Horse Clipping Tips
Updated: May 11, 2020
Body clipping your horse may be the best choice for them in colder months, or a necessary evil for show horses. Though clipping is usually a requirement for most show horses, it is also something you should carefully consider based on your horse’s living conditions, the weather, and how much you work them. If you keep your horse fit and exercised in winter months, it may be appropriate to body clip or partially clip your horse.
However, body clipping a horse is an art. That is why many people make a profession out of equine body clipping. Before you begin, here are some game-changing tips to help you have a stress-free clipping experience.
Before you clip, bathe your horse. A clean horse will make the job easier and reduce the number of clipping lines. Clipping a dirty horse will dull your clipper blades over time.
Make sure your horse is entirely dry before you begin clipping. Wet hair is almost impossible to clip correctly and will eventually rust your blades.
Spray show sheen or a hair polish on your horse’s coat before starting. This will help the clipper blades move smoothly through your horse’s hair.
Thoroughly oil your blades before and during clipping. Make sure when you oil the blades, they are on and pointed down to prevent the oil from running into the motor. To avoid the blades overheating and possibly burning your horse’s skin, make sure you use a lubricating oil or cooling spray every 5-10 minutes.
Body clip by running against the horse’s hair growth. Reposition your horse so the skin is tight in harder areas like elbows, stifles, and under the neck. Using your free hand, stretch the skin slightly as the blade runs against the hair.
If you want to do a trace, hunter, or blanket clip, it is helpful to draw your pattern with a washable crayon or marker before clipping. Take your time and go back over any track lines. You can clip diagonally or in a W pattern to tidy up any clipper tracks.
Don’t worry if your first attempt stinks. In a few days, you won’t be able to tell. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to dive in. Make sure to clean hair and debris from your clippers with a small brush and clipper cleaner. This will help prolong the life of your blades and start your next clipping session ready to go.
The Finished Product – Summer & Cole