Horse Clipping Tips From Eventful Eventing
My Top Tip
My best tip for the end of the clipping season is to get your clippers serviced and blades sharpened, ready for the following clipping season. There’s nothing worse than getting to the start of the season, getting your clippers out, starting to clip and then finding that half way round doing your horse, the blades go blunt or the clippers pack up and just stop working! Now this may be too late for some who have already hit this wall, but at least you know how to prepare for next clipping season.
Of course, if you clip all year round then it will be easier to judge whether your blades need sharpening or your clippers need servicing.
- I recommend having a spare set of blades, so you are always prepared and have alternatives for when you send yours away for sharpening.
- Oil your clippers every 5 minutes whilst in use, to prevent them getting too hot
- If you’re using clippers with a mains connection, I advise connecting them to a circuit breaker, just in case you accidentally go through the wire (or it gets damaged), to ensure the clippers are cut dead instantly, preventing any shocks to you or the horse.
- If you’re clipping on your own, use a step to support the horse’s front leg to give easier access to the elbow area. If you have assistant, ask them to hold the leg forward.
- Wash your horse beforehand so your horse’s coat is very clean, as this really helps make clipping easier and more comfortable for your horse. If it’s too cold to bathe your horse, I would suggest spot cleaning dirty and greasy areas, as this will help the blades cut through the hair. But make sure your horse is thoroughly dry before clipping.
- If you can turn your horse out or exercise them before clipping, this will really help them release some excess energy, and make your job a lot easier!
- Wear a helmet to protect your head in case the horse decides to kick or spook.
- Start with the horse’s shoulder, then work your way up their head. If you save the head til last, the likelihood is they’ll be fed up by this point, making it more difficult.
- Wear overalls or waterproof clothing so the hair doesn’t stick to you.
- Use long even strokes that overlap the previous stroke to prevent lines.
- Pick a sunny day as this will help show up any missed spots or lines that need a second going over.
For best results, use a hot cloth on your horse after clipping. This will draw out any loose hairs that could irritate your horse, whilst cleaning their coat at the same time, leaving them with a glistening shine!
Once you’ve finished with your clippers, clean them thoroughly, remove the blades, oil them up and put them back in dry storage until their next use.