Winter is coming. Bring out the horse body clippers.
The days are getting shorter, and the crisp fall air signals the changing seasons. Riding in colder weather brings its own set of challenges, including the need to cool and dry your horse off before putting him back in the pasture. Although there are products such as the Centaur Turbo-Dry Cooler and an anti-sweat knit sheet designed to speed up the drying process, it can still take time to properly prepare your horse for being outside.
Body clipping is a popular choice for horse riders who continue training in colder temperatures and want their horses to dry quicker post-exercise. (Never turn a wet horse out in the cold or he can get chilled and/or sick.) Body clipping involves shaving your horse’s thick winter coat off in strategic areas where sweat typically accumulates most.
When it comes to buying body clippers for your horse, here are your seven of your best bets:
- Andis AGC2 Super 2-Speed Clipper (Best Overall Horse Clippers)
- Oster Variable Speed Clipmasters (Best Horse Clippers for Thick Hair)
- Wahl Professional Animal Arco Equine 5-in-1 Cordless Horse Clipper (Best Cordless Horse Clippers)
- Double K Industries Groomer’s Edge Power Clipper 401 (Best Heavy Duty Horse Clippers)
- Wahl Show Pro Plus (Best Budget Horse Clippers)
- Lister Star Animal Clipper (Most Livestock Versatile Clippers)
- Andis Pulse ZR II Detachable Blade Cordless Clipper (Best Horse/Dog Combo Clippers)
If you’re new to body clipping your horse, we’ve got you covered! We’ll review the basics of body clipping, different clip styles, how to select the best horse clippers for your needs, actionable clip tips, and commonly asked questions. By the time you’re done, you’ll be prepared to purchase quality clippers and shrink that dreaded drying time. (Dude, I’m right there with you…)
Horse Body Clipping 101
Waiting for a sweaty horse to dry in the winter reminds me a lot of watching water boil. It seems to take ten times as long the more closely you watch and wait for it to happen.
That’s exactly why many riders in colder climates choose to body clip their horses during the winter and/or spring. Removing large sections of your horse’s coat helps him sweat less and dry off faster after you ride.
If you horse lives outside, getting him dry directly impacts how long it takes until you can send him back out in the pasture… and get yourself home to a hot shower, roaring fireplace, and steaming mug of cocoa.
To Clip or Not to Clip, That is the (First) Question
Body clipping isn’t “required” even if you live somewhere with really (really) brutal winters like I do. My gelding was never been body clipped in years past, but that was also due to the fact his former owner lived on the premises.
Waiting for a horse to dry isn’t nearly as frustrating from the comfort of your cozy living room, I’m sure!
Pros of Body Clipping
- Horse dries quicker after exercise
- Makes grooming time faster
- Gives your horse a sleek appearance
- Prevents chills and other health issues that can result from wet, sweaty coat
- Helps avoid rain rot and other skin conditions that can result from persistently damp hair
- Alleviates stress of heavy sweating
Cons of Body Clipping
- Horse must be blanketed carefully, which may require taking them on/off throughout the day, depending on the weather
- Blankets are costly and require maintenance (e.g. rip repair, waterproofing)
- Need to purchase and maintain horse clippers (or pay someone else to clip for you)
How should you decide whether to body clip your horse? You’ll want to consider:
- The Spook Factor: For some horses, the mere sound of electric clippers is a total non-starter. If you can’t get within ten feet of your horse once you turn your clippers on, chances are that the stress and risk of injury (to you both) isn’t worth the trouble.
- Workload: If you ride way less over the winter (e.g. once a week for an hour), don’t bother body clipping. If you continue training year-round, however, you may be dealing with a drenched horse five days a week. Body clipping could save your sanity.
- Stabling: If your horse is kept in a stall with minimal turnout, he needs less help (or hair) to brave the elements. If your horse lives outside 24/7, you need to be more careful about temperature, hair coverage, and blanketing. (More on that in a minute.)
- Sweat Spots: Like people, no two horses sweat the same. Some horses are drenched within five minutes of riding, and others come out of a two-hour session with a light glisten. Body clipping is designed for heavy sweaters (not the ugly Christmas kind).
- Blanketing Plan: Some equestrians are vehemently anti-blanket, and that’s fine. If you decide to body clip your horse though, you can’t be among them. Clipped horses need careful blanketing during cool/cold weather to offset their decreased ability to keep themselves warm with a full-body winter coat.
