It’s that time of year when decisions need to be made about whether to leave your horse in his natural winter state or should some coat be removed to allow for his best winter care possible. So why might we clip? You need to ask yourself a few questions to make your decision.
Once you have the answers to these questions then you have to decide on what type of clip will best suit you and your horses needs. Here is a quick overview of the four most basic clips you can do.
Preparing your horse to Clip.
If possible, bathe your horse before clipping. My go to routine is a shampoo bath with Shapleys Hi Shine shampoo, using a good curry ( I love the HandsOn Gloves), to really scrub the coat and lift the dirt up to the surface. The cleaner the horse the easier and better the clip. Your blades will also appreciate less dirt to grind thru! Once I’ve rinsed out the shampoo I add a ¼ cup of Shapleys No.1 Oil to a bucket of hot water and sponge this all over the horse. The oil produces a slick surface that the blades can move thru efficiently. After scraping I towel dry the horse and blanket with coolers accordingly until the horse is completely dry.
Should you not be able to bathe your horse you can prep him by giving him a good curry to lift the dirt and then wipe him over with witch hazel to help remove it. You can then either towel bathe him with a bucket of warm water and adding the Shapleys No 1 Oil or you can apply Shapleys Magic Sheen thru his coat by spraying it on and rubbing it in with a towel. Either method helps to provide that slicker coat for the baldes to move through.
Allowing yourself enough time to clip is the number one piece of advice I can give people that do not clip on a regular basis. You never want to be in a rush, this can create a stressful environment for the horse as well as an unsafe one for you both. Always pay attention to your clipper blades. Make it a habit of checking the temperature and oiling the blades every 5 minutes. If blades are too hot you can burn the horse, oil aids in keeping the motor cool throughout the clipping session.
After Clipping Care
If possible bathe your horse after clipping to remove the clipping oil that can irritate the horses skin if left on. I will finish by adding a rinse made up of warm water and Shapleys Natural Elegance Moisturizer to aid in producing a finished natual glow to the coat.
Again if bathing is not an option, take a towel and bucket of warm water that has witch hazel and a drop of Shapelys No 1 Oil added to it and thoroughly towel off all the clipped areas.
I hope these few tips help you produce a well clipped horse Happy Clipping!