Top Tips for Clipping Your Horse

15 June 2017  |  Beth

Horse clipping is a bit of an art.  From how to tension your clipper, to how to get the best final result.

  • A 'medium' blade is usually more forgiving than a fine blade. It leaves less lines and is a good choice for beginners.
  • Different brands have different advice about how to tension your clipper.  You can start by slacking off the tension and tightening it until you hear a 'bite' (Liveryman advice), or you can start by tightening it and turning back the dial (Lister advice).  The truth is that if your blades are too tight, they will get hot.  If they are too loose they will not cut (a bit like children's plastic scissors - ever tried cutting with those?!).  Start clipping and you'll soon know if they are getting too hot and you can slacken off the blades.  Don't be scared to slacken off a lot - they just won't cut if you go too far.
  • Oil the blades a lot!  Heat is made by friction and the oil will help reduce the friction and will preserve your blades.  
  • Get your horse used to the clipper.  If your horse is nervous, hold the clipper by your horse without even clipping for a few minutes every day. Gradually hold the clipper on your horse's hair.  Some horses don't like the sensation of the lead on them - so you may need to consider a cordless clipper.
  • Take long slow strokes with the clipper - it's not a race and you will get better results.
  • Use a good quality clipper, not a trimmer!  It will take ages to clip a horse with a trimmer and it will eventually break the trimmer.
  • Ideally, you are meant to wash and brush your horse before clipping.  Any grit in the hair can blunt a blade very quickly.
  • It is always a good idea to have 2 sets of clipper blades. If one set goes blunt during a clip (this happens if the blade hits some sand or gravel) you don't want to be left with a half clipped horse!
  • Most large clipper blades can be sharpened.  
  • Most snap on trimmer blades can not be properly sharpened.

Top tips for clipping your horse - from Lister Shearing


If you have any questions about clippers, please don't hesitate to give us a call.  WE are a family run business and we are always happy to help. 01323 406212

FarmCare UK

Clipper and Electric Fencing Specialist

01323 406212

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