- Cooler Weather: You’ll also want invest in a quality cooler for after you ride, whether you body clip or not. Here’s the one I use. The Turbo-Dry fabric is great at wicking away moisture, it has a full neck, and it’s really soft and comfortable for my horse. (Originally, I had the version without the neck, but I ended up draping a quarter sheet over his neck all the time. It was well worth the upgrade.)
What to Look for When Buying Horse Clippers
If you don’t have much (or any) experience body clipping horses, choosing the right set of clippers can feel daunting. Speed ratings, power features, motors, precision, volume, cord or cordless… the list goes on.
Fear not: a couple simple questions can help you narrow your options way down. (And I’ll give you several great options at the end if you want my opinion.)
- Purpose: If you’re planning to do a full-body clip, you’ll need a more powerful clipper than if you’re simply trimming fuzzy fetlocks before a show or touching up a bridle path once or twice per year. If you want a more versatile clipper that allows you to adjust or change blades for different jobs, the Oster Variable Speed Clipmaster and Andis AGC Super 2 Detachable Blade Clipper are popular choices.
- Noise: Some animals are more tolerant of noise than others, and the buzzing of electric clippers can downright terrify some horses. If quieter clippers are a must-have, that’ll impact your purchase decision.
- Budget: I still remember walking into our local ranch supply store and getting sticker shock from the horse clipper section. I had no idea quality clippers were so expensive, though I now realize you get what you pay for–and you don’t want to buy clippers over and over because you get the cheapest ones that fall apart.
- Quantity: Clipping your personal horse once a year is a whole different ball game than being a professional groom with a barn-full of clipping duties.
- Quality: Horse clippers are an investment, so you want them to last. Luckily, there are several great brands available that hold up to even the toughest trims. (Read on.)
Rookie Rundown: Top 5 Tools for the Trim
Here’s a quick-hit comparison of the top horse clippers for body clipping, and you can keep reading for additional information (including pros and cons) of each model below.
|Brand/Model||Rookie Rating||Ideal Usage||Cord||Speeds||Where to Buy|
|Andis AGC2 Super 2-Speed Clipper||Best Overall Horse Clippers||-Full-body clipping |
-All coat types
|16 ft||Two||See at Amazon|
|Oster Variable Speed Clipmasters||Best Horse Clippers for Thick Hair||-Full-body clipping |
-Good for dense coats
|15 ft||Variable||See at Amazon|
|Wahl Professional Animal Arco Equine 5-in-1 Cordless Horse Clipper||Best Cordless Horse Clippers||-Full-body clipping |
|N/A||Single||See at Amazon|
|Double K Industries Groomer’s Edge Power Clipper 401||Best Heavy Duty Horse Clippers||-Full-body clipping |
-Good for dense coats
|5-7 ft||Variable||See at Amazon|
|Wahl Show Pro Plus||Best Budget Horse Clippers||-Face & Muzzle |
-Ears & Whiskers
-Fetlocks & Legs
|8 ft||Single||See at Amazon|
|Lister Star Large Animal Clipper||Most Versatile Clipper for Livestock||-Fully-body clipping |
-Good for dense coats
|16 ft||Single||See it at Amazon|
|Andis Pulse ZR II Detachable Blade Cordless Clipper||Best Horse AND Dog Clipper||-Face & Muzzle |
-Ears & Whiskers
-Fetlocks & Legs
|N/A||Five||See it at Amazon|
Andis AGC2 Super 2-Speed Clipper (Best Overall Horse Clippers)
When it comes to livestock and equine clippers, Andis is known for quality, power, and durability. The Andis AGC2 Super 2-Speed Clipper is specifically designed for livestock grooming (a.k.a. you won’t struggle to body clip your horse with something made for grooming a Pomeranian). It’s detachable blades, shatter-proof housing unit, and interchangeable blades make this our best overall horse clipper.
- Cuts through thick undercoats with ease, while staying (pretty) cool and (pretty) quiet.
- It’s definitely quieter than other clippers of the same power/size, so it’s a good choice if your horse is sensitive to noise.
- You can easily switch/replace blades, which also lets you handle both body clipping and touch-up precision work with the same clippers.
- Small and light enough to hold with one hand (without being a bodybuilder).
- Clean under and around the blade mount frequently to keep these running well.
- It’s still a good idea to stop periodically and spray with Kool Lube.
- It doesn’t come with a storage case.
