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Time to Body Clip My 3yo.....For the First Time......Suggestions?

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  • Time to Body Clip My 3yo.....For the First Time......Suggestions?

    Like the title says......we weren't doing enough last winter to even consider clipping, but this year it is clear already, that he is going to need clipping! He is already fluffy as a dandelion......our horses switched to day turnout WAY too late

    He is a long 3 year old, OTTB. Very quiet and sensible, and generally good for regular muzzle, leg, ear clipping. Never been body clipped though, and I am trying to decide what is the best approach here.

    I have the option of paying for clipping at our barn, and they do a good job, just not sure how "gentle" they will be (in terms of using the clippers, not handling him). I want this to be a good experience, since I am setting him up for a lifetime of clipping here. I COULD do it, but I really despise body clipping! Should I give him a little "cocktail" from the get-go, just to set the stage right? Shop around for a "gentle" clipper? Bite the bullet, and do it myself?

    Any, and all advice about how you went about making your horse's first full body clip a good experience! He is SUCH a good boy, that I want to make sure I do right by him!
    Where am I, and what am I doing in this handbasket???

  • #2
    Just clip him. If he does legs/muzzle/ears without a problem, he will probably be fine.

    If YOU are the one who doesn't like clipping, why would you need to give HIM a cocktail??

    My only suggestion would be, consider whether you really need to do a full body clip -- at 3 years old is he really going to be working that hard all winter? Maybe some type of trace clip or blanket clip would be more suitable.
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


    • #3
      Well, if he's good for muzzle, ears and legs the rest will be a piece of cake. You might be best to let people who clip do the job. They will be quicker and probably won't let him get away with anything if he starts to get impatient. Nothing wrong with that.


      • #4
        I bought a very green 6yr OTTB over the summer. He has been going great so I body clipped him a couple weeks ago.

        Halfway through the clipping my trainer ( mom of previous owner) said to me " huh I don't think he has ever been clipped"

        Oh well that never occurred to me

        I have always clipped my horses and never once thought he might have a problem with it! He didn't, stood there like an old pro.

        I say just do it. If you are not worried I doubt he will be.


        • #5
          Go slow.
          1. Don't just charge at him with clippers on. Turn them on a ways away from him or walk him past another horse being clipped.
          2. Let him tell you when enough is enough. Getting a 3 year old to stand still for the hour or so it will take for a clipping is unrealistic.
          3. Consider a simple trace clip for his first time. It will look more symmetrical.
          4. Don't beat yourself up if this clip looks like crap. It's hair, it will grow back out.


          • #6
            What Cougar said if you do it yourself.

            Personally, I would go ahead and let the pro at the barn do it. A confident hand often makes it much easier - even on the ground thery can sense if you have fear.


            • #7
              If there is someone in your barn that is a pro I'd have them do. I'd also give him a cocktail. If he's a little more relaxed an didn't need it where's the harm?
              I clipped professionally for years. Horses clipped better when they were extremely clean and there owner wasn't present. If the owner is anxious the horse picks up on it and starts thinking WTF maybe I should be worried.
              Insist that the clipper blades be new. Your horse should be fine.
              Remember, you can clip him next year.
              Equine Art capturing the essence of the grace,strength, and beauty of the Sport Horse."


              • #8
                Like someone else said...I'd start with some sort of partial clip (neck/chest) and see if that is enough for this year. When I started my horse as a 4yr old I didn't work her near hard enough for her to break a sweat....


                • #9
                  I think you should give YOURSELF a cocktail and see how it goes.

                  A Black and Tan... A Mojito?? Hot Spiked Cider??

                  You decide....
                  Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



                  • #10
                    I do my babies' clips myself. I never start off with a full body clip. One day I'll just turn on the clippers and clip their chest and bottom part of their neck--easy areas. Normal babies that are used to having minor clipping done--like muzzles and fetlocks--never mind this. I'll finish them up over a couple of days. I have a set of nice quiet but powerful clippers that I use for the face and legs. I don't hesitate to use earplugs and a cocktail for the trickier parts or if a horse is fidgety.

                    If I hired someone to clip my babies for me, I'd give them a bath and a nice cocktail as insurance that it would be a pleasant experience for both. There is nothing wrong with using sedatives appropriately for things like clipping.

                    I find that for a trusting, well brought up youngster the issue isn't so much the clipping itself (noise, vibration) as it is necessity of standing still for a slightly irritating procedure for such a length of time. That's why I try to do it myself and break it up the first time.

                    I prefer my own cocktail AFTER clipping, not before, you don't want to make a messy job of it!


                    • Original Poster

                      Quick update on the baby clipping, and thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I especially liked the ones for a cocktail for myself!

                      I decided to let the pro-clipper at the barn do the job. I had a converstion for him before hand to fore warn him that it was the first time for my boy, and we discussed options, and I left it in his competent hands! I fretted all morning until I could go out to the barn. When I got there, he was already turned out with his blankie on and his fancy new haircut!! Talked to the clipper and my trainer, who both said my boy was awesome for the whole job. He didn't need any sedatives, and stood still for the entire job, head and ears included!

                      Can I just say how much I LOVE my little OTTB!!!!! He is so awesome!!!!
                      Where am I, and what am I doing in this handbasket???