Shorter days, cooler weather and fuzzy ponies have arrived! Mary’s is here to help. Here are 4 clipping tips to get you started:
1) Pre-Clip Beauty Care
Before you clip, your horse’s coat needs to be clean! Give your horse a good scrub and lather with a quality horse shampoo. Dirt and grime will dull your clipper blades more quickly. EQyss shampoos or Vetrolin Bath are great at removing dirt and nourishing your horse’s skin.
Give a good spray over of Showsheen or Calm Coat Pre Clip spray. This can help the clippers glide through the horse’s hair easily, reducing wear on your blades and those unsightly ‘lines’ in the coat.
Have somewhere to be? Shapley’s Light Oil is the perfect product to use for entering the show ring after a fresh clip. Shapley’s Light Oil smooths the hair and reduces the appearance of blunt, cut edges and provides a beautiful shine!
2) Styles of clips
The type of clip you decide to give your horse can depend on a number of factors. Two important considerations are your climate and your horse’s activity level.
Trace clips are popular because the coat is trimmed along the neck, chest and belly of the horse. This is where the horse tends to sweat most during activity. The horse will stay cooler during exercise and the remaining hair dries quickly. This cut can help keep your horse comfortable during the changing of seasons.
The full Monty. Nothing can be more gratifying than clipping. It. All. Off. Usually preformed for the show horse as the seasons start to turn, the full body clip erases the slightest hint of the shaggy winter coat. What’s left is a gleaming encore of your summer horse. If you choose to commit to the task- BE PREPARED! Have your horse’s blankets and day sheets ready BEFORE you clip.
3) Which clipper & blades do you need?
Do you plan to only tidy up whiskers and a bridle path? Clippers labeled as “Trimmers” are small, lightweight, quiet and very cost effective. Perhaps you’d also like to clip your horse’s legs, too. A single-speed clipper will have the added strength to much through the thicker hair.
Now let’s say your horse has some woolly mammoth DNA or you have more serious body clipping plans. A two-speed clipper can give you the lower RPMs for thicker/tougher cuts and a higher gear to help speed through body clips.
What’s with all those blade numbers?
The larger the number, the closer (shorter) the cut. For example, #T-84 & #10 blades are commonly used for body clipping and are usually included with the clipper you purchase. A #40 blade is surgical, down to the skin. Some people will use a #7 for body clipping and a #15 for fetlock and bridle paths. It’s all a matter of preference… but a #10 is a good start.
Most classic clipper blades are made from steel. Ceramic blades are made with a steel lower and a ceramic upper blade. Ceramic blades differ in function by staying 70% cooler that other blades. Ceramic blades also stay sharp 5 times longer than traditional blades. You care for and use ceramic blades the same way you would a classic steel blade.
4) Proper care and maintenance
Most clipper sets contain a small brush and a tube of clipper oil in the package when you purchase them. These items are just as important as the clipper itself. A large percentage of clipper repair shops can trace problems and damage back to the lack of proper lubrication. Use the clipper brush (or a toothbrush, if you’ve already lost yours) to remove hair and dirt. Add a few drops of clipper oil, such as Andis Clipper Oil, along the blade and sides. Let the clipper run to spread the oil around. Turn the clipper off and wipe off any excess oil.
Cool Care is a phenomenal product that kills 5 metaphorical birds with one stone! Cool Care acts as a Coolant (instantly cools the blade temperature), cleaner, rust inhibitor (Rust can begin in just 24 hours!), light lubricant (to be used in addition to clipper oil) and broad spectrum disinfectant.
Give your clipper blades a quick spray during your clipping session to the blades and a good spray when you have finished, to clean and protect your blades.
For more information and answers about which clippers will work for you, visit us in store or call (800)551-MARY and speak with our friendly staff! We’ll have the clipper supplies you need, and can answer just about any question you may have!