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May 09, 2005

Clipping Your Donkey for Show - Part 7

Are you ready to clip your donkey's face now?

I like to clip my donkeys' faces in the second or third clipping session. By that time they have gotten used to the noise and feel of the clippers again. If you clip your donkey's face near the beginning of a clipping session then he won't be as bored and tired of standing still, and it will be easier to get him to hold his head still.

One of the essentials for this step is an assistant to keep the donkey entertained and happy while he is expected to stand still. Your assistant can feed your donkey grass blades or other small tidbits and treats one at a time while you are clipping. Another thing that has worked well for us is ear rubs. All of my donkeys like to have the inside of their ears rubbed. While my assistant is rubbing my donkey's ears, the donkey usually stands very still and relaxed - perfect for clipping.

Your donkey's neck should already be clipped, but not his mane. I start along the bottom curve of my donkey's cheekbone, clipping against the direction the hair grows. Once you have the first path clipped, continue clipping along beside your previous clips until his cheek is clipped. You will probably have to untie your donkey and drop the halter nose band down off of his nose for a bit while you clip his cheeks and under his jaw, so that you can get to those areas.

Probably the most challenging part to clip is the space under your donkey's jaw between his jawbones. Just try to clip opposite the direction of the hair and even it up as you go until you fell that you have clipped enough of the hair there and things look ok. Something that really helps is if your assistant can feed your donkey treats down low while you are clipping under his jaw, so that he stretches his neck out and makes it easier to get to the hairs.

You may also want to clip the area on the bridge of your donkey's nose, too, while his halter is down. Continue clipping up his face, carefully around his eyes, up his forehead, and between his ears and mane. Some people clip their donkey's whiskers, too, but I don't. I figure the donkeys where made with whiskers to help them feel, and I don't have a problem leaving them. I have also heard of some donkeys who wouldn't eat after their whiskers were clipped.

The tricks for clipping your donkeys face are:

1. Find a way to keep his head pretty still, and keep him happy.
2. Always clip opposite the hair direction (that direction changes between all the different areas of the donkey's face).
3. Watch for all the humps and dips in your donkey's face, and try to follow that contour with the clipper.

Once you are happy with the clipping job on your donkey's face, you are a ready to clip his mane. I start by folding the long part of his mane away from me. Then I put the edge of the clippers next to the bottom of the hairs I have folded back, and clip away from the mane hairs toward me. This gives a nice smooth, short edge along beside the mane.

Then I like to take a pair of sharp scissors and carefully clip my donkey's long mane hair back to about 1 inch long. Some people prefer to leave the mane long, and others prefer to clip the mane all the way off even with the donkey's short neck fur, but I think my donkeys look best with a little edge of mane along the top of their neck.

If your donkey has a dark mane and lighter body fur like my Elsie does, you might want to clip all the light fur off even with the body fur, leaving only the dark mane hair sticking up to be clipped off and 1 inch long. Here is a before and after picture of Elsie's face and mane.



Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at May 9, 2005 10:39 PM