A step-by-step guide to the perfect clip
Step 1. Decide whether you need to clip
When deciding whether or not to clip your horse, there are a few key questions to consider. First of all, are you or your barn staff going to be able to check on your horse daily to make necessary wardrobe changes? Second, what will your horse be doing this winter? Is he taking it easy or is he regularly working up a sweat? Finally, where does your horse spend most of his time? Is he tucked up in a heated barn or out in the elements all day?
Clip tip Timing. Wondering when to clip? For more answers and tips, go to SmartPak.com/WhenToClip and read our blog by Emma Ford, one of the most respected grooms in US eventing.
Step 2. Choose your clip
Need help deciding? Visit SmartPak.com/ClipOrNot
Step 3. Bathe your horse
When your horse is clean, you can clip faster because the blades will glide along instead of getting hung up in a dirty coat. Plus, clipping dirty hair will dull your blades much more quickly. If you don’t have a heated
wash stall for bathing, try using a hot, wet towel along with a grooming spray like Eqyss MicroTek
Step 4. Gather all your supplies
When choosing a clipper, it’s important to decide what features are most important to you. Consider weight, versatility (i.e. can it be used for more than just body clipping?), and whether it’s corded or cordless.
A bit about blades
It’s important to take proper care of your blades. To ensure that they stay cool and running smoothly, keep them clean and well oiled. You also want to have them sharpened regularly. Dull blades catch the hair and tug on the skin, which isn’t fun for your horse. You can send them out to be sharpened professionally, search for a local sharpener (many knife sharpeners will take clipper blades), or get a kit to use at home.
Blade care accesories
Step 5. Clip away!
For a quick clipping tutorial, check out our “Body Clipping 101” blog and video at SmartPak.com/BodyClipping
Introduce your horse to the clippers slowly to let him get used to them. Horses are often most comfortable being approached at the shoulder, so that’s a good place to begin clipping. Once he’s used to the clippers, move on to the legs (if you’re clipping them) so you get the tricky part out of the way before he gets bored and antsy. Take plenty of breaks, constantly check your clippers to ensure they’re not getting hot, and have fun!
Clip tip: Finding a happy place. Clipping can be stressful for you and your horse, so choose an area that’s as calm and quiet as possible!
Step 6. Support your horse’s coat
Do you dread the dull coat that comes with clipping? Consider feeding a skin and coat supplement! These rider favorites are smart choices for supporting your horse’s skin and coat health from the inside out.