Are you are planning to clip your horse this winter? Sometimes is it more practical and easier to clip your horse over the winter months as exercise regimes tend to make horses sweat more with their winter coat intact.
Have you thought about which clip you will give your horse? Think about the level of work you horse is in and what rugs you will have to keep him warm before starting to clip.
Here are some handy tips to help you beat the itchy task…
- Before you start make sure you have a well maintained pair of clippers and the blades are sharp. Having some clipper oil and a spare pair of blades handy is a good idea too.
- Wearing a pair of disposable overalls is ideal so you can protect yourself from all the hair. Avoid fleece type materials.
- Give your horse a good groom before you start to remove most of the dirt before you start.
- It is best to clip your horse in a well-lit area or on a bright day so you can see where you have missed any bits.
- If you are clipping in the stable rake back the bedding so that the hair is easier to clean up afterwards.
- Fit a circuit breaker between the clippers and the plug for safety. If you are using an extension cable ensure the cables are free of any damage and roll it out fully to prevent overheating.
- If your horse won’t stand still, give him a haynet to distract him and keep him busy.
- If your horse hasn’t been clipped before you will need to spend some time desensitizing him.
- Use a damp piece of chalk to trace the lines where you will clip to. You can also use string to help give you a straight line and a saddle pad to give you the saddle area.
- Always start at the shoulder and clip using long, overlapping strokes that go against the direction of the hair growth
- Check your clipper blades aren’t getting too hot and regularly clean and oil them about every 10-15 minutes to keep them from blunting.
- When clipping around the elbows and under the stomach get a helper to lift the horses leg to prevent nicking his skin where it folds when he’s stood normally.
- If you are taking off a lot of hair don’t forget to keep your horse warm as you go. You can cover his back end with a rug whilst you clip the front end and vice versa.
- Switch to smaller trimmers for the face and legs if possible. They are quieter and much easier to use around the delicate areas.
- Once you have finished give your horse a good groom with a soft brush to remove as much of the short chopped hair from his coat to prevent irritation. Or if you can wipe him down with a hot cloth to remove any hair or grease. Then rug him up accordingly to keep him warm.
- You can clip as many times as you like through winter but avoid clipping after the beginning of February as you may damage the horse’s summer coat.