Q: A friend, who has put her horse out on loan, has given me her three-year-old clippers. I want to look after them, but don’t know how often I should have them serviced, how much it is likely to cost or how to choose a service agent.
A: In general, horse clippers should be serviced once a year, although, if they are frequently subjected to heavy use, they may need to be
looked at more often. In addition, you should always inspect the clippers before using them to ensure that the casing and power cable are not damaged.
A thorough service is likely to include an electrical test to check for any leakage of power through the clipper casing, stripping down and cleaning of the machine and sharpening of the blades. The best sharpening results are achieved if the repairer “precision laps” the blades, to obtain a highly accurate hollow grind. The machine should be tested once it has been reassembled.
Many servicing companies offer a postal service, allowing you to send the clippers to them with a turnaround of between two and five days. Aim to send them off towards the end of the summer, so they are ready for use in the autumn, when your horse’s winter coat starts getting thicker. Due to extra demand between
October and December, some repairers state that a service may take seven to 10 days.
To find a good clipper service agent, opt for a company recommended by a friend or contact BETA for a list of its retail members in your area. Ensure any company you are considering using will contact you in advance if any expensive work or replacement part is required, and that they will guarantee to redo the work if the clippers do not cut properly afterwards.
An average price for a service, without any replacement parts, is £25-£30. You may also have to pay up to £10 for postage.
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (8 February, ’07). Please send your equine related questions to HHadvice@ipcmedia.com