Though it’s been a thing in mainland Europe for some time, hairy muzzles have just recently become acceptable in the US Dressage scene in the last couple years. And though I admit it’s still tidy compared to a completely untouched face (it appears to me that the top half of the muzzle is trimmed, but not the bottom lip/chin), I still prefer a more svelte outline.
From what I understand (and any full-blooded DQ’s are welcome to speak up and correct me), these whiskers are meant to help the horse maneuver through his environment, and so it is a kindness to the horse to leave some whiskers intact.
All of the upper level eventers I’ve seen have their horses trimmed to the nines, and that includes any wispy muzzle, ear, or even tail hairs. Why the difference? No idea.
Other disciplines have different views on facial grooming, and of course there are plenty of opinions to vary within those disciplines. Muzzles aside, I know those who won’t clip the ears in the summer because of bugs, or in the winter because it’s cold, and pretty much every reason in between. Who knew facial hair could be such a hot topic?!
Obviously, I fall in line with the eventers on this one. Truthfully, my opinions on trimming probably come more from my mother than from any trends, but it’s always nice to be in good company. And yet, a tiny little piece of me feels guilty as I zoom the clippers over his muzzle.
What do you do when it comes to trimming? Do you change your horse’s grooming regimen with the season? Share your thoughts!