I really wondered whether Eli would be okay with the whole body clipping thing. I had never body clipped him before, but he got shaggy early on this fall, and considering the high today is supposed to be in the 80s, the winter coat had to go.
He’s okay for clipping his whiskers and his bridle path, so I know he has no fear of clippers, just a strong dislike of them near his ears. I figured I’d have no problem with clipping his neck and shoulders, and he doesn’t seem to mind having his legs clipped below the knee or hocks. My concern originated from Eli’s dislike of having his flanks and haunches groomed. I also thought maybe he’d be irritated with his withers getting clipped because in my past experience, a lot of horses have not liked that, no matter how gently I’d try to clip there.
Turns out Eli’s a total champ about body clipping, and actually seems to enjoy it. I frequently rewarded him with cookies, and gave him multiple breaks. I also decided to spread it out over two days, although that was more for me — for my back and my knees, really. Anyone who has body clipped knows you have to get in some wonky positions to clip different horse body parts. I did his body on Saturday after our lesson, and finished up his legs and some of his neck and face Sunday morning.
Eli has two areas where he does protest the clippers — his ears; and he seemed pretty irritated when I tried to clip the inside of his hind legs above the hocks. So I got part of that done but not all of it. However, his hair there is not very thick so it’s not terribly noticeable. Definitely not worth getting kicked.
I left a little bit of a horse hair face mask on Eli — the front of his head and his ears remain quite fuzzy. I may be able to clip just the front of his head, but I don’t see the ears happening without sedation, so I’ll need help to do those. At the same time, we ain’t going anywhere any time soon, mainly because of my work schedule. It’s going to tick up a few notches next week, and I will have very little time for fun things, basically until June.
I wound up using the Wahl KM10 clippers, and I have a lot of pros and cons to share with y’all about them tomorrow. Mostly pros.