Whether you’re clipping a seasoned pro or a horse that’s having his first clip, getting yourself and your horse prepared is essential if you want the clipping experience to be a good one. Even a horse that’s good to clip can become bored, so getting everything ready before you start will help make the clipping experience more enjoyable for you and your horse.
- Clip in a covered and contained area that is well-ventilated. This will provide shelter from the wind or rain, so the horse doesn’t get cold, and will also help avoid disruption if the weather suddenly changes. Clipping in a contained area, such as in a stable, also means that should the horse break free, he can’t get too far. If possible, also opt to clip on a non-slip floor for your own safety and to avoid frightening the horse.
- Make sure the area is clutter-free, and the floor is clean and dry before you start so if any clipper parts fall on the floor, you can find them quickly and it also makes it easier to sweep and tidy afterwards.
- Good lighting is essential to allow you to assess your work properly and give you the chance to correct anything at the time.
- Distractions for your horse such as a haynet, can help keep your horse occupied and happy during clipping. You may need to remove this when you’re doing his neck and head.
- Use a rug to cover over the clipped areas as you go. A cold horse can be a lot less co-operative!
- Check your clipper blades are sharp and in full working order. Ideally, used blades would have been sent away for sharpening during the summer. A blade sharpening service is available from Clipperman. If you’re using your clippers for the first time, spend a few minutes familiarising yourself with the machine and make sure you’re completely happy with how everything works. Most importantly, ensure the clippers are well oiled. We offer Clipperman Clipper Oil for just the job.
- Check the tension of your blades. To do this, refer to your instruction manual. Incorrectly tensioned blades can cause the blades to get hot or prevent them from cutting correctly.
- Check you have all required accessories nearby such as a blade wash spray to flush away hair and remove grease, blade oil to keep the blades lubricated and help prolong the life of your blades, and a brush.
- Use a circuit breaker if your clippers run off mains power, and check it is functioning properly as it is vital for the safety of both you and the horse.
- Clothing should be appropriate, including rubber soled shoes, a boiler suit to wear over your clothes and gloves and a hard hat for extra protection.
- Make sure your horse is clean and dry. Washing your horse a few days before clipping can help to degrease the coat. If this isn’t possible, a good brush with a body brush or using a hot cloth on the day can help. A dirty coat can blunt the blades very quickly and the clipping process will not be as smooth and easy as it could be. Do not clip a wet horse.
- Use a headcollar that allows you to unclip large sections to make clipping around the face much easier.