Oster Variable Speed Clipmasters (Best Horse Clippers for Thick Hair)
If you need power and precision, you’re not alone. The Oster Variable Speed Clipmasters is designed to handle big jobs (e.g. clipping an entire barn) without sacrificing a professional finish. This clipper is a total workhorse, and it’s our pick for thick hair.
- Super heavy-duty, these clippers are made for cutting through dense coats with ease. (If you’re clipping a horse with Cushings, go with this model.)
- They’re powerful enough for full body clipping (multiple horses) and precision trimming before you head into the show ring.
- It’s a great choice if you’re body clipping large breed horses, like drafts.
- You get what you pay for: quality, power, and durability.
- Shatter-proof body protects your clippers if (ahem, when) you drop them.
- Variable speed settings and a 3” head helps you get the job done quickly.
- Comes with a durable storage case, grease, and a cleaning brush.
- It’s definitely an investment, so if you have a minimal budget it may be out of your price range.
- Increased power means increased noise, so this isn’t the clipper for you if your horse is super sensitive to the sound of clippers.
- It has a heavier and larger housing unit (13”), so do those bicep curls for a couple weeks before clipping. (It’s not the best choice if portability is your top priority.)
- The size and weight also make it less maneuverable for precision work (e.g. face, ears, legs).
Wahl Professional Animal Arco Equine 5-in-1 Cordless Horse Clipper (Best Cordless Horse Clippers)
If you’re looking for a versatile everyday clipper that’s easy to use at home and away, consider the Wahl Professional Animal Arco Equine 5-in-1 Cordless Horse Clipper. It wins “Best Cordless Horse Clippers” on our Rookie Rundown, and it’s an affordable and convenient option if you aren’t clipping an entire barn full of horses.
- The biggie: no cord! If you’re worried about cords getting tangled on your horse’s legs or finding an outlet nearby, go cordless.
- It comes with two removable batteries so you can be clipping with one while charging the other. Each battery charges for 75 minutes and runs for 80, so you can clip continuously with two.
- Includes Wahl’s signature 5-in-1 blade equips you for full body clipping, fine face clipping, and everything in between.
- Quiet enough for sensitive horses.
- It’s lightweight (7.9 oz.) and ergonomic so your hand and arm won’t ache when you’re done.
- Comes with four combs guides, cleaning brush, blade oil, charging stand, carrying case, AND a how-to DVD to help us rookies learn how to body clip!
- Wahl includes a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and limited one-year warranty (USA) in case anything goes wrong with your unit.
- If you’re clipping multiple horses and/or really thick coats, you may miss the power of the Oster Variable Speed Clipmaster (scroll up).
- This clipper cuts hair quickly, so rookies should move especially slowly and carefully to avoid accidentally cutting off more hair than intended.
- If you hate keeping track of and charging batteries, you’ll prefer a clipper with a cord.
NOTE: 5-in-1 blades should be used with blade oil only. Wahl says coolants are not recommended. Vlogger and horse trainer Shelby Dennis also included Wahl clippers in her Horse Rookie Equestrian Gift Guide.
Double K Industries Groomer’s Edge Power Clipper 401 (Best Heavy Duty Horse Clippers)
If you hate body clipping and want to just be done already (I hear ya), the Double K Industries Groomer’s Edge Power Clipper 401 could be the right fit for you. Here’s a quick video about the unit if you’re a visual learner.
- This clipper boasts five times the power of conventional clippers, so it packs a punch.
- The separate motor unit feeds power to the hand unit without the risk of overheating.
- No problem cutting through thick, matted, or wet hair on large horses.
- You can wall mount the motor if desired (and it has an extra safety chain).
- Very quiet at lower speeds, so it’s good for sensitive horses.
- The cable between the motor and hand unit is pretty short–only 5-7 feet.
- This isn’t a grab-it-and-go clipper. The separate motor and power unit mean this won’t be a convenient option if you want to take your clipper to shows or do a quick touch up.
- These are commercial clippers that require more proactive maintenance to keep them in great condition (and repairs will be more expensive).
Wahl Show Pro Plus (Best Budget Horse Clippers)
Not sure if clipping will suit your horse (or you)? It’s completely OK to buy more of a “starter clipper” until you want to upgrade. The Wahl Show Pro Plus wins “Best Budget Horse Clippers” and can handle lighter clipping jobs. But don’t try full body clipping with this one.
