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adventures in clipping - or, HELP!!!

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  • adventures in clipping - or, HELP!!!

    So, I tried to give my horse a trace clip the other day. No, I've never attempted it before. Yes, it was a crappy idea and the results are crappier than crap. He's really been miserably sweaty even just standing in his stall or I'd have never been seized with such madness. And of course I have a show in three weeks. I tried reading all the tips I could find on the internet before I started. What do I do now? Skipping the show is really not an option. But I don't want to go with my handsome horse looking butchered. I've talked to everybody I know who might know how to do it and they don't seem willing to try and straighten it out, even for money.
    Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!

  • #2
    turn it into a full bodyclip? that is the only thing that I can think of, but now I have to ask, do you have any pictures because it can't be that horrible that you can't pay a pro to fix it


    • Original Poster

      No, my camera died a while back. The folks I know are trainers and don't really want to be arsed with it. There are no show grooms I know of in my area. Maybe an hour away, but I don't know any of them. I'm speculating on the full body. It still gets cold here though.
      Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


      • #4
        The difference between a bad clip and a good clip is about two weeks- that's about how long it takes for a horse to grow enough coat to hide most lines. If that's the problem, then grit your teeth and close your eyes while you groom him.

        If your horse has the kind of undercoat that makes him now look like a brown horse with yellow stripes like mine did when I trace-clipped him, curse the color gods for your mealy horse and really try not to look at him.

        If not looking at him is not an option or he really looks terrible, I wonder if the trainers you know would know of clippers in the area and might be able to give you a phone number.
        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

        Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


        • #5
          Originally posted by mortebella View Post
          No, my camera died a while back. The folks I know are trainers and don't really want to be arsed with it. There are no show grooms I know of in my area. Maybe an hour away, but I don't know any of them. I'm speculating on the full body. It still gets cold here though.
          I'd do it if you leave near me, I am in Palm Springs, California. Let me know if you are close-by.
          ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
          *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
          *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
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          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Bugs-n-Frodo View Post
            I'd do it if you leave near me, I am in Palm Springs, California. Let me know if you are close-by.

            Just my luck!!!! I'm in Tennessee!

            And yeah, my horse is a bright red chestnut. His clipped areas are almost WHITE. I think that's a big part of the problem. I used a #10 blade, which I read somewhere is what I was supposed to use, but it seems like it really scalped him. The other thing is, at the lower margins, like going across his forelegs, I couldn't get it to cut. I watched Youtube videos and people seem to cut sideways to get those nice sharp borders (all the while they're telling you "always use your clippers AGAINST the grain of the hair"...) Well, going in a big swoopy line over the foreleg is not really against the hair; it grows DOWN. And my clippers were just CHEWING on that hair.
            They were cutting through his massive belly fur just fine, as long as I was going AGAINST the grain, so I didn't think they were not sharp. But I couldn't get through the foreleg sideways. So I had to go UP the foreleg, and as a result it's very uneven - or, I don't even know how to describe it. I got it fairly straight in the end, but instead of having that sharp margin look, it looks "blended" like the way they describe the technique for clipping white socks and not having a hard line at the margin. Except this just looks WRONG. And that's just the lower border. The upper looks like a shelf hanging over and it does show clipper marks. These were essentially the problem areas on his shoulders where I couldn't get the clippers through sideways, and had to go UP against the grain of the hair, rather than making a long swoopy border to start, and then finishing the clip inside that border. His chest and neck look relatively ok, except that the color contrast is really harsh.
            Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


            • #7
              Where in Tennessee are you?

              I'm near Nashville and would be glad to help if I can. I'm no pro, but I clip my horse every year, and sometimes a couple for friends. Here are some pictures of my handiwork:


              I'm having my wisdom teeth removed on Thursday, but I'm sure we could squeeze something in. My work hours are pretty flexible.


              • Original Poster

                Oh, he looks good! I just couldn't get that sharp looking margin - maybe it WAS my clippers??? Like, even if the LINE was straight in itself, the overall edge was furry. Gosh darn it, I'm all the way up in Johnson City, 5+ hours from you. I SO appreciate all the offers of help. there's an h/j scene in Knoxville, about 2 hours from me, but there is just not a lot where I am and that's big part of why I'm so w/o resources to fix this!
                Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


                • #9
                  What kind of clippers did you use? Does he have track marks or just an uneven/fuzzy line?

                  If you used little clippers/trimmers, like A5s or a similar size, then you probably ended up with all kinds of track marks and uneven lines. I LOVE my Clipmasters - I can do a trace clip in about half an hour with them. A lot of the time, you get the fuzzy line margins when the head of your clippers is really small. I mark my trace clip lines off with livestock chalk or painter's tape and clip straight across, from tail to nose, first. Then I go in vertically and even up the fuzziness. Sometimes you need to take a brush and smooth down the coat to check the lines. If the hair gets pulled forward as you're clipping, you can get some funny looking edges there.

                  Good luck! I'd say either give it time and hope for the best or bite the bullet and just do a full body clip, depending on exactly what your issue is. I promise that no one but you will notice most of your "problems". We are our own worst critics!