Responsible Horse Care - How should I clip my horse

Date: 4 October 2013

Preparing for Clipping

Before you begin clipping, your horse should be clean and dry.

To help keep your horse settled, make sure you have fed him before you begin clipping and clip at a time when the yard is quiet, so you limit the distractions. A well-lit stable (with the bedding swept back) is a good place to clip your horse because he'll be comfortable and settled in familiar surroundings. If this is not possible, find somewhere that's undercover and out of the wind.

To eliminate the risk of accidently clipping some of your horse's mane or tail, it's a good idea to bandage the tail and band the mane. It's also good practice to use a piece of saddle soap or chalk to mark out the type of clip you are giving your horse.

If you're clipping a young or nervous horse, it's a good idea to get him used to the noise of the clipper well in advance.

You could also spend some time in his stable with the clipper running and run the clipper over his body while it is switched off. Once he's happy with the clipper turned off running along his body, turn the clipper on and place the clipper on his body but with your hand between him and the clipper to minimise the vibration.

Once he's comfortable with that, move the clipper directly over his body, going with the direction of hair growth to avoid cutting. The aim is to get him used to the noise, vibration and sensation of the clipper so that when the day you want to clip comes, he'll be completely comfortable.

Before you begin your horse clip it's really important to prepare your clippers - you should make sure they are clean and in good condition. When checking your clippers the main points to look at are the cables, blades, tensioning and the general condition.

Before you begin clipping, buy a clipper that suits your needs.

How to clip

Turn the clippers on away from your horse before calmly approaching him. Start at the shoulder, as this is the least sensitive area. Use long, overlapping strokes that go against the direction of hair growth.

Do not attempt to clip folds or wrinkled skin - pull his skin tight with your free hand. Do not force the clippers through his coat. If the blades are not cutting then they may need sharpening.

When you clipping whorls (where the direction of hair growth changes), you'll need to change the direction/angle of your clippers accordingly.

Remember to brush and oil your clippers every 10 minutes. Check that the blades are not getting too hot or blunt. Swap them for a spare set if they are.

Undo the throat lash of the head collar or even put the head collar around his neck if your horse is quiet, so you can trim under his jaw line easily. If you're clipping half of his head, your clip line should be where the bridle's cheek pieces sit.

Once you have finished clipping the horse, brush off all areas to remove any loose hair. You will now be able to see if you have missed any areas. Once you are satisfied with the clip give the horse a final wipe down. Remember to rug your horse even if he is going to be stabled.


Recommended products: 
Daslö Professional Horseclipper 
Daslö Mane(pet) Clipper 
Clipper Oil 
Natural Body Brush Sure Grip Shaped