Time and again we’ve emphasized safety here at FillyGirl, for both you the owner, and your horse(s). From our articles on riding helmets and breast collars, to a horses blind spots, our articles are full of horse safety reminders. Sadly, there are always real life incidents to remind us as well. Just two weeks ago an equestrian woman was killed while clipping a horse! Mary Hancy, from Ashill in the U.K., was just 55 years old when she died. She was clipping out one of her horses who spooked, and subsequently kicked her in the abdomen and head. According to her daughter, “He was only five years old and he was a bit spooked by something and kicked out and caught her.” Mrs. Hancy was taken by the East of England Air Ambulance to Addenbrookes Hospital, in Cambridge, but died without gaining consciousness.
Mrs. Hancy had a passion for horses. “She was very passionate about breeding hanoverians and German warmbloods for many years and had helped run a riding school and stud with her very close friends” said her daughter. “She was always a familiar and friendly face at local showjumping competitions.” Mrs. Hancy was no different to the rest of us. She wasn’t a novice rider or new to grooming, and that’s why her story is so sad and scary. She is a reminder that accidents do happen, and they could happen to any of us, at any time. We addressed the risks of using a horse clipper around a horse in an article we wrote titled “The Whiskers On A Horse’s Muzzle Have A Name.” We wrote, “You may have better luck using a small pair of scissors (not the big ones your grandma uses to cut fabric) because many horses are sensitive to the sound of the horse clippers and become distressed. Since they have a blind spot (covered in a previous FillyGirl post) right in front, they could become even more stressed.” If you need to, do not be afraid to use a sedative when clipping a horse. There are two options for horse sedatives- oral or injectable. You will need a prescription to obtain the sedatives, but once they are prescribed, oral sedatives are easy to administer yourself. There are two popular oral sedatives- ACP (Oralject Sedazine) or Dormosedan Gel (Detomidine Hcl). However, word of CAUTION: when under sedation, many horses don’t like having their faces and ears clipped in which case sensible use of a twitch may help. Never leave twitches on too long and make sure you let the endorphins kick in before you start. Also, make sure you’re using proper horse clippers, and regularly maintain them. Oil them regularly and when using them, don’t let the clippers get too hot. Finally, just remember at all times, whether sedated or not, a horse’s kick is powerful (enough to kill you) and extremely accurate!