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

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  • #21
    If it is taking you that long..and not including legs, you are going too slowly.

    The key to a good clip is to use LONG even pressured strokes. It is using the same pressure that gives you a really clean look. Not short strokes. You want the blade to move neither slow or too fast but in a nice even manner. You want sharp blades and you shouldn't have to use much pressure. You know your blades are not sharp if you have to use too much pressure for them to cut.

    Start with a really clean horse, and keep your blades clean. After I clip, I like to give them another bath and rinse them with warm water and some baby oil diluted in the water. Let that sit on them for a few seconds, then scrape it off and towel them off so there is no extra left on them.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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    • #22
      Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
      If it is taking you that long..and not including legs, you are going too slowly.

      The key to a good clip is to use LONG even pressured strokes. It is using the same pressure that gives you a really clean look. Not short strokes. You want the blade to move neither slow or too fast but in a nice even manner. You want sharp blades and you shouldn't have to use much pressure. You know your blades are not sharp if you have to use too much pressure for them to cut.
      I really disagree with this. I clip with shorter strokes in a sort of fan shape. Hair doesn't all grow exactly in the same direction, so clipping in long, straight strokes is IMHO the easiest way to end up with lines.
      My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
      http://www.youtube.com/kheit86

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      • #23
        I have Lister Stars too. I do use the fine blade they came with. I clip my guy about 3-4 times a year. I do use long strokes and start up the neck. I also do it over 2 days, first day body, 2nd day legs/face - it's probably about 2 hrs total, but I like a perfect job. I spray the Oster Kool Lube repeatedly.

        I also have the Wahl Cromado small clippers (SmartPak sells it). They are my only small clippers, had them for 3 years now. I love the variable blade. At the 2nd smallest setting, they match my Lister Stars Fine blade exactly. I go over my whole horse in them to smooth out clip lines. I also use them on the face for all the bony parts I skip with the big blades. They are also perfect for leg bony parts.
        2leftsocks.blogspot.com

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        • #24
          Originally posted by To the MAX View Post
          I really disagree with this. I clip with shorter strokes in a sort of fan shape. Hair doesn't all grow exactly in the same direction, so clipping in long, straight strokes is IMHO the easiest way to end up with lines.
          I'm not going in long STRAIGHT strokes...but going in the opposite direction of the hair (how ever it is growing), following the body. Some areas you will need to use shorter strokes, such as the the flank, but over the large parts of their body, it comes out best with even pressured longer strokes. I used to clip for a living and this what worked best for me and how I was taught.
          Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Sep. 26, 2013, 05:56 PM.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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          • #25
            I don't bother trying to clip the forehead or top of the muzzle . You have to be super talented, with a patient or drugged horse, to get that without a giant amount of butt pain. I just do what another poster said and stop at the cheekbones, lifting the blades.
            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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            • #26
              My tip is to start at least two weeks before you plan on going anywhere, that way you can spend every day up until then trying to even it out, getting the patches you missed, and hiring someone to do it for next year. My poor pony.
              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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              • #27
                I've had success clipping mine while she's still wet from the bath. I just towel and then showsheen, and keep kool-lubing and oiling the blades. I'm sure I dull the blades faster, but I don't worry too much since I only clip my one horse - I keep a few to change out as I go and have the easy to switch Andis clippers. I'm pretty sure wet and clean is better than dry and dirty, and who has time to wait for a shaggy horse to dry in the cold?
                It does take me forever though. Last year I did it over two days (body day one, legs and face day two) and we were both happier.

                My other favorite thing is that I finally got a big proper toolbox to keep everything in. It has an extension cord, kool lube, blade wash, a little gladware to wash blades in, oil, a screwdriver, a simple twine twitch and a paint brush to clean hair out of the clippers under the blade, and extra small and large blades. It's nice to have everything in one place.

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                • #28
                  Wet clip.

                  I got lazy and clipped my guys while dry last year (after 6 or 7 years of wet clipping) and all I can say is NEVER AGAIN! All of mine will go back to being clipped wet this year.
                  __________________________________
                  Flying F Sport Horses
                  Horses in the NW

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                  • #29
                    Clipping

                    Clean, sharp and lube. We use alcohol to clean blades, then kerosene to lube. After a clip, warm bath with cider vinegar will bring up the shine.

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                    • #30
                      Lots of good advice...!

                      My two cents -- select clothing that you have no attachment to. No matter how many times you wash those clothes, you will never get rid of all the tiny hairs that will poke through the material and make you itch like crazy. I keep a bin of dedicated clipping clothes (including a clipping bra!). I even have dedicated clipping sneakers...

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by lintesia View Post
                        My two cents -- select clothing that you have no attachment to. No matter how many times you wash those clothes, you will never get rid of all the tiny hairs that will poke through the material and make you itch like crazy. I keep a bin of dedicated clipping clothes (including a clipping bra!). I even have dedicated clipping sneakers...
                        Unless you clip wet, and then not a single hair goes anywhere you don't want it!
                        __________________________________
                        Flying F Sport Horses
                        Horses in the NW

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                        • #32
                          I have a chestnut and I don't clip. The color is just too ugly when clipped (I know this from clipping a design on her once). She doesn't grow that much of a coat anyway! Good luck though to all who clip.

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                          • #33
                            Haha, I rarely bath my horses before clipping and my blades still last multiple full body clips before needing sharpening (and I usually only have 1 or 2 regular 10 blades). I show sheen them up and just go.

