Clipping a 17 Hand horse with a full winter coat

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Clipping a 17 Hand horse with a full winter coat

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    02-23-2011, 01:10 PM
Clipping a 17 Hand horse with a full winter coat

My boss wants me to bring a new horse back in to shape, but he has a full winter coat (we're on the east coast so it's quite a coat). She told me clip him and we have a blanket, but he is 17 hands.

I'm fine with the task but does anyone have any tips for taking on such a large and hairy job? The clippers we have aren't the greatest and, unless it gets nice realllly fast, I can't bathe him before.

Any help would be much abliged. I have clipped many times before, but mainly ponies. Thanks!
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    02-23-2011, 01:16 PM
My Clydesdale is 17.3 so I'm familiar with the task.
This winter I caught it when she started in on the fuzzies last year I waited until she was a woolly mammoth.

Is it a thick thick winter coat or just really really fluffy. If it's thick use lots of clipper spray and hose the horse down before or use a wet towel to sponge the hair, brush the fur in the right direction and shave it off. For some reason wet fur clips better?

If it's just really fluffy it shouldn't be a huge problem getting the clippers through it. Just shave like you would a normal size horse except in the taller parts to avoid blade lines you might want to use a step stool.
    02-23-2011, 01:19 PM
He is thick thick. But it's been so cold, I can't wet him, that's the biggest problem.
    02-23-2011, 01:38 PM
Make sure to put new blades in the clipper and lube and oil them per manufacturer. Have a spray can of cool lube at hand, and keep cleaning the hair off the clippers as you go - being sure to keep any air intakes open.

If you can't bathe, at least brush and vacuum like mad.

It's not too cold in the barn and you have a place to let the animal dry out of drafts, try spraying the coat with show sheen and letting it dry VERY completely - give it very long time to dry. The show sheen may help the clipper blades move through the hair. Just be absolutely sure the hair is dry by time you start.
    02-24-2011, 05:08 PM
Green Broke
Have you thought about doing just a trace clip? (or even a blanket clip) There's much less to clip, less of a chance of your horse getting chilled if the temp drops but still easier to cool the horse out.

If you definitely want to do a full clip... there's some good advice here. Clean as much as you possibly can without bathing. Use lots of blade cooler and lubricant. Start off with freshly sharpened blades, and I always like to have an extra set of blades as well.
    02-24-2011, 05:17 PM
Green Broke
What about doing a smaller clip one day, and then finishing up the clip the next day, or later in the week? That way your clippers don't have so much to go through all at once.
    02-24-2011, 06:02 PM
Aren't horses starting to shed anyways? I thought someone said if you clip after january you have to clip every few weeks because the coat will keep growing back?!

Oh and I also thought clipping a wet coat breaks the clippers?
    02-24-2011, 06:19 PM
I agree with slc. Make sure you have a lot of cool lube, especially if your clippers aren't the greatest.
    02-24-2011, 06:26 PM
Agree with slc's and upnover's advice.

The problem with clipping at this time of year is that spring coats are coming in under the long hair. If the horse in question is gray, appaloosa or otherwise light colored, it doesn't matter. If the horse is black, dark bay or chestnut, you're risking clipping off some of the spring coat as it's growing in, which means the horse will have a funky matte coat color. To explain further, pigment migrates to the end of the hair shaft; if you clip off the ends of the incoming coat, you'll lose some of the pretty new color. This is why show horses are clipped frequently and on a strict schedule, so they maintain some of the natural coat color.

If the issue is being able to put the horse in work without overheating and or taking hours to cool out, I would clip anyway. My horses have just barely started shedding, and won't have their full spring coats til April or May. A funky coat color for a month wouldn't stop me from clipping right now.

Good luck!

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