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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,310

    Default Tricks of the Trade - Clipping the show horse...

    Okay so I know there are many threads out there on clipping, but doing a search I just couldn't find what I was looking for.

    I am getting ready to clip my boy this weekend. I do a body clip but leave the legs since my boy is on pasture board, but we are still actively showing during the winter. So this being the case, in the past I have clipped too late and was not able to have a super clean horse which I have read is very important.

    What are your tricks of the trade in clipping from bathing to clipper care? Any special things in their coat? Showsheen?

    I have a set of Wahl Lister Star clippers. It just took me FOREVER (like more than 2 hours) to accomplish a clip.

    I am also looking for tips on the head/face. I find it takes me nearly two hours alone for that. I do have a pair of Oster A-5 2-speed for the smaller stuff.

    Thanks in advance!
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2000
    Posts
    3,237

    Default

    Kerosene dip for clipper blades as I clip. I've got Oster variable speeds and A5s - old as dirt but maintained and get the job done great. Clean horse, sharp blades, kerosene dip and sugar cubes. Decent brew for post clipping.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Location
    The Part of TN in the Wrong Time Zone
    Posts
    2,126

    Default

    I don't clip anymore, but when I did I used calm coat preclip spray which was great. I first bath with cheap diluted dawn soap, rinse and then bath again with eqyss shampoo. Then I take a little baby oil or straight undiluted show sheen and mix it really well into a bucket of water and sponge all over his body. I sweat scrape then put a fan on to dry. Once completely dry I use the calm coat spray and get ready to start. I make sure to have multiple blades to switch out when one gets dull or too hot. I think it's really important to keep the blades sharp.
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2012
    Posts
    2,044

    Default

    My trick of the trade? Prayer and a bottle of Jack Daniels. SO MUCH HAIR AND SURFACE AREA: http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...pse423879b.jpg
    Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


    15 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2004
    Location
    Souderton, PA
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    3,377

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    I only have a pair of small clippers with the wide T-84 blades. And I am a perfectionist. It takes me HOURS to give my normal sized TB a full body clip. My tip is to do the areas that your horse doesn't really like to have done (legs and face for my guy) early. The blades are cooler, the horse is more patient, and from there it's easy going. I also usually buy 2 blades right off the bat. When my first pair even start getting a tiny bit dull, I switch. I think my method pays off.

    As long as you have an indoor wash stall with hot water, I don't see any reason why you can't get him as clean as he needs to be, even in cold weather.

    Missed your question about the face. The trick is stretching the skin!
    My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
    http://www.youtube.com/kheit86


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,631

    Default

    If you don't have medium blades for your Lister Stars, order some. Don't use the Fines they come with to body clip. They are too close, IMO.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
    Posts
    136

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    I always bath before I body clip and then rinse horse with a bucket of warm water and about 1 cup of showsheen diluted in water. The clipper blades glide right through the hair. Always a brand new blade to body clip. I have never found sharpened blades to ever work as good as new.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,310

    Default

    Great tips everyone!! How can you tell if a blade is dull why clipping? I know mine arent, but just curious to look for signs as I go!

    Fordtraktor! Thanks for the advice! I actually did go and get the medium ones last year for that exact reason! I don't mind a nekkid pony but that's toooooo nekkid!
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2013
    Location
    MA and NC
    Posts
    782

    Default

    So I don't have the luxury of buying new blades every time I want to clip a horse, but if you dunk your blades in Oster Cool Lube regularly it shouldn't be much of a problem. The trick is to keep your blades CLEAN. Part of that is getting the horse clean. I usually use vetrolin products, the vetrolin shampoo and then I use the liniment wash mixed really well with some baby oil on the coat afterwards. If the horse has a particularly thick coat, I'll spray them with the shine spray to help my blades glide through more easily.

    I use my good old Clipmasters and I start by making my lines over the legs so that I have a point of reference, and then I do the head and "tickle spots". Now when I do the head I only do the bottom half and blend by slowly lifting my clippers off the horse's face so that I don't have to spend 3 hours clipping a face. I stretch the skin in "hard to reach" spots so that it's easier to get in there with my clippers and make small clipper strokes so that I don't leave any lines. If I make a line I go back over it in every direction with the clippers and it'll usually disappear.

    I always bathe afterwards as well, some horses have a reaction to whatever you use to cool your clippers with (I've used diesel, kerosene, cool lube, etc. still a reaction on some).

    Edit: The easiest way to tell your blades are dull is that they'll start roughing up the hair a little, and not making as smooth of a clip.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,631

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    Quote Originally Posted by cswoodlandfairy View Post
    Fordtraktor! Thanks for the advice! I actually did go and get the medium ones last year for that exact reason! I don't mind a nekkid pony but that's toooooo nekkid!
    I learned the hard way the first year with mine. I had a very, very nekkid black pony who was mouse-grey all winter. Hideous! And once I started I felt like I couldn't stop.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA
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    1,281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by To the MAX View Post
    I only have a pair of small clippers with the wide T-84 blades. And I am a perfectionist. It takes me HOURS to give my normal sized TB a full body clip. My tip is to do the areas that your horse doesn't really like to have done (legs and face for my guy) early. The blades are cooler, the horse is more patient, and from there it's easy going. I also usually buy 2 blades right off the bat. When my first pair even start getting a tiny bit dull, I switch. I think my method pays off.

    As long as you have an indoor wash stall with hot water, I don't see any reason why you can't get him as clean as he needs to be, even in cold weather.