- This model is much less expensive than the heavier-duty clippers on our list.
- These work fine on bridle paths, fetlocks, face, ears, and other detail work.
- They’re great for touch-ups and competition finishing work.
- These clippers are small (6.5”) and lightweight (~16 oz.), so they’re really portable.
- If you have a powerful body clipper (like those above on this list), you may prefer getting the Wahl Show Pro as a supplemental clipper for sensitive areas like the face.
- They’re really quiet and come with a 2-year limited warranty (USA).
- These clippers come with a how-to DVD for body clipping rookies, cleaning brush, horse face brush, and blade oil.
- If you’re working with dense, wet, or matted hair, think again. You’ll need way more power.
- If you’re clipping for awhile, the hand unit and blades can get overheated. Have Kool Lube on hand and take frequent breaks.
- This shouldn’t be your main clipper for full-body work, but it’s a solid supplemental unit.
Lister Star Large Animal Clipper (Most Livestock Versatile Clipper)
If you need a clipper that will handle multiple types of livestock, you need the Lister Star Large Animal Clipper. This clipper be used not only on horses but also on cattle and even sheep.
Also advertised for use with alpacas and pigs, the Lister clipper can clip through just about any job you throw at it. And its straightforward design means it will also withstand the test of time.
- Can clip a wide variety of livestock animals, including horses, cattle, alpacas, pigs, and sheep.
- The solid design makes it useful for tough clipping jobs, including dense hair.
- Designed with a cord, so you won’t need to worry about charging batteries.
- These clippers are designed for efficiency.
- Comes in several attractive colors.
- Tendency to overheat.
- They are noisier than other models.
- These clippers are not designed for small, precision jobs.
- Pricier than other models on this list.
Andis Pulse ZR II Detachable Blade Cordless Clipper (Best Horse/Dog Combo Clipper)
Are you in the market for a clipper that can tackle horse and dog grooming? If so, then let me introduce the Andis Pulse ZR II. Not only is this one great for dogs and horses, but it comes in a beautiful shade of purple.
Although it’s priced slightly higher than other clippers on this list, it’s a solid option for your combination grooming needs.
- This model has a long battery life to guarantee you’ll finish the job before you need to replace them.
- Suitable for use with dogs and horses.
- You have the option of switching out clipper blades for a custom look.
- This clipper is relatively quiet.
- Pricier than other clippers on this list.
- May not be the best option if your horse has a very dense coat.
- Some people may not find the blue/purple color combination appealing.
Common Horse Body Clip Styles
If you’ve gotten this far, chances are that you’ve decided to try body clipping your horse. Now you just have to decide what style of clip to do. (Yes, you can pick a haircut style for your horse like you do for yourself!)
Note: We are NOT talking about trimming or cutting off your horse’s mane or tail.
- Trace (Chaser) Clip: This style can be “low” or “high” based on the amount of hair removed, but it involves trimming under the chin, along the neck (bottom and some of the sides), the entire belly and most of the flanks. For horses in light or moderate training who live outdoors, this is a good option that leaves the back, legs, and face unclipped.
- Blanket Clip: Not surprisingly, this style looks as though your horse is wearing a quarter sheet. Hair is removed on the neck, belly, flanks, and up and over the withers. This is a nice option for sore-backed horses (keeps those muscles warmer) but leaves the legs and face alone.
- Hunter Clip: This is a favorite among, you guessed it, fox/field hunters who gallop long distances over varied terrain. You remove all the hair except on the legs and an english saddle pad shaped area over the back. This style offers maximum cooling, while still protecting the legs against natural elements and jumps.
- Full Body Clip: This style is exactly what it sounds like. You clip the entire horse, so this should be reserved only for horses doing very hard work over the winter and/or those that frequently travel to warmer places for shows or other events.
- Strip (Belly) Clip: Some call this a Pony Clip, but regardless of term the style is the same. You remove the hair under the chin, on the underside of the neck, between the front legs, and down the length of the belly. It’s a minimal clip that’s good for light work.
Clipping Tips to Keep Your Horse Slim and Trimmed
Horse Rookies, breath easy. Body clipping takes a lot of practice to do well, and it’s completely OK if your first try isn’t very… pretty. Clipping is a worthwhile skill to learn, and soon your friends will probably be begging you to clip their horses for them!
Here are a few tips as you get started:
Set the Stage
Pick a low-traffic time of day at the barn for body clipping, and make sure your horse is in a comfortable and familiar area. The less stress the better! (Aside from Monkey: Treats help.)
