As equestrians, we all know that winter brings with it the difficult task of keeping our equine friends comfy and well-cared for. One of the most important aspects of horse care in winter is coat management. With that being said, clipping your horse can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! With a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can have a painless and uncomplicated time clipping your horse.
Choosing the Right Clipper
When it comes to clipping your horse, the first and perhaps most important step is choosing the right clipper for the job. While there are many to choose from, you should always go for a reputable brand and model to ensure it withstands the pressure of intense and long clipping sessions. It's recommended to opt for a lightweight and straightforward horse clipper that you're comfortable using. Some equestrians prefer a cordless clipper like the Andis Vida Li Cordless Clipper, whereas others may prefer a more traditional corded clipper like the Oster Turbo A5 2-Speed Pet Clippers.
Preparing Your Horse
Before you start clipping, it's ideal to prepare your horse. Start by properly grooming your horse, so their coat is clean and free of tangles. Next, a full-body shampoo is recommended, allowing the clippers to glide effortlessly over the hair, making the job much smoother and quicker. It's essential to towel and dry the horse thoroughly before starting the clipping process, as any moisture left behind could damage the clipper blades.
To get an efficient and seamless clip of your horse, it's important to follow the right clipping techniques. Start by clipping the hair in the direction it lays to create a smooth and neat finish. The ideal length of the clipped coat usually varies from 6-10 mm. It's advised to consistently use clipper oil on the blades to help maintain the sharpness, which ensures you create a seamless, neat and fast clipping.
Clipping is a strenuous and time-consuming task, especially when clipping a lengthy coat or several horses. It's crucial to take breaks to stretch and rest, as well as to give your clippers a chance to cool off. If you find yourself becoming physically fatigued or feeling your clippers getting hot, a break is necessary. It's advisable to alternate clips frequently since they tend to overheat and reduce the performance of the blades. You might consider having clipper coolant on hand for this very reason!
Post Clipping Care
After the clip, you should make sure you cover the clipped areas when turning the horse out into the paddock. Keeping the horse warm is essential, as clipping leaves your horse more at risk for hypothermia. Applying a coat conditioner is also an easy way to keep the clipped areas hydrated. It's also worth noting that it's standard etiquette to tidy up after yourself. Clean up thoroughly after clipping, whether at home or in the yard.
In conclusion, knowing how to clip your horse is no easy feat, but by preparing, choosing the right equipment, following the correct techniques, taking breaks when needed, and post-clipping care, you can give your horse the perfect clipping that lasts long, ensuring they're comfortable and looking spiffy during the winter season. Clipping can be an enjoyable task if done correctly, so don't be afraid to take your time, and remember, practice makes perfect!