarm.com
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                                    • #38
                                      I have body clipped my last two sucklings due to extreme heat and wooly foal coats. Both were done with the foal unrestrained in the stall. Neither of them moved an inch and definitely didn't seem upset about it or sensitive skinned. They also got baths with or without soap as soon as it was warm enough to do so. Not because I wanted to teach them something but because they were dirty/sweaty. They aren't made out of glass.
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                                      • #39
                                        Cross-tying an 8 months old and teaching to clip at the same time? Oh Lord.

                                        Two different experiences. Sensory overload.

                                        Clipping, no problem that age if baby was desensitized to the noise and feeling very early on (I do that very early without actually taking off hair..so when it's actually time, it's no big whoop )

                                        But clearly not on cross ties. Apples and oranges.
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                                        • #40
                                          I agree - twitch and/or tranq. Taping them will not likely help the problem as he will panic, they will clunk him in the heads, flap around, etc and panic him more. He may not let you handle his head/ears after that let alone with clippers!

                                          Also, I see nothing wrong with clipping babies! 8 mos is not that young. I worked with world class Arabians for a while and when they were a few months old we bathed them and clipped heads and necks for photos. Never too early for them to start learning!
                                          Last edited by RooMB4; Mar. 27, 2013, 09:27 PM. Reason: add more

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