Patience is key when you’re body clipping a horse. It’s easy to get frustrated if your horse doesn’t stand still, has a really dense coat, is nervous around clippers, or if it simply takes forever to finish your chosen clip style.
Allow plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed, and remember to take breaks. They’re good for you and your horse.
If you’ve never clipped before, you don’t want to start with the face. Begin with low, less visible areas until you get the hang of it.
Plus, set your blade to a lower setting that doesn’t remove as much hair initially. You can always go back and make it shorter, but gluing hair back on your horse doesn’t work.
Clean Your Canvas
In this case, your “canvas” is your horse. Make sure his skin and coat are clean and healthy before you start clipping. Brush him thoroughly so your blade doesn’t clog with dirt and grim or tangles of hair. Poor coat condition will also dull your blade more quickly.
Trying to clip “flabby” areas like the neck and chest can be difficult. Try pulling the skin taunt in the immediate clipping area, and things will go a lot faster.
Areas like the ears, face, and underbelly/flanks are sensitive. Be very careful, go slowly, and pay attention if your horse shows signs of distress.
Keep it Quiet
Noise can be a big stressor for horses, and buzzing clippers are no exception. If your horse is easily bothered or scared by noises, pick a quieter clipper and consider using Pomms Equestrian Ear Plugs to help your horse relax.
Beware Blade Heat
Cutting through dense horse coats is no small task, and blades can heat up the harder and longer you use them. Just because the clipper body you’re holding is cool doesn’t mean the blade itself is.
Check it multiple times during clipping, and give your clippers frequent breaks.
If you notice issues with blade temperature (or want to make sure you don’t), pick up a can of Oster Kool Lube. It’s an inexpensive way to keep your clippers in working condition and your horse comfortable during the process.
Maintain Your Machine
If you’re going to invest in nice clippers, be sure you take good care of them. Clipper grease, clipper oil, blade sharpening, and blade coolants (like the Oster Kool Lube I mentioned before) prolong the life of your equipment and help your clippers perform better over the long run.
Whether your horse is used to body clipping or not, it’s wise to take lots of breaks as you go. Nothing says you must finish the job in one hour–or one day.
Take your time, switch sides frequently, and give your horse and yourself mental and physical breaks along the way.
Go With (or Against) the Grain
If you want a closer trim (i.e. closest to the skin), run your clippers against the direction of the hair. If you want less of a trim (i.e. more hair remains), you can clip with the hair.
Clipped horses need to be blanketed in colder weather, so be sure you have the appropriate liners, sheets, and blankets before you clip. One of my fellow boarders clipped her horse last year without having any blankets on-hand.
Our barn owner found her poor pony shivering outside, dug up a loaner blanket, and promptly called the owner to tell her she needed to buy a blanket pronto.
Ask for Help
Remember that it’s OK to ask for help. No one is perfect, and every horse owner needs help from time to time! If you’re new to clipping, have a helper available to help hold your horse, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the best horse clippers to buy?
It depends on a number of factors like how much you intend to clip, how often, your horse’s noise tolerance and coat density, your budget, and more. Start at the top of this article, and you’ll learn all about how to make the best decision.
(Don’t have time right now? Our best overall horse clipper recommendation is the Andis AGC2 Super 2-Speed Clipper.)
Q: When should you clip a horse?
Typically horses are body clipped in September, October, or November (except in Australia!), depending on your particular weather, horse, and riding plan.
“One and done” isn’t the case with horse clipping either, and you may end up reclipping every 3-6 weeks–or at least doing some touch ups.
If you’re clipping for the winter months, you can usually stop sometime in February.
Note: Horses that compete regularly throughout the year may also be clipped year-round. Talk to your trainer if you’re not sure what to do.
Q: What are the best cordless horse clippers?
Cordless horse clippers are much more manageable because a) you don’t need to clip near an outlet (have you ever tried to find a spare outlet in a barn?) and b) you can maneuver much more easily around your horse.
If you’re interested in a cordless horse clippers, check out the Wahl Professional Animal Arco Equine 5-in-1.
Q: What are the best heavy duty horse clippers?
If your horse has an especially dense coat, you need clippers that are up to the task. If you have a tough job ahead, go with the Groomer’s Edge Power Clipper 401.
Q: Why are horses shaved?
