Equestrian Needs Ltd


Before you Start

  • Clipping should be enjoyable, it is better to remove a small amount of hair and have a happy horse than a distressed horse with a full clip.
  • Some horses may require sedation during clipping but this can make them unpredictable so ask an experienced person to help you.
  • Clipping should be done by more than one person. Although it shouldn’t hurt, some horses do not like the noise or have sensitive skin.
  • Ensure you clippers have been serviced and the blades sharpened before using them this season.
  • Clipper tensions vary so make sure the machine is correctly tensioned, check the manufacturers recommendations. If the tension is too tight, the blades will heat up, too loose and they won’t clip properly.
  • Your horse should be clean and dry. Dirt and grit will blunt your blades.
  • Bandage the tail and plait over the mane to keep the hair out of the way
  • You can mark the clipping lines with chalk. Study the muscle lines on the legs and mark out accordingly
  • Apply a spray coat gloss to body hair before clipping making it easier to glide through the hair
  • If you are using mains powered clippers ensure there is a circuit breaker


  • Generally it is advised to clip in a well lit area. Natural light is best, it is easy to miss areas in a dark stable. If possible clip in an area with non slip flooring which should be dry.
  • It will be less stressful if you can avoid feeding and turnout times and a filled haynet can be a helpful distraction when you are clipping the body.


  • Wear suitable clothes for clipping. Hair will stick to fleece so overalls and a cap will help. Sturdy footwear for the dancing horse will help to preserve your toes and a hard hat may be required for young or difficult horses.
  • Remember you are basically "undressing" your horse so ensure you have a rug ready to put on the clipped areas to prevent your horse from getting cold.

After Care

  • After clipping, brush your horse off with a soft brush then hot cloth him by using a towel in hot water with a splash of disinfectant or baby oil. It will help to remove grease and lift hairs and make him more comfortable.
  • Once clipped your horse will be prone to get cold. Consider your rug choice to ensure he is kept warm at all times, particularly at night when the temperature drops.

Horse & Hound Mary King Master Class