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Clipping Your Horse: Essential Tips for the Best Results

Selecting the Right Clippers for Your Horse

As a responsible horse owner, it’s important to maintain your horse’s appearance. Clipping your horse’s coat is one of the ways to do this.

You may want to clip your horse for various reasons, including medical condition, trimming for a show, personal preference, or body clipping. Body clipping involves removing most (if not all) of the hair from your horse’s body, while trimming involves tidying up a few areas.

Based on your needs, there are different types of clippers to choose from.

Types of Horse Clippers

If you only want to tidy up a few spots, you’ll need touch-up clippers. These are specifically designed for small trimming jobs.

However, if you need to do a more comprehensive job, body clippers are a better option. Body clippers come in different sizes, and you’ll need to consider the size of your horse before deciding which type to purchase.

For instance, a cob-sized horse will require a smaller clipper than a large draft horse. Another aspect to consider is whether you want corded or cordless clippers.

Cordless clippers offer more mobility, while corded clippers provide more power. Blades are also important, and you’ll need to choose the correct clipper blade depending on the coat thickness and the length of hair you want to remove.

A #10 blade is a versatile option that works for most types of coats.

Best Horse Clippers for Specific Body Parts

Different parts of a horse’s body have different hair lengths and thickness, which means that you may need different types of clippers depending on the body part you want to clip. If you’re clipping your horse’s body, the Andis AGC Super 2 Speed is one of the best options.

It’s a fast, reliable clipper that can handle all types of coats. For legs, the Wahl Professional Bravura Corded/Cordless Clipper and Oster Clipmaster Variable Speed Clipping Machine work well.

The Bravura is great for precision clipping, while the Clipmaster is ideal for removing long hair on legs. For the face, consider the Wahl Mini Arco Clipper, which is proficient at cleaning up whiskers and trimming around the muzzle.

The Wahl Pocket Pro Clipper is excellent for delicate areas like the ears, while the Bravura clipper can tackle manes.

Tips for Clipping a Horse

While clipping a horse may appear simple, there are specific things you need to consider to ensure good results. Below are some tips on how to clip your horse effectively:


Desensitizing your horse to clippers: Clipping is a noisy, intimidating experience for horses, and they may become nervous or jumpy during the process. To avoid this, ensure that your horse is relaxed before clipping.

If he’s jittery, try stroking him or providing treats. 2.

Clipping rain-scalded horses: If your horse has rain scald, or any other skin disease, clip him as per your vet’s advice. However, avoid over-clipping the affected area, especially if it’s painful.

3. Clipping feathers: Feathers are the long, bushy hair around a horse’s ankles.

Clipping feathers is a personal choice, and you should do it as per your needs. Note that clipping feathers may affect your horse’s hoof health, as the hair offers protection against mud and water.

If you decide to clip them, do so just above the fetlock, and avoid cutting into the hairless area. 4.

Using dog clippers: Avoid using dog clippers on your horse’s hair. They may not be sturdy enough and may damage your horse’s coat or skin.

Pro Clip Tips for Clipping Different Body Parts

1. Monitoring blades: The blades get hot during clipping, and they can burn your horse’s skin if you’re not careful.

Therefore, you should monitor the blades regularly and switch them out when necessary. 2.

Starting with clean hair: It’s essential to clip your horse’s hair when it’s clean and dry. Start by washing the horse and brushing the hair to remove any mats or tangles.

3. Using oil and cooling spray: Clipper blades can heat up quickly, leading to discomfort for your horse.

To prevent this, you should use blade oil and cooling spray to keep the blades lubricated and functioning effectively. 4.

Clipping with the direction of hair growth: Clipping against the direction of hair growth can cause skin irritation and uncomfortable clipping experience for your horse. Therefore, you should always clip with the direction of hair growth, as it provides a smoother and less painful experience for your horse.


Clipping a horse is essential for maintaining your horse’s appearance. Selecting the right clippers, following the right clipping procedures, and ensuring that your horse is comfortable during the process significantly impacts your horse’s health and grooming routines.

With these tips, you can clip your horse efficiently and without harming or irritating your horse’s skin. Consider these tips the next time you want to clip your horse to achieve the best results and keep your horse comfortable throughout the process.

Additional Considerations for Clipping Your Horse

Clipping your horse plays a crucial role in maintaining your horse’s appearance. However, it’s vital to remember that different circumstances call for different types of clipping.

