Top Tips: Horse Clipping

Top Tips : Horse Clipping with Lauren’s Equine Services

Being one of the most renowned  horse clipper in the Ottawa area, Lauren Fitzpatrick is one busy lady. Clipping horses for top Canadian riders, Lauren has made a successful and growing name for herself. Today, I wanted to get her top tips on horse clipping and how to achieve the best outcome when clipping on your own.

1. First and foremost know your horse. Find out if the horse has been clipped in the past. Does it have touchy spots? Typically, if it gets upset how does it react? Being aware of the animal you’re working with is important for your safety as well as theirs.

2. Prepare your work space and tools. Ensure your clippers are running well, they have been oiled and you have a clean and well lit work space. I always make sure I have my cool lube, oil, a stiff brush and my twitch handy.  I also make sure I have back up blades and parts in my tool kit.

3. Prep your horse. The cleanliness of your horse determines the outcome of the clip. In the summer, bathing your horse prior to its clip is your best option. A freshly bathed horse will always clip out beautifully. In the winter months ensure you have groomed your horse thoroughly, a light body spray helps the clippers glide through their coat nicely.

4. Start Slow. Turn your clipper on, make sure your in a safe spot to start your clip. I always suggest starting at the shoulder. When clipping horses we always work against the grain. I typically work on the less invasive areas first then proceed to the legs and head. I only do this once I have ensured the horse is accepting of the clip. If the horse shows sings of distress,  I will then determine whether the horse might need a sedative or just a handler to help.

5. Swirls, Loose Skin and along the mane. These three areas can be discouraging to a new clipper. Knowing the direction of the hair growth and how to maneuver your clipper is crucial. Keep in mind, you must always work against the grain. If the direction of the hair changes so does the direction of the clipper. Loose skin, don’t be afraid to use one hand to grab and tighten the area while using the other hand to maneuver the clipper carefully through, being cautious of not catching the skin. Along the mane, you will notice the hair will typically grow upwards. Therefore this is another instance where we have to change the direction of our clippers. I like to grab a stool and be above the level of the mane. I carefully use one hand to hold down the mane,  in the other hand I will guide my clipper downwards away from the crest. You will be able to see where the mane starts and where the coat begins.

6. Once over. After completing your clip. It’s always important to walk around the horse and ensure you have covered all areas. I always find spots that I have to go over once more to make sure I have removed all the hair.

7. Always finish with a light brush and pats for good behaviour! 🙂

Here are a few horses clipped by Lauren’s Equine services
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After care tips will follow shortly! Stay tuned !

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