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KanoasDestiny

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I am having a horrible time clipping Zoey's legs. She fights both my husband and I, and it seems like each time we clip her, it gets worse. We always have her tied against a tree, and yesterday, she actually swung around and knocked me down. I don't want any of us to get hurt, and I'm thinking that I may have to resort to twitching her.

I know a lot of people here use twitches, so I am wondering what the pros and cons are to them. I don't want to hurt her, and it seems like it can be a painful thing for the horse? I'd appreciate if you could help me make a decision. Or maybe any other recommendations on how to control her?
 

Nathan Luszcz

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Twitch or sedation. Twitching is not cruel, it gives them something to focus on other than what you are trying to do. It also induces endorphins, which are pain relievers and can actually give the horse a minor "high". Avoid "humane twitches", aka "one man twitchs", they have a horrible tendency of falling off, or giving the horse a metal head to hit you with. Stick to the two man twitches, with a rope or chain loop. Ropes are more humane than chains, there really is no reason you need a chain with a mini, or even 75% of big horses.
 

ruffian

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If possible, put her in a cross tie where she can't spin around. That's safer for everybody.

You could try using a blow dryer to get her used to the sound and vibration without actually having to get so close to put yourself in danger. Just blow it up and down her legs, and see if you can get her used to it.

How many times has she been clipped? Are the blades hot? You may need to go a bit slower with her.

To answer your question - I use a twitch to do ears. Some horses are fine with having their ears done, and others, no matter how gentle or how much time I take, just won't stand for it . So a twitch for a couple of minutes beats having everybody worked up and possibly injuring themselves.
 

minih

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I used to be totally against twiching until we had a small gelding that would fight tooth and nail, I was afraid of getting hurt or hurting him with the way he fought. There is no sense in putting you both thru that. I now use a twitch any time the horse shows resistance to something at all, and a lot of the time do not have to use it very often after. I do not just leave one on for a long amount of time, only for the amount of time needed. After using one several times I can reach up and put my hand on their nose and a lot of the time that is enough to calm them long enough to get done what needs doing, except for a few. I have a shetland right now that had not been handled very much, and have had to use the twitch down to even the farrier when we first got him, now just a couple of months later he will stand for me or the farrier, a little jumpy but does stand.
I can now walk up to him without him cringing, like he did when he first got here, if the twitch was such a horrible thing and abusive I don't think he would let me love and touch him like he does now. I feel that fighting with them is more dangerous and causes more hard feelings than a twitch does.
 

KanoasDestiny

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This is the fifth time that I've clipped her since I've had her. I think she was clipped once before then (she was a weanling at the time). The first 3 times, I didn't have any trouble. Last time, she gave resistance, but we worked slowly through it. This year, I've already tried her legs twice, and both times, we haven't had much luck. We go as slowly as we can, and we give lots of breaks...for the horses and us.

I have a lovely black and blue bruise on my leg, from when we did her ears. She reared up, and when she came down, her hoof scraped down my whole leg, and this was through pants. I've never had a problem with her ears before, and she allows me to play with them...just not with the clippers now. We did get through that one, and now we're struggling with her legs. My husband has a lot of patience, but yesterday, he actually said he was done and handed me the clippers.


She looks funny, and I don't want her to feel like by throwing her tantrum, she has won.
 

Gini

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I only have to use the twitch on one of my horses. Panda was used as a brood mare and never handled prior to my getting her 8 years ago. That being said she will stand now for the farrier without the twitch, but is short tied to the railing. The vet has to twitch her every time he has to do the vacinations. It is sure better than anyone getting hurt if she gets wild. My vet does ask everytime if I would mind if he twitches her.

Panda is now 22 so I don't think she will ever change.
 

Jill

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I have used both twitches and sedation for some of my more difficult clip-ees. For twitches, try some plastic hardware clamps! I got some at both Home Depot and Walmart. Tried them on my OWN lip before applying to a horse. They help so much and leave your hands free. I put them on lips, chins, and ears as needed and they help A LOT. I tried some supposed one man twitches but never could get them to stay on and H does help me with the clipping but it's so much easier if he's not having to hold a twitch in place. So the clamps are really a good thing to have. Almost as good as my little rolling mechanics stool / bench (back saver!).
 

