5 types of clip you’ll only meet in the real world

  • Clipping season is upon us, and many of us are thinking about which clip to give our beloved steeds this year. A trace? A chaser? A hunter?

    While we’d all like our horses to come out looking like the illustrations in the BHS manual, sometimes things don’t quite go according to plan.

    1. The spot bot

    This striking little number can be seen on horses that aren’t keen on being clipped. Perhaps you’ve just got this horse and haven’t had time to get him fully accustomed, or perhaps he’s got one particularly bad spot that you can’t get to. Either way, you find yourself adopting the ‘little and often’ policy, and clipping that hair off in stages at the rate of about an inch a day. By the time you finish, the hair on his neck is starting to grow back again. Your horse looks a bit motheaten for months.

    2. The half and half

    Hands up, this one’s your fault. Your horse stands like a saint, but once you’d got about halfway down his shoulders something went wrong — the motor went on the clippers, the power tripped or you accidentally broke the blades. This is less of a clip, and more of a patchwork quilt.

    3. The harder than it looks #1

    Your usual person can’t come out for weeks, or you’ve just got a new very hairy pony who needs clipping practically every 10 minutes. You’ve begged, borrowed or invested in a set of clippers, and you’ve decided this is the year you have a go yourself. Afterall, your horse stands like a rock so how hard can it be? Turns out, harder than you thought. No-one’s told you about marking the lines out beforehand, so one side of your horse looks like a map of the Andes, while the line on other side is several inches higher. Also, you weren’t quite sure what to do about the top of the legs but it probably wasn’t what you actually did. You quietly buy an exercise sheet.

    4. The sorry with a fringe on top

    Your lines are lovely and straight, but being the perfectionist that you are you’re convinced that one side is slightly higher than the other. So you take a bit more off. Then off the other side as well. The off the first side again. In no time at all, there is so little left that you might as well take the whole lot off.

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    5. The harder than it looks #2

    You’ve seen some beautiful photos of ‘clipping art’ on social media — owners who have clipped their horses’ names into their coat, along with hearts, stars and more. You borrow some tiny trimmers and get stuck in. Three hours later, you think it’s going quite well until the yard dog barks suddenly, making you jump, and your hand jerks accidentally changing the ‘e’ in Betty to an ‘o’. Hey ho, that’s three hours you’ll never get back.

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