Trivia Challenge: Do You Know These Key Clipping Cautions?

Challenge yourself! Have fun and test your knowledge of horses and horse care with Horse&Rider’s Trivia Challenge, featured in The Ride newsletter.

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. True or false: When acclimating your horse to clippers, a bombardment technique will have him relaxing sooner than will an approach-and-retreat method.

T / F

2. True or false: When introducing clipper blades to your horse, you should start stroking his body with the blades backwards.

T / F

3. Where is the best place on your horse’s body to begin the first actual cutting of hair?

A) His poll.

B) His jaw.

C) His legs.

4. The whiskers on your horse’s muzzle are…

A) just like the long hairs on his fetlocks.

B) actually sensory organs, not just hair.

C) uncomfortable for him when too long.

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

Trimming and Clipping (Threshold Picture Guide)

1. F is correct. The approach-and-retreat method will program relaxation and acceptance into your horse’s behavior. Bombardment exposes your horse to all the stimuli at once, which can be unnecessarily overwhelming.

2. T is correct. Don’t jump right into hair cutting. Instead, stroke the blades backward against your horse’s coat to give him a chance to acclimate just to the sound and feel of them. Begin on his shoulder and neck, then move to more sensitive areas.

3. C is correct. Your horse is thoroughly accustomed to having his legs handled and worked with, so begin the actual cutting there. Because of the poll area’s sensitivity, leave until last your horse’s bridlepath and any ear trimming.

[RELATED: How to roach your horse’s mane.]

4. B is correct. A horse’s whiskers are actually sensory organs that allow him to detect objects in his blind spots. Be sensitive to this when deciding whether or when to clip them. Know, too, that his ear hair acts as a protective layer to keep debris and insects out, as well as protect his sensitive hearing.

[MORE TIPS on acclimating your horse to clipping.]

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