I may have done something rash.
You guys weren’t really with me the last two years when I body clipped Murray, but it was basically… not ideal for anyone involved. Both years I hired friends to do it for me (to avoid buying clippers and get a quality job done without poisoning my horse’s mind against me, and because no real professional would touch my horse with a ten foot stick at that time). I had to drug him AND twitch him, after doing varying levels of desensitizing, and both times we still had to take breaks and call it at some reasonable-but-not-perfect amount of clip because otherwise Murray ran the risk of going full nuclear.
So this year decided I’d eat the cost of the clippers and do it myself. I’ve been hitting the desensitization hard. I busted out peppermints (rolls of life savers are a cheap and easily stored way to do this!) and have been rubbing a set of clippers all over Murray’s body nearly every day. I’ve managed to get all the important parts — neck, shoulders, back, belly, butt, tickly loin/flank area — and for more than a few seconds, so I’d say he’s doing pretty well. Despite the occasional step back, Murray has been quite tolerant.
But of course, barn manager was like “well, it feels different with just the vibration and having the clippers actually cutting hair you know. So you should find some surreptitious places on his body and clip away some hair so that he gets used to that feeling too.”
And I thought: I’m not showing between now and when I plan to clip him…
Why do they have to be surreptitious spots…
I shaved random patches of hair off my horse.
He looks like he had about nine catheters placed on random parts of his body.
He looks like he has old man alopecia.
On the bright side, Murray was fine with that too.
Now I just have to get him used to the extension cord and spray lube and maybe, maybe we will be able to clip sans incident this year.