Wednesday, 30 October 2013

It's that time of year again...... CLIPPING!

I was asked by one of my lovely regular clients to help train one of her clipper phobic ponies. Tam is a Highland Pony and has been clipped in the past by previous owners. However, her present reaction when presented with the clippers is to quickly vacate to the furthest possible location and shake with worry. Her owner wasn't sure that we would ever be able to completely desensitise Tam to the clippers... however, fully confident in IH methods I knew we could rise to the challenge.

We began by doing some advance and retreat work with a feather duster, ensuring that she was happy with being touched all over her body. Over four sessions we slowly and incrementally repeated the work beginning with an old electric toothbrush progressing to a quiet dog trimmer and then noisier clippers before finishing with the ordinary horse clippers. We took our time and spent as long as we needed to at each stage before moving onto the next. Working logically and progressively meant that we built firm foundations that we could revisit if necessary. We finished session four with a very relaxed pony who stood perfectly still with low adrenaline and no anxiety, worry or hassle.

My weapon of choice..... clippers taped to feather duster

Using advance and retreat with the duster

All done... no drama

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