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The biggest frustrations of horse clipping

Tim Ryman |

At this time of year, our horses are slowly turning into woolly mammoths and whether you love clipping or hate it, there are some things that can make clipping a lot more stressful than it needs to be.

Dirty coats

Blades don’t like filth! Even if your horse looks clean, your blades will last significantly longer if you bathe your horse before clipping to fully remove grease and grime. The easier the job your blades have to do, the better the quality of the resulting finish and the happier your horse will be as the blades won’t uncomfortably drag or pull at his hair.

A problem with your clipper

Your clipper is a powerful electrical appliance which is made up from many consumable parts which will wear and need replacing with use and time. Of course, electrical equipment doesn’t like wet, damp conditions or excess clipped hair getting into the inner workings!

Excess heat, noise and a burning smell are all indicators that your clippers are not running as well as they should be. A deep clean after every use is very important, as is storing your clippers in a dry environment.

Regular servicing will ensure any of the internal parts that are starting to look worn will be replaced and the motor will be cleaned of any trapped hair.

The Masterclip HD Roamer that is pictured below came in for repair as it wasn’t working when taken out of storage. On opening the handset, it was clear that damp storage had rusted the motor and caused it to cease.

Wobbly Clip Lines

Have a plan of what type of clip you want to do first. For partial clips, nice, flowing smooth lines are a bit of an art form! Use baling twine as a guide and chalk to mark up where you plan to clip.

Clip a little higher than your marks to ensure if you do get a wobble, you can take a little more hair off to even it out without ending up with much less hair than you wanted. Prevent fidgety horses becoming bored by keeping them occupied with a hay net or getting a friend to hold them. Give your horse a little break every now and again. 

Blunt blades

Always ensure you have a least one pair of sharp blades before you start clipping, then if one set should dull and go blunt during clipping, you can then easily swap to your spare set of blades. If you only have one set of blades, you may risk getting funny looks when you next take your horse out!

Itchy skin

Clipped hair has the uncanny ability to get everywhere and there is nothing worse than being covered in horse hair and trust us, you will become itchy all over!

It is best to wear a set of overalls when clipping as that will help keep the loose horse hair away from your body and reduce itchiness. It is also always best to tie your hair up too, or even better, wear a riding hat for ultimate safety.

Waiting for hot blades to cool

Some horses are best to not stop too long for breaks. Blades will get warm with the nature of friction. Remember you have two pieces of metal rubbing against each other at a very high speed.

Keep blades oiled with running a few drops of oil along the teeth every 3-5 strokes and a few drops every now and again into holes in the clipper head. An extra set of blades to swap to can come in handy but best of all, specialist blade cooling sprays will take a smoking hot blade down to luke warm to the touch in seconds and saves time.

Another tip to keep blades running cooler is to check you have the tension set as low as possible. The more pressure there is squeezing the blades together, the more friction and heat generation.

For more advice and guidance regarding horse grooming and horse clipper maintenance, get in touch with the team at Masterclip today. 

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