Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gorilla Wrestling on the Arabian Horse Breeder's Farm

Gorilla wrestling, also known as show clipping horses, is exactly what it sounds like. You grab the horse around the nose and hang on hoping that you'll get a swipe or two in with the clippers before the horse throws its head up into the air.......along with you. Of course this will include other defensive movements intended to escape the clipping procedure. Once holds are broken, you go back to grabbing the horse and starting all over again until the horse has been successfully clipped.

Depending on the age of the horse, this match can go on for what seems like hours or can be over in a few minutes. It all depends on whether that horse reaches the point it decides it just isn't worth it to flip it's head or however else wrestle with a human. That added weight that comes with flipping a human into the air certainly can influence a horse's decision. It will either decide to be still or, if it believes that that extra weight is good for building up the neck muscles, it will hang in there for the long haul getting the added exercise. Either way, some form of gorilla wrestling results with all horses. It's just a matter of degrees.

If the horse doesn't get tired or bored, it can begin to throw variations into the mix. Each hold mustered up by the human will require new counter tactics from such horses. With some horses thinking it is great sport to catch the human off guard with new moves they've produced from their bag of tricks.

These matches are scored a number of ways depending on the creativity of the horse and/or the human. I guess if the horse gets the defensive move accomplished before the clippers get a swipe at any hair, that's definitely one for the horse. If the person manages to get any hair at all off before the horse pulls away, that defintely scores to the human. Then there are lots of variations in between.

The horse earns bonus points for making the clipping take three times the established time for a "trained" horse. (The definition of a "trained" horse is one that mightstand for clipping on any given day.) Anything less than twice the time results in deductions for the horse. It clearly is not doing its best to make things tough on the human involved in this match.

The human gets no points at all for getting the job done. That's to be expected. It's the amount of the time taken factoring in the age and training of the horse that gives the human points. Should a human manage to clip a yearling in under an hour, that's definitely a plus for the human. However an older horse that takes half an hour to clip, the points definitely go to the horse.

Licking and chewing by the horse during this process could actually end up in deductions for the human or the horse depending on circumstances. It would be a bad thing to be teaching the horse that defensive moves are ever fruitful for the horse. It could take even longer to get that horse clipped the next time around if licking and chewing has happened when the horse has successfully completed counter moves. Therefore such licking and chewing will penalize the human. However, licking and chewing because the human has managed to hang onto the horse during deversionary tactics definitely score for the human.

Licking and chewing on the part of the human is definitely acceptable behavior. Any expressions of extreme concentration are not to be penalized. However, ingesting hair is not recommended. And hair ingested because the horse has managed to break that human's concentration should score for the horse.

Any horse that manages to duck or jerk its head successfully to avoid bridlepath clipping gets a point. The human on the other hand looses five points (and gets beat with a wet noodle) if the forelock goes as a result of said head bobbing or ducking.

Other bonus points for the horse can come from breaking free combined with thrwoing the head too high to be re-caught, causing chunks or globs (single hairs not to count) of cut hair to get down shirt with extra points for inside the bra, causing mis-clips (gouges or dents in clip job) and for stepping on the human's foot during successful escape attempts.

Points are deducted from the human's score for poking the horse in the eye as the result of loosing one's grip during head twitching evasions. This is definitely considered poor horsemanship.

But the human can get bonus points for managing to hold onto the halter and still hold the eye closed with the one hand while clipping over the horse's eye with the other. However, that's only if the human actually accomplishes said clipping over the eye. No points will be awarded for the moves without completion of the task.

The human can earn points for managing to hang onto the horse during difficult evasions. A human who continues to hold on when being lifted up off the floor definitely deserves 5 bonus points. Add a bit of shaking with a determined human still hanging on while dangling in the air adds another 5 points.

Broken or sprained limbs, excess sweating, too many four letter words in succession and other temper tantrums, all can be grounds for 5 point deductions against the human While frustration is a given in this process, it must be expressed in a manner that does not excite the horse and cause further resistance.

Bruises on the human will only deduct 1 point from the human's score. They are, after all, a necessary part of the clipping process.

I'm pretty sure that this event should be considered to be a new Olympic sport. It's definitely got more physical activity involved that throwing the shotput or javelin.......heck, I'm pretty sure that I've sweat more than even a marathon runner when I'm clipping my entire herd. And for that matter, clipping my herd takes much longer than those people ever take to run the marathon.

Does this tell you all how the clipping went?

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  1. *wipes tears from eyes* That event description had me tearing up from laughing. I hope Andy wasn't THAT bad. If someone will write up the petition to the Olympic committee, I'll gladly sign up to compete!

  2. LOLOLOL!!!!

    Sounds like a typical clipping job around here lol. Hit or miss on the clippers actually getting any hair, hit or miss on whether the human attached to the halter of the head tossing horse, stays attached to the halter or flies (quite literally).

    Hair down the bra and in other places should score more points though. I don't know how they manage to get those clumps to drop just right every single time, no matter how buttoned up you are...

    I hope your toes aren't too bruised and that Andy doesn't have a missing forelock or too many dents. :)

  3. Oh isn't this the truth... and tell me... who was the winning team at the end of the clipping? horses or humans?

  4. Oh dear...that was HYSTERICAL and yet slightly tragic all at the same time! I think the human wins in this case since she managed to get them all clipped! And you need a windsuit to clip in...yes it gets hot but horse hair down the bra is just no ones idea of a good time!

  5. Oh dear, am I glad that BB was in a training barn and they taught her to stand while being clipped, I dont think I could take that from one horse least likely a whole herd like yours!!!!! Hope you dont have too many aches, pains, bumps and bruises from what was obviously a long tussle!!!

  6. HA! That was a very entertaining way of telling your clipping adventure. Hope your clipping didn't go that badly. You really should write a book!

  7. I love the gorilla wrestling term. perfect.

  8. OMG, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying! Thank you for a bright spot in my day!

  9. I love this picture of Legs, because he just looks so solid yet sweet. He looks just so beautiful and the way he is standing there, looking so solid and sweet and beautiful. I cant see how he could get more beautiful, do you? he's lovely. I hope I get the chance to have an Arabian farm like yours, and have lovely Arabians like yours. I would consider myself lucky to one day have a stallion as nice as yours. Must be A LOT of work, but you know what? it's the best kind of work in my opinion, wouldn't you agree? lol :).

  10. You've got me sitting here giggling like an idiot, getting strange looks from the rest of the family. THANKS! =P

  11. ha! too funny! i've so been there... right down to the emptying of the bra contents at the end of the session and having enough to stuff a cushion. and i don't even want to think about how much horse hair i've ingested. on more than one occasion, i have arrived at the horse show with odd patterns carved into my horse's coat as a result of a wrestling match. even when i finally get them done, i still feel like i lost ;-)

  12. I'm only glad that I draw and paint Arabians and don't have to wrestle them like you! I look forward to reading about more escapades.

    Franklyn Margasak