How to avoid tram lines when clipping horses and ponies

Have you ever spent a good hour or so clipping your horse, for the final result to look as though your horse has been clipped with a lawnmower? If so, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. It’s happened to the best of us.

Read on to find out how to avoid unsightly tram lines when clipping your beloved horse.

  1. Ensure your horse’s coat is clean – bathe your horse first and let the hair dry before clipping. Grease in the coat will accentuate lines and also makes it harder for your blades to glide through the coat smoothly.

  2. Ensure you clip using new or newly sharpened blades.

  3. Check the blade set up on your clipper is correct. Different style clipping heads vary in the set up and tensioning of the clipper blades. This is particularly essential for clippers with a Heiniger style head.

  4. Use plenty of oil or cooling spray during clipping. Not only will this keep your blades running smoothly - it can help to flush out clipped hair from between the cutting surfaces.

  5. Regularly stop the clipper to remove any hair caught between the blades using the cleaning brush.

  6. With each strike of the coat, ensure to track the next line with ½ width overlap rather than another full width. The will remove ridges at the sides of the clip. See here

  7. Clip over the lines in a different direction but still against the lay of hair.

  8. Take short strokes with the clipper, rather than clipping long lines.

  9. Ensure the clipper is held level with the blades resting gently on the skin and run the clipper over with an even pressure. When the blade is angled upwards, this can lead to the blades digging in to the skin.

  10. When you are finished clipping, use a hot cloth and rub it all over your horses freshly clipped coat. This can help to reduce dermatographic skin reactions as recommended by professional equine groom Jillian Scott Clipper Services

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