    Missed your question about the face. The trick is stretching the skin!
    This is what I use as well as with plenty of Showsheen. I love the T-84 blades. I do the legs, underbelly and head one day, and do the rest the next day. I am also a perfectionist, however the T-84 blades never leave lines. Make sure you have sharp blades. I have about five blades, so I always have a sharp one to use. I use blade wash for dipping and WD 40 to spray on the blades.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2012
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,240

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    My trick this year for my wooly mammoth was to clip early! I always wait until he is fully coated to clip ant since his hair is so long and thick its really hard to make clean lines in hard to reach areas ( think under belly close to sheath, inside of hind legs-he gets at least 3" long hair in that region, girth and elbow area, under his jaw/throat latch). So I expect to need to clip at leat 1 more time as his coat continues to grow in, but right now in a full clip he looks awesome, it's the best clip I've done yet!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2013
    Location
    ON, Canada
    Posts
    452

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    Definitely find a way to give him a good bath, really make sure to scrub up on top of their bums. I always find that the hair up there is thicker to begin with so if it isn't clean it will dull and heat up your blades right away.
    On that note, like the other posters said, sharp blades are important, it will just go so much quicker. I also usually have multiple blades and cool lube so that I never have to wait for blades to cool down.
    Other then that, while I have clipped lots of horses on my own, having a helper around can knock some time off. If there's someone to hold a front leg up it makes the elbows easier, and can make the whole shebang quicker for those guys with ticklish legs.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    5,211

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    A really, really good bath to start. Super scrub the areas that collect dirt, like the rump and the legs (if you were going to do the legs). Then as they are drying Showsheen the crap outta them. And seriously, don't be stingy with the Showsheen, and make sure on the tough areas it really gets to the base of the hair.

    Where I start does depend on the horse, on mine she doesn't really care so I usually start on the body (it goes faster than the legs) and save the face for last.

    Then when I'm done they always get an oil bath to get all the hair off and help moisturize the coat/skin.

    As for clipper care? I like to have two blades I alternate between and they're stored in clipper oil, and I lubricate often when clipping. Each blade seems to last about 2-3 clips before becoming too dull. I use the T-84 blade as well on the Andis Super 2 Speed, and a full clip on a 17-18 hander takes me around 3-4 hours.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA
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    1,281

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTimes View Post
    Definitely find a way to give him a good bath, really make sure to scrub up on top of their bums. I always find that the hair up there is thicker to begin with so if it isn't clean it will dull and heat up your blades right away.
    On that note, like the other posters said, sharp blades are important, it will just go so much quicker. I also usually have multiple blades and cool lube so that I never have to wait for blades to cool down.
    Other then that, while I have clipped lots of horses on my own, having a helper around can knock some time off. If there's someone to hold a front leg up it makes the elbows easier, and can make the whole shebang quicker for those guys with ticklish legs.
    I done tag team clipping with one person on each side. It makes the job go that much quicker.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    3,094

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    When you bathe, be sure to use a curry comb (i.e, wet the hair, drizzle/slap on some shampoo, and CURRY the shampoo in, especially the neck, back, and rump). That will ensure that you really get down to the dirt against the skin. Then rinse well. I scrape, show sheen well, and let dry.
    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2008
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    3,029

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    Quote Originally Posted by SidesaddleRider View Post
    When you bathe, be sure to use a curry comb (i.e, wet the hair, drizzle/slap on some shampoo, and CURRY the shampoo in, especially the neck, back, and rump). That will ensure that you really get down to the dirt against the skin. Then rinse well. I scrape, show sheen well, and let dry.
    ^ Yes!

    I've never clipped my own horses but I've clipped a lot of school horses.. the best protocol is to start with a warm tub of water (to dip clippers in to rid of residue/hair), oil/lube, two clippers, and a helper. After shampooing/currying/rinsing the pony, showsheen and then CURRY that stuff in too -- really well, especially around areas where the fur is thickest - I find the chest, stifle/flank region and bum are the coarsest. It may seem like a waste of showsheen but it saves clipper life and makes clipping way easier. If your horse can tolerate it, have two people clip one on each side.. but make sure they are of equal talent clipping-wise -- nothing is funnier than a pony who looks like he was clipped for the circus!!

    PS. Fordtraktor call me crazy but I *LOVE* the mousy color dark bays/blacks get when they are clipped -- I think it's adorable!!
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2009
    Posts
    1,172

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    a good bath and multiple sets of clippers, and lots of time are your best friends when clipping. The rest is all personal preference



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2011
    Posts
    332

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    Another thing to keep in mind if you are not getting the performance you think you should from your blades, is that the little "blade drive" part inside the clippers gets worn out & stretched. it is a simple plastic part that makes the side-to-side motion of the top and bottom blade occur. It is about $4 and easy to replace; I put a new one in each year (I might use my clippers on 10-12 horses a year). It really helps the blades perform. if they are sharp but this part is worn out you will not get a good clip job


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2012
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    687

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    There has been so much good advice, I can't think of anything to add, other than patience! Don't rush, take breaks for you and your horse. This will make the whole experience much more pleasant.

    It takes me a good 2+ hours to clip my draft cross, but when I am done you can't see a line or mark on him. I always use new blades (T-84 wides) and a #10 on his face. For his ears and some of the hidden areas, I will use my small Oster clippers that have a #15 (I think) or even higher on them.
    ~ Because sometimes you need a rainbow, butterfly, unicorn kitten.



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