A bit shocked

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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I have just been reading Horse & rider mag and there is a piece about showing and show prep, now I knew that horses had feather, mane and ears clipped but I am shocked to see the lovely horses in the photo's having whiskers and even the guard hairs around their eyes clippered off.
Further research shows that it is illegal in some european countries, so why do we still chop off our horses sensitive whiskers/guard hairs? Is it purely aesthetic?
I'm not trying to start an argument here or a clip vs unclipped thread I just cannot for the life of me understand why someone would deprive a horse of those important hairy bits? Have to say the pictures in the magazine I thought the 'before' photo's were much much nicer than the shaven 'after' pics. But then I am a big fan of eau naturel anyway.
 

squidsin

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2013
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I suppose it's a style thing. I don't know, haven't really dipped my toes into showing, but me and Roxy are going to a showing clinic next month and I will be interested to hear what they say about hair and feather. I thought with native breeds, you were meant to leave it on? I think horses look strange without whiskers, I did a small clip in winter because Roxy hates getting too hot, but I like the au natural look too on horses. Although I don't like actual moustaches on horses - there's one at my RDA group, George, that has a proper 1930s 'city gent' type 'tache! Not my cup of tea! But I wouldn't buy a super-hairy horse as that's not really to my taste anyway.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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I can see why horses are clipped and fully understand that, but it's those lovely little hairs that tell them what they are eating or warn them when they are too close to something or - in Belle's case tell them if their head will squeeze under that bit of fencing to reach that tasty bit of grass. I guess Im being a bit of a drama queen but to me it would be like sanding the skin off our fingertips!
Squidsin you'll have to ask for me why they do it when you go to your showing clinic. :)
I suppose it's a bit like the modern woman should be pencil thin and weight 6 stone or she isn't considered beautiful.
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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Horses can't see the end of their nose and whiskers are very important to them to feel things. I would never ever trim them. And I've seen top level eventers competing with whiskers.
 

mystiquemalaika

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Jan 7, 2013
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As far as I'm concerned it's the same as cutting a person's fingers off,it's cruel and barbaric and for nothing more than the person's and showing worlds eyes.
I seen a terrible reaction to it from a horse in a yard I worked at,he became extremely head shy,wouldn't eat,drink and was a nervous wreck,he ended up at the vets because of his not eating and drinking. They allow the horse to feel,sense,figure out things etc it's just bloody ridiculous that people still do it!
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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I wish folk wouldn't do it. It can only be because of the "look" of them. I read an article a while back in Your Horse and there was a top eventer (can't remember just who) who said she didn't like to see any of their whiskers. Weird. I don't think it should be allowed. I have been led to believe even horses that are mostly stabled need them for feeling about with in the dark.
 
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newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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I would like my cob to have a tash but she doesn't.
There are so many things in varying sports that seem outdated.
You wouldn't cut whiskers off a cat to show it.
 
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domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
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Apparently every whisker on a horse is linked to an individual allocated area in their brain. I would never trim whiskers. Albi grows a moustache and I think he looks very dashing for a while, until it starts to go raggedy and "past it", then I carefully trim it off until next year. The only thing I really dislike about my hairy cobs is when they grow beards so I do snip those off with scissors in the spring, once the worst of winter is over. IMHO they look far smarter with a defined head. But that's just me. Oh... and Albi was clipped this winter :oops::rolleyes:
 
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Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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I have always left Bens whiskers on, but most people I know take them off when do their normal full clip. There are no obvious differences in the grazing habits of horses with clipped whiskers and those with intact.

I use a grazing muzzle on Ben and I guess that this has the same effect as removing them.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I have shaved muzzles in the past for showing and never had any change in behaviour, that said there was no difference in my marks either so I stopped. I never really knew how wiskers were used back then. I prefer them natural anyway but I haven't got the patience to properly manage a super hairy horse.
 
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Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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Apart from showing Arabs and Welsh Ds many moons ago, my most recent knowledge of showing was with hairy cobs, so no whiskers off for them although I did always trim their beards back to emphasise their head shape (if it was a good head shape of course!). But back in
the day I never trimmed either the Welsh Ds or the Arabs around their face.

In fact I have never removed any whiskers or eye hair, I would call that mutilation not tidying them up really. But each to their own.;)
 

volcy

Cob Collector
Nov 6, 2008
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Im a reformed whisker remover, when I first shared May they came off with the beard, i didnt realise what I was doing then!!
clear.png


The beards did come off them both this morning though.. Makes her look about 5 years younger!
 
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Trewsers

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Lol to the beards! I actually quite like Chloe's!:p She reminds me of a komodo dragon.......heheheeee, I mean that in a nice way:D Hers is so soft and tickly tho. I love it when she rests her lovely big head on my shoulders and my neck gets whiskered:D
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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Yes I did tidy some of the extra long beard hairs this morning. The ones that entangle in my noseband. Other than that she is a mammoth.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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I guess I was shocked too that a national mag are advocating it, but then I also am shocked at the state of some of the horses feet in the photo's in magazines too.
 

ponylover88

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Jul 12, 2004
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As far as I'm concerned it's the same as cutting a person's fingers off,it's cruel and barbaric and for nothing more than the person's and showing worlds eyes.
I seen a terrible reaction to it from a horse in a yard I worked at,he became extremely head shy,wouldn't eat,drink and was a nervous wreck,he ended up at the vets because of his not eating and drinking. They allow the horse to feel,sense,figure out things etc it's just bloody ridiculous that people still do it!
I saw the same reaction too - a friend chopped off my youngsters full brothers whiskers (for photos!!!) and he didn't eat or drink, nor could you go anywhere near him for quite a while. Eventually he got over it a little, but it still wouldn't personally do it.

I'd rather be marked down when showing.
 
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