A guide to clipping your horse
Winter months are closing in on us, and it’s now time to make the decision as to whether or not you should clip your horse and which clip would be most suitable for your horse. This is especially the case when you are continuing to ride and exercise your horse.
Things to consider when clipping a horse
Which pattern should you clip? There are so many horse clips to choose from, each which are suitable for different needs, disciplines and riding styles. Would you like a blanket clip horse, a hunter clip horse or a fully naked horse?
When clipping your horse, it is also important to think carefully about wearing appropriate clothing. For your own safety you should wear sensible shoes such as yard boots and you should always protect your head with a riding hat. For comfort, overalls can be very handy as it can allow the hair to slip off you as loose horse hair can be very itchy.
Why you should clip your horse?
You should consider having your horse clipped if your horse sweats heavily during normal exercise or during the winter months when their coat grows out. Clipping your horse stops them from overheating, and eases stable management. The grooming routine is often reduced as it’s quicker to dry and clean your horses coat and skin when they’re clipped.
There are a variety of horse clipping patterns you can create on your horse depending on their type of work.
Types of horse clips
1. Bib Clip
How to achieve this look: Remove only a small amount of hair from the front of the neck and chest.
Ideal for: Light to medium work and horses that are turned out more.
2. Chase Clip
How to achieve this look: Remove hair from the underside of the neck, belly and around the front of the legs and chest.
Ideal for: Horse’s that sweat a lot around the girth and neck area. Used for horses being clipped for the first time.
3. Trace Clip
How to achieve this look: Remove half of the neck hair and partially remove hair on the head, along the side of the belly and the horse’s flanks.
Ideal for: Horses that are in moderate work and turned out by day, ensuring warmth and protection.
4. Blanket clip
How to achieve this look: Leave the hair on your horse’s legs and the area that is covered by a rug or exercise blanket.
Ideal for: Horses in medium to hard work so that they can exercise without getting too hot.
5. Hunter clip
How to achieve this look: Leave the hair where the saddle patch would cover the body and also leave the legs.
Ideal for: Horses in hard work, however care must be taken to ensure your horse is always protected from the elements.
Caring for your clippers
- Keep the blades sharp
- Oil the blades during operation to ensure they are running smoothly
- After clipping, make sure the blades are cleaned thoroughly and all hairs are removed and the blades are oiled
- Remove tension set and blades before storing
- Store in a cool, dry place
Rideaway’s Best Horse Clippers
- Clipperman Fortress Clippers
Lightweight yet powerful, these clippers are suitable for those wanting to cut a whole yard of horses.
- Clipperman Dragon Clippers
Extremely easy to carry whether you’re traveling or tidying up around the yard, these clippers have no leads to trip over due to its battery pack function.
- Wahl Bravmini Trimmer
Very quite as well as cordless. Ideal for reaching those hard to reach places on nervous horses.
How to cut a horse’s mane
If your horses mane could do with a trim, we recommend using a thinning comb. This will give a nice natural look without the need to pull the mane. To start with, brush your horses mane through with a standard mane comb. Sweep it over to the opposite side of the horses neck so the underside is on show. Starting at the base of the neck, gently comb to the ends. If your horse has a thinner mane, take care not to take too much at once. Take a step back and assess as you go.
How to cut a horse’s mane with scissors
While we recommend using a thinning comb or thinning scissors for a natural look, it is possible to trim the mane with regular scissors. Firstly, comb your horse’s mane through. Hold the mane comb in the mane as a length guide. Carefully begin snipping below the comb and in an upwards position, holding the scissors at a 90 degree angle to your horse. Doing it this way will stop it looking harsh.
If you liked this blog, you might also like ‘Winter Grooming Tips’