2018 Miniature Horse World Magazine April E-magazine - Page 24

Ears are clipped-out solely for the look of refinement that results (unless those ears are being treated medically). As with all things, though, sometimes too much of a good thing is just plain TOO MUCH. If a horse lives outdoors or turns out regularly, flying insects can make life a nightmare for a fully clipped horse. A bit of common sense goes a long way when deciding how much and how close to clip.

The hairs around a horse’s eyes, both the feelers and the regular haircoat have become clipper targets in recent years. Those hairs have a purpose, much as the hairs of the inside of the ears do. The feelers assist a horse greatly in orienting itself spatially, as horses have no ability to see objects close to their faces. The haircoat surrounding the eyes helps to protect the eyes and to divert sweat and rain away from the eyes. When we remove those hairs we are depriving the horse of some of its ability to orient and protect itself. Think carefully before you chose to bald the areas around your horse’s eyes, and check your rulebook.

I know I love “pony beauty parlor” time at my barn, as do my students and most of the horses. It can be so very gratifying to see the result of a clean, trimmed, and shiny horse. Knowing why we spent all that time and effort (and got all those sharp hairs in our underclothing) somehow makes it even more worthwhile!