Training Your Horse for Horse Clippers

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about the things that a horse does not like is horse clippers. Of all the equipment that you must use for horse care and maintenance, horse clippers are quite likely the most hated by horses. However, you can train your horse gradually and tolerantly to stand calmly so the job of horse grooming becomes much easier.

It could take you about a month, a week, a day or a few minutes  of working with your horse, or maybe longer. It is important that you be prepared to make a commitment, in addition to remaining incredibly patient. Although this is not an instant solution, it is something that will benefit both you and the horse throughout its lifetime.

Horse Clippers – Start Slow

Horse ClippersOn day one, simply show the horse clippers to your horse and give it a chance to sniff the clippers. Keep the horse clippers turned off at this time. Allow your horse to have a good sniff, and then offer him or her praise and a treat. That is all you have to do on the first day.

Continue this exercise the next day and the next day, until your horse expects a treat for sniffing the horse clippers. Then, you will be ready to take the next step in training. You see, your horse is now making the mental connection between the horse clippers and receiving treats. Already, the clippers are a good thing in the horse’s mind.

Getting Used To the Noise

The next thing you need to accomplish is desensitising the horse to the sound of the horse clippers. Plug the clippers in and while holding them away from your horse, turn on the power. Remember to remain calm with in yourself, as in most cases if you are not worried so too will your horse remain calm and accepting.

If your horse stands firmly in place and does not appear fearful, offer praise and a treat, and then turn off the horse clippers. Repeat this training exercise for several days if necessary, until the horse expects to receive a treat as soon as you power off the horse clippers.

Making Contact

Once your horse is used to the noise of the clippers, you are ready to proceed with the training. Begin with the clippers on and touch them to the horse’s neck as he or she stands calmly. Reward the horse with praise and a treat, and then turn off the horse clippers. Repeat this process daily until the horse is comfortable with the clippers on its neck.

Reward Your HorseNext, move the clippers around on your horse’s neck. Reward your horse for remaining calm as you move the clippers all over their neck. Once the horse is comfortable with the clippers on its neck, you are ready to move on to the more sensitive areas, such as the bridle path and face. Remember to reward your horse for good behaviour and a treat once you have turned off the horse clippers.

Over time, as long as you remain patient, you will be able to use the horse clippers without any trouble at all.

Comments

  1. Jaz Jones says:

    my horse is getting cliped tomorrow for the first time and i would like some tips on what to do with her while it is being done thanks for your time

    • Hello Jaz,

      How did the clipping go?

      My advice is to stay calm and have the attitude it takes as long as it takes. This means if your horse is feeling unsure remember to breathe and give him encouragement for trying. The calmer you are around your horse, your horse will pick up on your calmness and confidence. Remember not to reward your horse for the behavior you do not like.
      All the best with your horse pursuits may you reach your dream

      Enjoy your horse

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