As we prepare for the long winter months ahead of us, so are our horses. Fall is coming to an end and your horse is in full force of growing out their fuzzy coats. Ladies and gentlemen, clipping season is now upon us! This may be daunting to some, but we’re sitting down with Sue Pallota, an equine groom professional, to provide you with some of the best tips in the industry. I would like to give a special thank you to Bakers Saddlery and Purvida Healthy Horse for sponsoring this blog post!
Without further adieu, let’s get right into it!
Q. What are the most common types of clippers and blades?
A. The Wahl KM10 is a great for those clipping for the first time. They are light weight, low maintenance, and affordable! It comes with two speeds, which provides enough variety for beginners. In terms of blades, Andis T-84 are the best! For designs, like the Purvida logo, a toe blade is a great for precision and fine details.
Q. How do you clip their arm pits? They are so difficult!
A. Arm pits are tricky! The best way to do it is if you are able to hold the horses leg up so that the skin is stretched and taut. When it’s up and forward you can really just get underneath, but it really isn’t easy to clip arm pits!
Q. What is your best strategy when clipping a horses face that doesn’t enjoy it?
A. Approaching from the sides (cheeks) of the horses face is the best, then gradually making your way to the rest of the face. It allows the horse to familiarize themselves with the clippers, in addition to adjusting to the noise and feeling of the clippers being there. Most horses don’t mind having there cheeks clipped, but if your horse is really having a tough time then some form of sedation may be needed.
Q. What are your top tips for first-time clippers?
A. Be organized, have sharp and clean blades before, and try to be in a quiet environment. Make sure you have lots of time because you don’t want to rush it! Remember to be patient with yourself and your horse, that is extremely important.
Q. How do you avoid having lines everywhere?
A. After grooming your horse thoroughly, apply Purvida Leave In Conditioning spray prior to clipping to eliminate all the dandruff and dirt stuck in their coat. When clipping, make sure you're going against the direction of the hair with the clippers! The best technique to avoid lines is to use long even strokes.
Q. How often do I need to clip my horse through out the winter?
A. This question may vary but, generally one clip. Horses start growing their winter coat in August when the amount of sunlight starts to decrease. This means that come November/December, most horses will have grown their full winter coat. The length of the clip also depends on the amount of light the horse receives. Because light prevents the hair from growing and the darkness allows hair growth, it is dependant on the horses environment.
Q. Why do people clip their horses when it isn’t winter time?
A. There are a few reasons as to why people clip in what is considered off seasons. For horses who have a hard time shedding their coat or are unable to, it can be beneficial to their health. An example of this would be Cushing’s Disease. The disease causes delayed coat shedding, thus the horse needs to be clipped frequently. In addition, owners may clip horses who are in a rigorous program and who are sweating a lot. Lastly, it can often be a social and fashion commodity in the equine industry.
Q. what are your preferred clips?
A. In the winter trace or blanket clips provide the maximum warmth. These clips keep the winter coat on the top line which provide additional insulation where it is needed. For horses who have temperature sensitive backs, it is extremely beneficial for them.
Q: are there any clipping packages?
A. Absolutely! Bakers has a package that includes: blade wash; lube; Purvida’s conditioning spray; a dandy brush; and Rambo Quarter Sheet (both competition and exercise sheet). All these product are being offered at a discounted rate, 20% off. The best part is, it is fully customizable, right down to the colour of your new quarter sheet! Once you’ve put your clipping package all together, go ahead and check out- but don’t forget to apply the “clip20” code to receive the discount.