A lot has been written about clipping, but very rarely do you hear about what you need before you start to clip.
When you think about clipping you need to make sure you have a safe environment. You are dealing with a live animal and electricity. We do have battery clippers these days and they can help with taking the cable element out of the equation, but you need to make sure that all your bases are covered.
First of all, you need to have boots that have a rubber sole, this will make sure you are not a conductor for electricity. Also, it is advisable to wear overalls as clipping can get horse hair everywhere on your clothes and on your body. Also, something that can cover your hair as well and allow you to see what you are doing.
The area that you would like to clip needs to be well lit and if at all possible natural light as this will allow you to see better. Sometimes, in winter and with the darker nights drawing in it is not always possible, but good planning helps with a better quality clip.
If at all possible the floor could have rubber mats on it, which will allow the horse to stand comfortably and with the bedding out of the way so that all the hair does not drop into the bedding. This takes ages to pick up and you end up loosing bedding in the process. Also, have two tie rings so that the horse can have a hay net to keep him/her busy and a tie-ring and string to attach the horse too.
Any plugs need to have a circuit breaker. These stop any electrical surges causing a problem when you are clipping the horse. If something goes wrong with the electrics then both you and the horse could get an electrical shock. The circuit breaker can stop this. Also, any water needs to be kept away from the area you are clipping in and also on a similar note, it is impossible to clip a wet horse as the hair clumps together and blunts the clippers and would also be a problem with the electrics.
So, it is necessary to:
- Make sure the area you are using is dry and out of the wind.
- The area needs to be well lit, preferably with natural light.
- Make sure all plugs have a circuit breaker.
- Surfaces should have rubber mats down.
- At least two tie rings and string to secure the horse and tie a hay net.
- The horse needs to be familiar with the area and have a rug ready to put over it they get cold.
- If necessary a help to lift any legs when clipping under the elbows and to help if the horse needs support.
Also, when clipping make sure you have chalk or saddle soap to mark out the clip you are doing to use. Many people that have clipped for some time have a good eye with lines and shapes, but it is good practice to have the area marked out as there is nothing more annoying than wonky lines and clipping too much hair off a horse.
Make sure that you also have your clippers, blades, and oil available ready to clip and if at all possible have another set of clippers and blades around in case these do not work.
Having got all of the above together you will be ready to clip your horse or pony. If you have enjoyed reading this, please feel free to sign up to our newsletter here on the website for this blog or like my Facebook page Sam Goss Coaching @SamGossCoaching and you will be able to keep up with all our information.