Re: Clipping difficult horses!!!!
Coco used to be petrified of the clippers, even turned off would have him hiding behind me a quivering wreck. I bought a set of clippers and it took me 2 weeks to completely dessensitse him doing 5 - 10 mins every day the 1st week and 5 - 10 mins every other day the second week.
Day 1 - I started off with them turned off and I held them in front of me and lead Coco around the yard (we have a big yard!) following me and the clippers. kelly Marks gave me the idea when she said predators follow horses, horses dont follow predators so by getting the horse to follow the scary thing it kind of switches their way of thinking. As he relaxed he became interested in them and had a bit of a sniff and got loads of praise and a treat! (He's very food motivated)
Day 2 - we followed the clippers again which he was cool with, he had a sniff and then I was able to start touching him with them (still turned off) not rubbing all over just the odd touch on various points and after 5 minutes he was relatively happy for me to rub them all over his body and became more and more relaxed.
Day 3 - we rubbed them on him all over and started putting them over legs and closer to his head ntil he was cool with that. By the end of day 3 he was happy with them going all over his body, legs etc.
Day 4 - rubbed them all over him and he was fine, then stepped about 2 meters away and turned them on, I was in between him and the clippers. As he relaxed I took a step closer bit by bit until I could stand next to him with the clippers on (me still in between). I scratched him and took no notice of the clippers buzzing away in my hand and as he relaxed I turned them off and went back to what he was ok with and rubbed them over him turned off.
Day 5 - rubbed them over him turned off, turned them on away from him, got next to him and put the clipper in the hand closest to him whilst stroking him with the other hand and moved the clippers around parts of his body without toughing him with them. When he relaxed, turned them off and rubbed them all over him again.
Day 6 - turned them on and moved them around his body without touching him, when he was cool with them around him turned on and stroking him with my other hand, I occasionally let the handle of the clippers touch him for the odd second so he could feel the odd vibration and slowly increased the amount of time they were in contact with him.
Day 7 - increased the amount of time the handle of the clippers were agaist him until I could rub him all over with them turned on and he was relaxed with this.
Each day I would end on something he was happy with and used to and just took it as slowly as he needed me to. To be honest once he started getting used to them it happened very quickly and I could increase his exposure to them more and more each day. The second week was just reinforcing what he had learned and every other day just turned them on and rubbed them all over him for a few mins.
The 1st actual clip I did in stages as well so as not to overdo it and did his neck on day one, body on day 2 and bottom on day 3. Now he has learned to love the clippers and goes to sleep, think he quite likes the massage!