Icelandic: Clipping and blanket
Any idea what type of clippers I should use on my Icelandic? His coat seems much thicker and coarser than a regular horse's coat. The breeder at the farm where I bought him never clipped his horses so he didn't have any suggestions, and at a previous Icelandic farm the woman clipped her horses, but didn't blanket. I forgot to ask what type of clippers she used.
We're in Southern California. I was thinking of clipping the body and leaving the head and legs. Is it too late in the year to clip? What weight blanket would he need? Would he need a water-proof day sheet? Would the day sheet be enough for night time? The second icelandic breeder felt that Icelandics didn't need blankets in So. Ca. Don't think I'd go for that, but maybe they don't need heavy blankets? BTW, he was breed in California, if that makes a difference.
I am in Southern California as well. I clip my horse 4 times in the winter season. Mainly because he stays in full training, and his coat grows like a weed. I stable sheet during the day when it's yuck out (like it has been lately with the rain) and i winter blanket at night. We've been known to get down in to the 40's... so a naked pony is a cold pony. My Saxon blanket has about 300G of fill in it (i believe) and has a waterproof shell.
As for clippers... I wouldn't assume that coarse hair should cause you any problems if you're using professional clippers and a NEW blade. I use these:
Andis AGC Super Two Speed Clipper w/ T-84 Blade - Statelinetack.com
I only use the blade once, and then i throw it away and buy a new one. I don't waste my time and money on getting them sharpened. Especially since the T84 blades are only about $20 online.
Thanks for your response. I've never heard of Andis clippers, but I looked them up and they're getting very good reviews. Price isn't too bad either. I'm trying to find ones with a battery, not a cord. He's never been clipped before and I want to desensitize him to the clippers in a round pen rather than the cross-ties so we don't have any accidents. I've quickly learned that Icelandics don't take to new things very well and rival Arabs in the "panic first, think later" department. :-)
So I guess I'll get him two water-proof blankets, one for night and a sheet for the day. I'm like you and I ride a lot, five days a week, all year long. He really needs to be clipped.
If you bathe him really well and then use a deep oil conditioner on his coat before you clip him, spray a little Show Sheen on his fur, the clippers will sail through the hair like a hot knife through butter. I don't like battery powered clippers for anything more than maybe ears, faces and fetlock touch ups, they don't last long enough and tend to be kind of under powered. For a really hairy horse, I like my Clipmasters but those are pretty expensive for someone who doesn't clip often. I finish off with an Oster Turbo A5 to even things out, Clipmasters aren't great for finish clipping.
Oster ClipMaster Variable Speed Clipper | PetEdge.com
You can knock down a really hairy coat in less than 30 mins with the Clipmasters.
Oster A5 Turbo 2-Speed Professional Animal Clipper - Free Shipping
The A5 can handle a thick coat, but because the blades are about 1/3 as wide as the Clipmasters, it takes a LOT longer. They will do a good finish job if you use a couple different blades. I start with a 5 and go to a 10 for the body, if you don't want to get too close, and then I use a 30 for face, 40 for muzzle, eyes and ears.
Neither of these clippers is known for being quiet, but I use them on foals with no problems. I just start at about the shoulder and rub them all over the horse without turning them on. Then I turn them on and rub all over again, but I don't touch them with the blades until they relax and stand still for them. I generally start desensitizing a day or 2 before I want to start, and with a new horse that hasn't been clipped, I keep it short. 15 mins and quit, come back later in the day or the next day. Slow and easy does it and the horses usually end up being really good to clip. Just don't get into senisitive or ticklish spots too soon. I also keep a bowl of Blade Wash close and clean the blades every 2nd or 3rd pass, so they don't get hot.
I've done trace clipping in the past (it's been 20 years since I've clipped, and at the time I was doing polo horses). I'm thinking of clipping the body and neck because he's a Icelandic, what I've read is that they really don't take heat well and with the amount of riding that I do he should probably be as hair-free as possible. The show-sheen sounds like a good idea.
Maybe I'll see if I have any friends with battery clippers, just to use for desensitizing. I managed to get him used to blankets, it took awhile, he'll eventually get used to clippers. Hopefully before spring. :)
I clip my Icelandics with my regular clippers, I have the big sunbeams and the A5 Oster. Just make sure your blades are sharpened. Would love to see pics of your Icey, I have a small herd of them.
He's on page 9 in the gaited horse pics thread, Dovakiin. Picture was taken at the breeder's the day I bought him, so it's not the best. I love grooming so he's going to look great by the time he sheds out. He's very out of shape (hasn't been ridden in two years), but I won't start really working him until he gets clipped. Right now he's still getting used to his new place. He's been on two trail rides and did great, he wanted to leave the barn, was eager to go and completely calm walking back to the barn.
After looking at different clippers, I think your suggestion is probably the best. The buying new blades for each clipping is a good idea. I'm ready to buy, so which clipper blades do you use?
Andis UltraEdge Clipper Blade - Statelinetack.com
Always the T84 blades for full body clipping on a horse. If you buy them off season, for example during the spring/summer months, they usually are on sale for about $16 on Stateline. I have never found a better deal for T84 blades. My trainer even owns her own tack store and can get them at "wholesale" price, but it's never quite as competitive as Stateline. So i just buy them there. I even use this same blade on the face and ears. It's a close shave without making the horse completely naked or ridiculous looking. hahaha!
A lady i ride with has to clip her icelandics several times during the ainter because their fur grows back so quickly, she dosent blanket at all because most of the time they are sweating unless its 40 or below
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