                            Seems to leave decent results

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                              I don't bother trying to clip the forehead or top of the muzzle . You have to be super talented, with a patient or drugged horse, to get that without a giant amount of butt pain. I just do what another poster said and stop at the cheekbones, lifting the blades.
                              Really? None of my horses have had issues with that area.

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                              • #35
                                I won't throw in on the body, since you have gotten a good bit of advice about it. For clipping the face, use a #10 blade and clip the whole head. Then go back with a #15 (if you use anything tighter than a #15, he will look like an Arabian--ha!) and clip from the tear bone down to under the jaw and the underside of the jaw. Then clip a "v" in the forehead, following the natural like of the horse's forehead and extending down to the inside corners of the eyes. Then clear the forehead, bridge of the nose, and the forehead with the #15's. This makes the head look more refined. To be honest, I do also clip above the eyes with a #40 and the muzzle with a very faint "v" between the nostrils, just to clean up the areas with very fine hair anyway. Make sure you do the outside of the ears with the #10's for home or #15's if you are going to show. Clean out the ears with a #50. Also, bridle path in #50's. If you'd like pics, just let me know. I have to clip today anyway. Good luck!

                                ETA: Always wipe the face with a damp cloth afterwards to pick up any loose hair and take a baby wipe or a paper towel with alcohol on it to wipe out the ears after clipping them.

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                                • #36
                                  PNW, how do you clip wet?? I've tried and even posted the results, and really was a fail. Other reported the same, others said the horse had to be soaking wet, not just wet.
                                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                                  • #37
                                    Trying to decide if I share the very accurate, but rather dirty (and very funny) comparison someone told me when I first learned to clip....

                                    Like others have said, clip a clean horse. I also usually give them a good dousing with Show Sheen or something like that a few minutes before I start (so it can soak in). That helps the blades slide through the hair better.

                                    Remember to put a little pressure behind your clippers. I often find, when teaching people to clip, that they are too ginger with the clippers, which actually tickles more and causes more twitching than if you lean into them a bit.

                                    Use whatever type of stroke you need to where you need to (this has something to do with the dirty thing I was told). I find that I do about equal amounts of long strokes and short, quick, turning strokes, depending on the horse's coat and where I am.

                                    Try and bathe the horse AFTER you clip, too. I find this helps their skin (especially if they are prone to being sensitive) and is better for getting all the little hairs off than a brush. I will put a glub or two of baby oil in the wash bucket to help moisturize, or, if I'm really pressed for time, I will just give them a rinse with baby oil and water. If it's really frigid, I might just do a rub down with hot, damp towels (with baby oil).

                                    Make sure any small clippers you use for touch ups and small areas match your big clippers.

                                    Realize that if you clip now, you are almost guaranteed a second clipping in late October, early November.

                                    FWIW, I am indifferent to wet clipping. I know there are those who swear by it, but I've not found it to be the earth shattering fantasticness others have. I've done it a few times, and while it certainly DOES help with keeping the hair out of your bra and contacts, I just don't get the fabulous results others seem to get (partly because one time I did, it was too cool, and the horse I was clipping started to shiver!).

                                    One thing I am very grateful for with my broken leg is I don't have to clip ANYTHING this year. I might have to pay to get my guy clipped while he's in training, but I won't be sad...especially since he's god awful!!
                                    Amanda

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                                    • #38
                                      PS- if your horse has sensitive skin, I find that I can use Show Sheen like Cool Lube. It might be a little tougher on blades (I usually have a couple of pairs at the ready), but it keeps the horse from breaking out in hives. I also can't use blade wash with my horse, so, again, lots of sharp blades is key.
                                      Amanda

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                                      • #39
                                        Seriously, bathe your horse first! I am always too lazy/short on time to bathe my hairy beast and then wait for him to dry (he lives out so no clean stall to put him in for dry time!) so I just do a super thorough grooming, but I always end up with lines. So do the bath thing.

                                        And do face/legs first! They are the trickiest and you don't want to have to be going around eyeballs and bony joint bits when your horse is "DONE" with the whole clipping thing!
                                        Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                                        PONY'TUDE

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                          PNW, how do you clip wet?? I've tried and even posted the results, and really was a fail. Other reported the same, others said the horse had to be soaking wet, not just wet.
                                          Horse has to be WET, not damp and not in the process of drying at all. I keep a sponge in a bucket and wet an area before clipping. If the hair starts to dry at all it becomes a nightmare to try to get through. Wet hair is good, dry hair is fine, but damp is the worst of the worst.

                                          My routine is to give the horse a bath and then not scrape much (if any) water off of them, followed by spraying them with show sheen, and then starting the process. Once I've finished a front quarter (neck/shoulders) I wet the sponge, rewet the horse and then proceed to the next section. It's faster, the clippers stay cooler, and my horses are better behaved than when I try to clip dry (because it takes me less time - not because wet clipping is someone nicer on the horse ). Not to mention the fact that my ill-planned dry clips last year rendered one of my favorite coats too hairy to wear again.

                                          I remember being really skeptical the first year I tried it. Right before I started I was watching my vet wash a horse's leg (wound) before clipping the hair and then addressing the injury, and I commented that I was getting ready to try wet clipping for the first time. She looked at me kind of puzzled and said, "why would you clip dry hair?"

                                          I'm a total convert. Especially after getting lazy last year and proving to myself 3 times over how awful it is to clip dry! Even cleaning up the hair afterwards is 10x the pain!

                                          And for the record, this is what my mare had to say about dry clipping last year:
                                          http://i1280.photobucket.com/albums/...32036808_n.jpg
                                          __________________________________
                                          Flying F Sport Horses
                                          Horses in the NW

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