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Body Clipping

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    Body Clipping

    First time poster, long time lurker

    I've always done my own body clipping to save money, and have gotten good at it over the years. To help fund my horse showing habit, I've decided to start offering clipping services to others. A few questions:

    I have a good idea of what I'll charge, but I'd like to hear what you all typically pay as well. For a full body clip including legs/face/ears/muzzle? For a trace clip? Especially those in the Southeastern US.

    I plan to ask for the horse to be clean when booking the appointment, but how would you handle it if you showed up and the horse was dirty?

    What about badly behaved horses? Do you charge extra? This part seems potentially tricky to me because "badly behaved" is a subjective term.

    Travel fees—how do you decide when to start charging them, ie “30 miles or more from x area” or would you determine by time, “45 minutes or longer from x area”? And how would you calculate how much to charge?

    Thanks in advance!

    My trainer charges $150 for a horse and I believe $125 for a pony, for full body including legs/face/ears. Plus the cost of drugs if those are needed. Not sure about travel as she is on-site. And yes the owner is expected to have the horse thoroughly bathed and show sheened ahead of time.


      When I lived in Virginia I payed between $125-$150 for a full body clip depending on which person I got to do it. Both were on site so no travel. If the horse was known to be bad you had to provide the drugs and be there to administer them. Behaving was basically could they clip without leaving lines and the horse standing still. If a horse wasn’t bathed and ready the one woman would just walk away. I find my horse preferred to have a haynet of alfalfa while clipping and she’s not the only one.


        I had one horse who hadn't been bathed despite the requirement that he be clean. The owner insisted I clip the horse, so I explained I would need to add $50 to the fee to cover the cost of new blades. She agreed.


          I would define "behaving badly" as anything that requires extra time on your part or requires you to grab a handler to assist...behavior that affects your ability to complete the job within a normal time frame or at a normal result.

          A little wiggling on a ticklish flank (even maybe with a non-nasty cowkick)? Not a big deal to me. But one that's constantly moving around or pulling back or generally being annoying, making me take 30 minutes longer? That affects my ability and/or result, so while it may not be dangerous, it does affect your efficiency.

          I would require horses to be thoroughly bathed and show-sheened to your satisfaction, giving you the ability to assess a surcharge or walk away if you come to a less than satisfactorily cleaned horse.

          People do have different definitions of clean or good behavior, but what what matters is whether it affects YOUR ability to give a good result in a reasonable amount of time without incurring damage to yourself or your clippers.

          $150 is what I typically hear; $125 for a pony.
          Jennifer Baas
          It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)


            I pay $125 for a pro body clipper. She brings an assistant, which I don't need, but the job gets done faster. If a horse is bad, she has drugs and it is $20 more. There is no travel charge, I wouldn't pay that. There are many pro body clippers in my area to choose from. She is in and out fast and does a great job.


              $75 for an Irish clip (same charge if she's doing any sort of partial clip within a certain range of hair removal) and that included any travel.

              My mare had never been clipped before so we had no idea how she would react but I would have expected to pay extra if she had behaved horribly. Fortunately she stood like a champ.

              My friend did full body clip excl legs and whiskers (incl. face & ears) and i believe she paid $125 but got a small 'mate rate' as she'd done a small favor for the woman earlier this season or something.


                I'm in Florida.
                I would expect to pay $150 for a full body clip, $75-100 for a trace depending on how high of a trace.

                Personally, if I showed up to clip and the horse was dirty I would decline to clip it, charge a $35 no-notice-cancellation-fee, and tell them if they want to reschedule they can but the horse must be bathed and dry to get clipped. But, you can do as another posted said and charge an additional fee if you're willing to clip them dirty.

                Bad behavior that prolongs the clipping time by more than 30 minutes I'd expect to pay extra. Or, pay for drugs.

                Travel fees should always be charged by mileage. It's not the client's fault if you're a slow driver or get stuck in bad traffic because a semi flipped over or something. Really up to you how much you want to charge for what distance.


                  When I clipped professionally years ago, I charged $100. If I did it today, definitely $150, and $100 for a trace clip.

                  I always used a new, fresh set of blades and since all the horses I did were on my list to do again later in the Winter, I sold the customer the blades afterwards.


                    I pay 170 at a show barn and horse must be bathed; I'd charge the cost of new clippers if the horse wasnt.


                      I charge $125 for a full (face and legs), $100 for a hunt clip (no face/legs) and $85 for a trace. The horse must be bathed to my satisfaction or I charge the cost for a new set of blades (but proceed to clip, regardless). If the owner wants the face and legs clipped, they (or a barn worker) MUST be on hand with drugs. I am happy to try and clip without drugs or utilize a twitch, but have a low tolerance if the horse won't settle to do a show-quality job. Once the horse is known to me and proven to be a "good boi" I don't require the owner to be there with drugs.

                      Caveat: I ONLY clip for my trainer. I try to do her clients a solid by giving them a deal. About half of these horses are ones I have known for several years. I am comfortable handling them on my own and the owners are comfortable me handling them on my own. It is not uncommon for me to schedule a clip at 7PM after work. I turn on the radio and work on my own. Again, new clients and new horses need to "prove" good behavior before I work with them without the owner or a barn worker present.


                        We pay $160 directly to one of my trainers’ grooms. They bathe.
                        The Evil Chem Prof


                          I am still in the beginnings of clipping, this is my second season doing it “professionally”. I’m in Florida. I charge $100 for a full clip, nose to tail. I do not clip (or ride, or braid) nasty client horses anymore, it’s not worth it. I don’t charge much yet because I feel I still have things to improve on, but I will raise my prices when I’ve perfected my skills.

                          I expect the horse to be bathed and DRY when I arrive, otherwise I 1) won’t clip or 2) charge extra for new blades.

                          I charge mileage over 30 miles, $1.00 per mile, one way.

                          Keep in mind, clipping is a very expensive business. You have to keep your blades sharpened and oiled, you have to keep lots of products (cooling, lube, cleaning, horse oil spray, etc) and you must keep up maintenance on the clippers. I also use compressed air to keep my blades clean.

                          Do not let someone complain to you about prices. I often have to spend a portion of each clip on some sort of maintenance item, and I spend quite a bit of time on the horse also. Set your prices for what you think you’re worth, and don’t let someone tell you different. Also, take your time and make it look good. You’ll build a clientele in no time.


                            I paid $180 to have our pony (yak status) clipped, which included a travel fee. The groom traveled about 45-1 hour. I had bathed Yak Pony myself. Though it’s higher than the $150 most charge around here- it was worth it to me because I had surgery on my knee. My pony is excellent to clip but bending around wasn’t in the cards this year.
                            Come to the dark side, we have cookies