KanoasDestiny

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Jill, I was just reading a past post about the Home Depot type clamps. Not really sure what kinda clamp I should look for? Might be a quick, easy alternative to a twitch, so I'm definately interested. Does anyone have a picture of what I should look for?

I'm thinking I may have my hubby make a Cross-Tie station too. That way, she can't squirm around as much. And no rearing!
 

Jill

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These are the ones I liked best and think they're the Walmart ones
They came in a four pack and I don't think it cost more than $5 for them. They are made of plastic. Prior to getting those, I tried chip clips (no way would that stay on) and hair clips but those didn't work either. It crossed my mind to try binder clips but fooling with those at the office, they are way too severe. These little plastic ones work great! And, again, tried them on my own lip (and ears) before applying to a horse. They are "okay" and not too severe. I applied them and waited about 2 minutes to get back to clipping. Some of the horses nearly fell asleep. Only one needed some Dormosedan (from vet) before I could finish her legs but was tremendously more calm with the clamps and let me really make a lot of progress before resorting to the sedative.



 
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KanoasDestiny

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HOW DOES THAT WORK?????? Good thing you posted a pic, I would have been running around the store, looking at who knows what. I was expecting something long and thin? :DOH!
 

Jill

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I just used them on the upper lip, on that little chin bump they have, and on ears (folded the ear). Not in all places at once on all horses, but one or a combination.
 

JWC sr.

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We use something similar to what Jill uses and they work well. It is a 6" wood working spring loaded clamp that is applied to the upper lip and works very well.

They have the plastic covers over the blade of the clamp and don't bruise or hurt the horse, but at the same time give them something to think about besides the clipping part of things.

Start using one even when you do not even really need with her, before she is set intoa behavior pattern that is hard to break. Using a twitch is a lot more humane for her than her possibly hurting herself or you in the process.

Good Luck,
 
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Leeana

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I use the type Jill has, actually i think they are the exact same from walmart, and i like them. I do the upper lip, i have yet to actually try to eat or chin ...thought never even crossed my mind. They work GREAT though. At first the horses want to flip it around with their lip, it hasnt come off and then they settle down.

Dad use to have to hand twitch while i clipped ears and legs but he just cant stand there and twitch a horse for me for 30 minutes. Them clips are priceless
.

They are in NO way severe either, they get the job done though.
 

mgranch

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Great topic!! I just started clipping horses and discovered 3 out of the 4 won't let me clip their legs!! I nearly cried I can't stand the thought of having a knock down fight with that many!! I will get the clips at Walmart tomorrow. Thanks for the info!! Just in case I was wondering which sedatives are safe for minis?? My husband wants to use Ace but I'm not sure that's OK.
 

ckmini

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I got kicked (while clipping) in the head twice last summer, the one missed my eye by about 3/4". I will be sedating those two horses this summer!


Twitches keep both you and your horse safe. (I like the clips Jill showed though, I might be trying those on my 'easier' horses)
 

RedWagonMan

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Wow never thought about the clips. We were having to twitch a couple of our horses but tomorrow I am headed to walmart for the clamps. Great idea!!!!
 

Nathan Luszcz

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As far as I know there are no contraindications for minis and sedatives. Just remember never to give Acepromazine to intact males.
 

Maxi'sMinis

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How does this work? It sounds like accupressure. These clips sound great I'll be giving them a try. Does anyone know accupressure points on horses? I have a great book for humans, do you think the points might be the same for horses.

Mary
 

Genie

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We also use the clips like Jill showed and have good results.

Much easier to work with than a twitch and also, I have never liked the idea of "twitching".

Some of the horses that used to require a "clip" will now stand for the farrier work or the clipping without any restraint.

Sometimes the clipper blade gets hot before you know it, and maybe that is what sets a horse off, when they were usually fine.
 

JourneysEnd

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Great topic!! I just started clipping horses and discovered 3 out of the 4 won't let me clip their legs!! I nearly cried I can't stand the thought of having a knock down fight with that many!! I will get the clips at Walmart tomorrow. Thanks for the info!! Just in case I was wondering which sedatives are safe for minis?? My husband wants to use Ace but I'm not sure that's OK.
Ace won't help. If you're going to sedate, you need rompum or dormosodan ( and I know I just misspelled both of them).

I have one that's HOF in obstacle and I still have to twitch him to clip legs.
 

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