For most riders clipping their horse is essential during the winter months.

The clip must be appropriateto the level of work done and rugs will be required to keep the horse warm while turned out or standing in the stable.

Some people clip their own horses, while others pay a professional, but whoever is doing the actual clipping, the combination ofelectrical equipment and horses is potentially hazardous.

Follow the precautions below to make clipping safe and enjoyable experience for both the horse and yourself.

  • Wear rubber soled footwear.
  • Tie long hair back.
  • Clip in a dry, draught-free, well-lit environment.
  • Make sure your extension lead, which should be fitted with a circuit breaker, will reach comfortably from the power source to your clipping area.
  • Allow the clippers to run for a while so the horse becomes accustomed to the noise.
  • A haynet may help fidgety horses to settle.
  • Always use new or newly sharpened blades for a good result.
  • Always clip using long strokes, moving against the lie of the coat. Keep the blades flatagainst the horse’s skin.
  • Make sure your horse’s coat is as clean as possible before you start clipping. Dirt will prevent the blades from clipping smoothly, and dusty coat can cause the clippers to overheat.
  • Clean the blades and clippers regularly with a soft brush.
  • Oil the clippers frequently to prevent overheating.
  • Have a competent assistant available to help with tricky areas.
  • Have your rugs cleaned, aired and ready to use. A spare rug is often helpful, as a cold horse is fidgety and difficult to clip.

    For more advice on stable management, see the December issue of HORSE magazine, or click here to subscribe.