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Clipping weanlings

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  • Clipping weanlings

    Hi all, I hope to make this quick and maybe try some tips others use.

    I have a 6 month old colt, who will be gelded next month. He is super with just about everything I throw at him, plastic bags on the handy stick, plastics bags in his ears and around them, walking over a tarp, putting the tarp on him etc. The only issue I am having that I can't seem to get over is clipping. I've done the approach and retreat, letting him be curious to see what's going on. He doesn't mind the noise and he doesn't even really mind his muzzle being touched with them but when I actually try to clip his bridle path he twists his neck and pulls his head away. Not as if to freak out but just kinda to be a stinker almost.
    I maybe a bit spoiled because my other two horses are obsessed with being clipped.

    Any tips on how to just have him accpet clippers making the 'clipping' sound? No rude comments please just seeking some other points of view.

  • #2
    For horses new to clipping, some times we use this hand clipper first few times, then moved on to electric ones:

    Starting foals to adults on clipping, decades ago, before battery ones, where you had to work around electric cords, we generally would put an older horse right there and clip it and gauge how the new horse was reacting.

    Then we could go on as far as we could without pushing it and in a few times they too would stand there unconcerned.
    If you use treats, those worked also, or a handful of grain.

    Those new to clipping were easy to convince all was ok.
    The ones someone else scared took a little more work to get them to accept clippers without them being alert.

    Clipping the first few times is one of those places we thought having another horse modeling did help show the newbie there was nothing to worry about.
    You may want to try that if you are still having trouble after trying other.


    • #3
      Just run the clippers around him every time you groom without trying to clip. Handle his ears every grooming, run a towel lightly over then and lightly stroke the inside of each ear.-don’t force it. When he accepts try to do a little more each time.

      If you take your time and introduce him to the sound and allow his ears to be handled, it’s not hard, boring maybe though. Start putting the two together bit by bit. You asked about bridle path and I gave advice about ears because it’s the ears that they get defensive over, not their crest and poll.

      When you do start putting clippers and ear handling together, start from the back, not up top between his ears. If he gets rattled, quit, try to inch it up to the poll bit by bit every day. Working with them daily also really helps them get over themselves and accept it with as little drama as possible.

      Why trim weanligs, some may ask? Well for one thing, Western breed youngsters have much more opportunity to show in hand/ Halter at all levels. But the most important thing is they are as short now as they will ever be and for anybody less then 6’ tall, it’s the perfect chance to work on the area around the poll without a step stool.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


      • #4
        I second the notion of doing a little bit every day. With foals, I think the consistency is important. If they get a small amount of positive handling on a regular basis, then they accept new things more readily.

        It is also important to keep sessions short, especially when introducing new concepts. Foals have the attention span of a gnat and it is easy for them to get a sour attitude if pushed too much.