Germany Bans Trimming Horse Whiskers And Ears

Secretary-general, Imke Lubeseder, of the German Equestrian Federation (FN) sent a reminder to all members noting that trimming whiskers and ears is against animal welfare and forbidden in Germany. The reminder stated:

“We would like to draw your attention to the fact that according to paragraph 6 of the German Animal Welfare Law, trimming the vibrissae around eyes and muzzle as well as clipping or cutting the hairs inside the ears of horses are prohibited.

Adherence to this rule at horse shows in Germany is being supervised by German authorities. Competitors can be fined if their horses are found unlawfully trimmed or clipped.”

Germany put this rule into effect in 1998 for welfare reasons but is permitted in most countries. Do you believe in trimming your horses whiskers? Do you find it unsightly to see whiskers at a show? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Do you trim your horses whiskers?

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30 Responses

  1. Jackie M.

    Whiskers around the eyes and muzzles of horses (and many, many other animals) are sense organs. While a whisker-clicked horse may look professional in the ring, the days a horse spends in a stall or out at pasture he/she is without those sensors.

    • Me

      So silly lol !
      They don’t really need them and I trim mine every few weeks .
      They don’t get into trouble with out them . Doesn’t effect them one bit and they grow back quickly

      • Anonymous

        It actually does affect them. A horse cannot see directly infront of nor below their faces. They require feelers to help guide them. If they didn’t serve a purpose evolution certainly would not have wasted precious energy sources making them.

      • Anonymous

        Horses whiskers are attached to a specific part of the brain. Clipping them is depriving the horse of one of it’s senses. How would you like it if someone took one of your senses away?!

      • Mike

        Brainwashed people seem to think they everything about animals yet they have never lived in the country

      • Anonymous

        Goes to show you don’t know anything about horses! They are sensors and they help protect the horse from dangers while in captivity!

  2. Constance Cardillo

    I agree with the law. Horses need their whiskers to help them sense what is under their noses.

  3. Anonymous

    With all the abuse that has gone on in horse showing this is what they are worried about???

  4. Anonymous

    Of course they need them. Why would evolution have developed them if they weren’t needed!

  5. Anonymous

    However the owner does it, I can’t control. I want my horse natural and my daughter who participates in horse shows is forced to trim and clip. We hate it. I think it is wrong that her name is crossed out if she chooses not to trim and cut.

    • Candie White

      Dear Anonymous- Your reaction is how so many atrocities get started. By good people doing nothing. You are teaching your daughter that a horse is an ‘an object’- that its anatomical need for whiskers to be safe, to feel its surroundings, to connect more fully, is ‘irrelevant’ as your daughter should rather ( show ) than become a great humanitarian. This is the opposite of what my mother taught me. My mother was courageous and always fought to animals and the bullied/abused. My mother was my hero and a light on humanity. What are you really teaching your daughter?

      • Seren

        You’re on the same side so it’s not fair to chastise, really. Some are meant to lead revolutions and some are meant to follow! That she agrees that horses should be natural is good 🙂

  6. Clair

    There are many breeds where trimming removes a breed requirement (feathers/long fetlock hair). This is forbidden, yet here in the States, if a horse isn’t trimmed up they are looked down upon. I’ve shown in 2 different countries besides the U.S. and rather enjoyed the natural look. Some breeds are not even allowed to have trimmed bridle path. They are, however, allowed to braid the mane in that area to make it easier for the bridle to set.

  7. whitcoll

    Trim? ,just rip the whiskers and long eye whiskers out and they are gone for the summer, and the follicles disappear.Same with the bridle path pull out the hair in your way.

  8. Mike

    Brainwashed people seem to think they know everything about animals yet they have never lived in the country

  9. Anonymous

    Trimming ears and whiskers for show horses (Arabs, Saddlebreds, Morgans, etc) is expected and if you don’t, you will not place based on your performance because of the lack of crispness of your horse’s appearance. Whiskers and ear hair will grow back quickly. . .very. If you do so, you should be sure to make sure your horses have fly protection for their ears. Keep in mind, these horses are also stalled.
    I don’t know how other disciplines judge on the appearance of the horse. If it isn’t relevant, then it’s not necessary and is best to skip it.

  10. babes mom

    ha ha! guess men need them too since they were born with eventual whiskers and hair in ears!! ha ha! no need ladies!! no need!! maybe evolution will fix that in time too!

  11. GJ

    I clip only long whiskers around the eyes and muzzle when showing. I never take them to the skin…….I always leave at least 2-3″ so my horses still have their nature sensory ability. Regarding ears, I only trim around the outside of the ears and just clean up any long tufffs hanging out of the ears.
    I agree my horses will be going outside after shows and will need their whiskers and ear hair for daily function.

  12. Theponylady

    I trim the edges of the ear hair. So they look nicer when, showing, but they still have protection from bugs, dust etc. We clip muzzles too, but dont go for the totally clean shaven look, not even for those showing in hand. They grow back in days. For those saying “how about just ripping out your own eyelashes andand brows”, that’s just people who know little about horses speaking out. They’ve watched Spirit one too many times lol NO one rips out horses eyelashes. Show me ONE horse who has had eyelashes removed. As to ripping out brows 1)horses don’t HAVE eyebrows 2)humans rip their own out ALL the time, there’s an entire industry built around it! Horses do have aa few long hairs above their eyes that do help them manuever their heads when reaching under things (such as fences). However, I’ve seen just as many horses who have never had those hairs trimmed (NOT pulled) whack their heads on things, so I’m in doubt that they are particularly useful.


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