Training a Horse to Tolerate Being Clipped

Does your horse object to being clipped? Then this story will probably be familiar to you. This is how we coped with a horse that had almost got to the stage of being unable to be clipped at all!.

When I first got my horse, Jazz, I thought she would cope with anything – she travelled well, was good for the farrier, had great stable manners and wasn’t spooky. Whilst she might have been a challenge to ride, I was congratulating myself on how good her manners were until the winter came and it was time for clipping.

It became obvious very quickly that clippers could not be brought anywhere near her. Ditching the normal clippers we tried a cordless pair which were particularly quiet, and just about managed to give her a rather unique clip, but she was not happy about it at all and it became dangerous to try to do anymore. Luckily her coat grows slowly, so it was another 12 months before we had to try again, and this time she was not having it at all. Even the sight of the clippers got her quite distressed, let alone getting so far as turning them on, so we resorted to sedation. Sleepy, she tolerated it for a bit, but we still didn’t manage to get much more than the neck clipped.

She even showed signs of getting worse – becoming unsettled just because she could hear another horse being clipped in a nearby stable.

So something had to be tried. Each winter she seemed to be getting a thicker coat, and desperately needed clipping as she sweated so much – it wasn’t an option to leave her unless we were going to stop riding. Then, one day, I was reading one of the great books by Mark Rashid, and something he suggested hit a chord with me. He described using a similar method to what we came to call the ‘Drill Treatment’.

It took both my husband, Steve, and myself. For the first session Steve stood well back from the front of the stable and turned on the drill, holding it down by his side. Jazz jumped, and looked uncomfortable, not liking the noise one bit. We kept the drill running for about 10 minutes, with me in the stable stroking her and giving her treats. Then we stopped for the day. After a couple of times she just accepted that humans do strange things, and gradually she calmed down and went back to munching her hay whilst the drill was running.

This process continued. Three or four times a week we’d do the Drill Treatment, gradually moving closer to the stable door and keeping the drill running until she relaxed. At first the progress seemed slow, and we could only move the drill closer by inches but we continued to persevere. The first achievement was the day when we were finally able to take the drill into the stable with her. Bit by bit she got more used to the noise and we were able to move nearer to her. Then, with drill in one hand, Steve stroked her with his other hand until she became settled. And then came the day he was able to actually lay the drill against her side, and mimic the action of the clippers with it. It took about six weeks to get to this stage.

So then, the day of judgement – clipping day. We decided we’d sedate her again, just so she would be relaxed, and then went for it. She was the best she had ever been – neck, stomach and a tiny bit off her back legs. This was a fantastic achievement! We were so proud of her.

The following year we started the drill treatment again, but she was so relaxed with the drill, and so we didn’t have to spend so much time with it. We decided to sedate her again as we didn’t want her distressed but this time she was so relaxed she all but fell asleep during the clipping! We took the opportunity and went for a full clip.

I’m not sure if we’ll get to the stage where we don’t need to use sedation at all, but I truly believe that if we hadn’t persevered with the Drill Treatment, she wouldn’t have been clipped at all these past couple of yeara! If you want to try this method it does take a lot of patience – trying to rush to touch her with it too early would have been a mistake. And it’s useful to have a second person, one to reassure, and one ready to move away with the drill if it’s too close for (her) comfort.

But the proof for us was that it certainly did work, and now she can be ridden all winter without any worries about her being too hot and uncomfortable. She looks very pretty too! She no longer sports a ‘Jazz Special’ clip – otherwise known as the ‘however much you can get off’ clip!

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Breeders Cup 2010

The 2010 Breeders Cup is right around the corner. This annual series of Graded Stakes racing operated by Breeders Cup ltd. Formed in 1982 it has been running since 1984. From 1984 to 2006 this was a single-day event, then starting in 2007 it became a two-day event. The location for the Breeders Cup changes each year. The race has been held in the United States every year except 1996 when it was held at Woodbine Racetrack in Canada. While the Breeders Cup doesn’t have the history of some of the other famous American horse races, it does have the money. Known as the richest day in sports when it was a one-day even, now as a two-day event it has lost that moniker to the Dubai World Cup Night, which features six races with a combined purse of $21 million. In 2008, a total of $17 million was awarded on the second day of the Cup. With the fifth highest attended horse race in North America, the Breeders Cup consistently outdraws all other stakes races. Having added 3 new races in 2008 the Cup will be awarding a total of $25.5 million over the two-day event, up from $23 million in 2007. The Breeders Cp Grand National Steeplechase is not actually operated by Breeders Cup Ltd, but in reality is run by National Steeplechase Association, which uses the “Breeders Cup” name in a licensing agreement. The 14 Breeders Cup Championship races allow a maximum of 14 starters, except the Dirt Mile, Juvenile Fillies Turf and Juvenile Turf which each limit the number of starters to 12. Over the history of the even the order of the races have changed many times. Traditionally the last two races are the Turf and the Classic. The 2008 event was the first, which the entirety of Day 1 was dedicated to races for fillies and mares, with Day 2 handing all the rest of the races. Starting in 2006 ESPN took over the Breeders Cup television contract for eight years. From its inception in 1984 to 2005 it was broadcast by NBC. The voice of the Breeders Cup is Trevor Denman, he too over for Tom Durkin in 2006. Durkin had called all the races from 1984 to 2005.

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The Horse And Some Basics

The first thing you need for your horse is a house.

This may be a stable or a pen. If you do not have a place big enough at you where your horse can live, you may want to consider a pension or a place that rents land or stables for horses. You will need to keep their home clean by removing horse droppings daily for stables and weekly for grazing pastures. However, taking care of your horse is a big responsibility and your horse must be properly maintained to keep them healthy and happy. In fact, they are almost like people with their own personalities. Horses are one of the most exciting animal to own and they make excellent companions. To provide the appropriate level of care for your horse, you can imagine it as a child of about 4 years of age because it is about their level of mentality.

You will need to check the water you provide for your horse regularly during the day to ensure that there is enough and that the container has not been kicked off or that the horse drank it all.

There are also many daily responsibilities that you have as the owner of a horse. The first is feeding your horse. If you have it in a barn, you need to feed grain and chaff, and hay and ensure that the barn is comfortable by putting sawdust or hay for bedding. By becoming your horse’s friend, it will try harder to please you. Offer affection and tasty treats such as apples or sugar cubes to encourage it to think of you as its friend. The horses will also need to have regular exercise and lots of love and attention. Horses also need large amounts of fresh, clean drinking water.

Take time with your horse by giving him a good brushing before and after you have mounted it.

It is important not to forget to clean under the hooves of the horses with a hoof pick every day, and before and after you mount it to ensure it has not picked up a stone in his hoof as this will make it lame. You will also need to have his hooves trimmed by a farrier every 8 weeks to keep his hoofs ready and protected.

Your horse will need to be wormed regularly and like people, horses need to have regular checkups by a veterinarian, even if they are not sick, to ensure they are healthy and well. If you have concerns about your horse or if you are not sure what you can give him to eat or how often, your veterinarian will be able to help you and answer your questions.

There are upscale stables in Champagne Ardennes which are fine for people who like horseback riding and of course who love of them may have guest rooms or a prestigious hotel in Champagne Ardennes nearby.

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