5 tips for clipping your horse when you hate clipping

It’s got to that time of the year when everyone starts clipping their horses. Mum has already clipped Rama three times(!) so this weekend I decided to clip Basse as he was really struggling with the warmer weather that we’ve had for the last few days ☀️😎 I’ve seen several helpful tips blog posts, but I wanted to make my own version for those of us who absolutely hate clipping and try to ignore it until you have to! 

So here are my 5 tips for clipping your horse when you really really hate clipping:

1. Give yourself plenty of time - there is nothing worse than being in a rush and trying to get the perfect clip when your stressed for time. I gave myself an hour and a half(!!) just to do an Irish clip on Basse because I haven’t had to clip a horse in over a year and I really dislike not being able to do an amazingly smooth clip in 30 minutes like some freakishly talented people I know. I also prefer clipping when no one else is at the yard so that no one sees me stressing!

2. Make sure you know exactly what clip you want before you start clipping - don’t rock up at your yard, full of hate for the fact that you’re having to clip and then realise that you don’t even know which clip style you should be going for! I spent the last week trying to decide between a blanket clip and an Irish clip for Basse, but then decided on an Irish clip, looked at plenty of photos of how it should look and then used a marker to draw the pattern on Basse so I didn’t have to decide what I was going to do there and then.
3. Know your own limits - whilst I was in the UK, I paid for Vallu to be clipped by a professional. There was no way that I was going to try to clip a big, noise sensitive horse like Vallu on my own. When we first had him he had to be sedated by the vet in order to be clipped and even then it was a rush job just to try and get the most hair off, so for someone of my (very) limited clipping skills to try and do a full clip for a horse like that, I knew I would be pushing my luck so I resorted to getting a pro to do the job! Which was just what Vallu needed, so that after three winters being clipped by a pro he is now totally chilled when being clipped and does not need sedating - yesterday he was super chilled out whilst being clipped! 🙈

4. Make sure you have the right ‘outfit’ sorted for clipping - we have a coverall at home that is used just for clipping and I have an old onsie that I was considering sacrificing, because there is nothing worse than horse hair getting everywhere underneath your clothes! Yeah you might not be at your most attractive but at least you won’t be fidgeting and scratching yourself every five minutes for the enterity of the time that you are clipping 👍🏻
5. When clipping you can put the hot blades on an ice pack to cool them off - This is a great thing to remember if you have only one set of blades as it lessens the time time wasted waiting for the blades to cool down. I hadn't heard about doing this until I was googling horse clipping trips but I will for sure be doing this the next time that I have to clip! There's nothing worse than having to wait around for the blades to cool down, so I think this is a fabulous tip to remember.

Do you hate clipping? Do you have any tips to share for the rest of us?

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