Recently there has been a lot of rule changes regarding where we can remove hair from our horses. No matter what side of the fence you reside on, there is usually a need for some sort of hair removal. It may be for the show ring, to make an older horse more comfortable, to treat a wound, or to simply trim a few hairs to make a bridle fit better.
Having the correct equipment for the job, and knowing how to maintain said equipment will make the act of hair removal infinitely more enjoyable for both you and your horse. Let’s go over some of your options.
Hair is going to get a lot of places when you clip a horse – no matter how small of an area. Make sure to wear clothing that won’t attract or stick to the hair, cover as much of your body as you can, and for major clip jobs, taping your wrists, ankles and any other open seams will make you feel much less itchy by the time the job is done.
Having a horse that is prepared properly to be clipped will make the process much quicker and more painless for everyone involved. A dirty horse is like sandpaper to sharp blades. A quick bath in a cleansing shampoo like the Farnam Vetrolin Bath, and a light spray with Absorbine ShowSheen will keep everything running smoothly (without running to the store for my blades).
Shopping for clippers can seem very overwhelming. There are so many options, and each one has a purpose – body clipping, “points” (legs and face), or minor touch ups.
For serious body clippers (like those who are going to be doing multiple horses throughout the season, or maybe have older horses who need multiple clips throughout the year) a set of true body clippers will speed up the process. Clippers like the Oster Variable Speed Clipmaster Clipping Machine offer a large blade coverage area, heavy duty long cord, and extra air intake to help keep the motor cool while slicing and dicing that hair.
For those who may do a body clip from time to time, but also want sometime to trim up around the legs and face, the Andis AGC 2-Speed professional clippers are a perfect combination or slightly larger blade face, but also small enough to navigate around delicate areas.
And for the perfectionist in all of us, there are the Wahl Animal Clipper Arco SE Cordless clippers. Their cordless design allows easy access to every nook and crany, while being quiet as to not disturb even the most sensitive unicorn.
3. Blade Maintenance
Keeping the clipper blades cool, clean and lubricated is what keeps them cutting beautifully and lasting longer than one or two uses. During clipping, having a spray like the Blade Care Plus Pump handy will continually wash away buildup and cool off of the blades. After use, using an oil like the Andis Clipper Oil will prevent rust.
Even with the best of care, your blades will dull a bit over time. Having them sharpened by a professional is awesome, but can also get expensive. A more economical option is using a sharpening kit like the Tough-1 Clipper Blade Sharping Kit where you can keep your blades going for a fraction of the cost.
4. After Care
Just like you wanting to immediately shower off all the little hairs after a hair cut, the horses need the same relief from the itchness. For a small area of clipping, a thorough grooming may suffice, but for a larger area, like a body clip, a bath with a soothing shampoo, like the Equiderma Neem and Aloe, will reduce itching, and also help restore moisture to the hair.
And the best part of clipping horses? Admiring your beautiful masterpiece before rushing off to get the hair out of your unmentionables.