Factors such as the horse’s coat type and the intended use of the horse require specific clipping styles. Here are some additional considerations relevant to clipping your horse.

Importance of Using the Right Tools

When it comes to clipping your horse, using the right tool for the job is paramount. Using the wrong tool can lead to ineffective or even damaging cosmetic results and may even injure your horse.

For example, using touch-up clippers on a horse’s entire body may not be efficient and may even result in your horse having a botched appearance due to uneven clipping. Therefore, it’s vital to select the right type of clippers for the job at hand.

For instance, body clippers are more efficient in removing large patches of hair, while a trimmer may be the right tool for tidying up the ears and face. Make sure that you research the intended use of the clipper and pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommended usage.

Importance of Clipping Whiskers

Horses have fine sensory hairs, also known as vibrissae, around their face, nose, and mouth. Vibrissae form part of the horse’s sensory awareness system.

These hairs are fundamental in helping horses navigate their environments and aid in their self-defense from potential predators. However, some horse owners choose to clip their horse’s whiskers for cosmetic reasons while others, for practical reasons.

For example, competitive events such as dressage or show-jumping typically require a horse to have a neat presentation, which includes trimmed whiskers. Nevertheless, in recent years, concerns have been raised about the practice of trimming horses’ whiskers by the Veterinary Committee and the FEI.

Experts recommend leaving horses’ whiskers intact, and the FEI now has a ban on clipping horses’ whiskers for events under their auspices. Therefore, it’s vital to consider the intended use of your horse when it comes to whisker trimming.

Always prioritize your horse’s health, and avoid cutting his whiskers if you plan to participate in competitive events that prohibit whisker trimming.

Maintenance Tips for Horse Clippers

Once you’ve identified the right tools for clipping your horse, it’s vital to maintain them to ensure that they work efficiently for all your horse grooming tasks. Here are some tips for keeping your horse clippers in excellent condition:


Clean out excess hair: When you’re done clipping your horse’s coat, make sure to clean out excess hair from the clippers. This prevents the hair from clogging the clippers and affecting their performance in future grooming sessions.

2. Oil the blades: Clippers work best when the blades are lubricated with clipper oil.

The oil helps to reduce friction between the moving parts and keeps the motor cool. 3.

Use cooling spray: Clippers can heat up fast during use, which can lead to discomfort or pain for your horse. To avoid this, you should use a cooling spray to cool the blades and reduce the temperature of the clipper.


It’s essential to source and reference any information you use when clipping your horse. The equine community has several reputable sources that can provide tested and approved options for horse clippers, clipper oil, and cooling sprays.

Online resources, equine supply stores, and your equine veterinarian are excellent sources of information on which tools to use and how to use them effectively and safely.


In conclusion, clipping your horse is a necessary process that requires optimal preparation, including selecting the right tool for the job. While practical and cosmetic factors can influence your decision, it’s critical to prioritize your horse’s comfort and safety during the clipping process.

The additional considerations discussed above are crucial for anyone who intends to clip his or her horse effectively. Proper maintenance of clippers, sourcing information from reputable sources, and prioritizing the health of your horse are critical aspects of the clipping process that every horse owner should learn to ensure successful grooming sessions.

Clipping your horse is an essential part of maintaining their appearance, but it requires preparation, attention to detail, and the right tools. Selecting the proper clipper for the job, considering the intended use when it comes to clipping whiskers, and properly maintaining your clippers are all critical aspects to ensure a successful grooming session.

Remember to source information from reputable sources and prioritize your horse’s well-being to achieve the best results and a comfortable experience for you and your horse. FAQs:


Why is it important to use the right clippers for my horse? Using the right clippers ensures that you achieve the desired results without causing damage to your horse’s coat or skin.

2. Should I clip my horse’s whiskers?

It depends on the intended use. Some owners clip whiskers for cosmetic reasons or before participating in competitive events that require neat presentation, while experts recommend leaving horses’ whiskers intact.

3. How do I maintain my horse clippers?

Clean out excess hair, oil the blades, and use cooling spray to ensure long-lasting and efficient performance from your clippers.


Where can I find reputable sources of information about horse clipping? Online resources, equine supply stores, and equine veterinarians are all excellent sources of information on horse clipping practices and tools.

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