How to Trim Your Horse's Ears

How to Trim Your Horse's Ears

Neat-looking ears are a must for any horse owner, who takes pride in their horse's appearance.

When showing, a neatly trimmed ear contributes to the overall impression.

Clipped Ears - the rider's perspective

As proud horse owners and riders, we care about our own appearance and the appearance of our horse. When showing, we need to present ourselves and our horse as attractively as possible to gain favor in the judge's eye. Trimming ears has become a part of that overall groomed appearance. But is it really 'the thing to do'? Clipping the inside of a horse's ear may look neat, but is it good for the horse?

Clipped Ears - the horse's perspective

The many fine hairs inside your horse's ear serve a purpose. They keep debris, dust, and insects from entering the sensitive ear cavity. Nature provided a perfect barrier against intruders that can not only bother, but also injure the horse and cause irritation or infections. Those little hairs are therefore not an unsightly nuisance, they are useful protection that your horse needs and should not go without.

Neat & Functional - meeting everyone's needs

How can we meet the rider's need for a neat appearance and the horse's need for protection? It's quite easy:

  1. Gently squeeze the horse's ear together so that the ear is closed and the edges line up (see image).
  2. Trim off any hair that grows beyond the edge, createing a neat, clean edge.
  3. Trim off any hair that grows on the bottom of the ear or portrudes beyond the year line.
 clipping a horse's ear

The result: A neatly trimmed ear, a groomed appearance - and the horse keeps what he needs: his hairy protection against dirt, dust, and insects.

For the show: If you fear that this kind of trim is not enough for the show ring, think about having your horse wear an ear hood. 

[You may also like to read: "How to Groom Your Horse to Shine - in 4 Easy Steps"]

Enjoy your horse!

Stefanie Reinhold

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