In the horse world, it’s called “body clipping.” Horses are clipped to remove large areas of hair (usually dense winter coats) in order to help them dry and cool faster after exercise.
Q: Wondering how to body clip a horse?
Start by reading this post from the top so you don’t choose the wrong equipment or regret clipping your horse later. Once you’re ready to begin, this is a great video that shows how to introduce clippers to a horse and do a trace body clip:
Q: What about horse body clipping stencils?
If you want to clip a particular pattern onto your horse’s hindquarters, you can use a stencil as a guide. Stencilbum has tons of different patterns, or you can order a custom stencil!
Note: I wouldn’t try this unless you’re well practiced at clipping first.
Here’s a helpful video showing how to clip with a stencil:
Q: What about body clipping a horse in the summer?
Some people choose to body clip their horses year-round, especially if they live in hot climates and/or are competing frequently. Most often, horses are clipped only for winter months.
Q: What should I know about horse clipper blades?
First and foremost, be careful while handling them. Though horse clippers are made to be as safe as possible for humans and horses, they’re still blades that can cause injury.
Horse clippers typically come with two blades, a lower blade (“comb”) and a moving blade (“cutter”) that work together to cut the hair.
Hair is fed through the end of the clipper by the comb, and the cutter moves back and forth to cut it. Blades vary, as do the length of clipping they perform. If you’re not sure what to use, the “number 10” leaves hair 1/16” long and is considered one of the most popular medium blades.
Some clippers allow you to change and/or adjust the blades, and others don’t. Be sure to check the exact model before buying if this is important to you.
Clipper blades require routine care, including sharpening and lubrication. You can get your blades sharpened at most local appliance repair stores. Or you can get your own blade sharpener kit and do it yourself.
Q: What should I know about horse clipper input and output?
When you’re evaluating horse clippers, you’ll often see “strokes per minute” (SPM) listed by manufacturers. Don’t put too much stock in this number, as makers often measure it differently.
Generally, though, think of SPM as the “speed of the clippers.” The higher the SPM, the faster the clippers can cut hair. For areas like ears, it can be nice to have faster-moving blades that don’t pinch the hair as much during cutting.
On the flip side, the faster blades move, the hotter they can become. Faster moving blades also may not have the torque required to cut through thick hair like bridle paths or matted winter coats. Like most things, input/output is a tradeoff.
Q: What about body clipping a horse with Cushings?
My horse doesn’t have Cushings, but my senior Beagle does. Regardless of species, it’s a challenging condition to manage. Cushings horses can cause them to not shed their thick winter coats properly, resulting in poor temperature regulation and discomfort.
The Oster Variable Speed Clipmaster is specifically designed for dense coats, so that’s your best bet.
Body clipping a horse with Cushings (even partially) can help with body temperature regulation year-round (not just in the Spring). Chat with your vet to see if this is a good option for your horse.
Q: What are the best horse clippers for thick hair?
The Oster Variable Speed Clipmasters is designed to handle big jobs (e.g. clipping an entire barn). This clipper is a total workhorse and can handle dense, wet, and matted coats with ease.
Q: What are the best clippers for horses legs?
If your clipping your horse’s legs, especially around the fetlocks, any of the recommendations from this post will do the job.
Note: If you have a cob type horse with very dense feathering on the legs, go with the heavy duty Groomer’s Edge Power Clipper 401.
- Andis AGC2 Super 2-Speed Clipper
- Oster Variable Speed Clipmasters
- Wahl Professional Animal Arco Equine 5-in-1 Cordless Horse Clipper
- Double K Industries Groomer’s Edge Power Clipper 401
- Wild Edge Professional Heavy Duty Horse Clipper Kit
- Wahl Show Pro Plus
Q: Horse clippers vs dog clippers… what’s the difference?
Just because clippers are labeled for animals doesn’t mean they’re robust enough to body clip your horse. Many dog clippers, for example, are made for understandably smaller jobs.
But, other manufacturers like Wahl make clippers that are suited to both. Double-check the clippers you’re buying are suitable for the animal you’re clipping.
If you own horse clippers and want to give your dog a trim, go right ahead. Just be careful if you have super heavy duty horse clippers and are grooming a small or sensitive dog. The tool should match the task.
Q: What are the best mini horse clippers?
Dragging your full-size horse clippers to shows for a quick touch-up doesn’t make much sense. Luckily for riders on the go, there are several solid mini clippers that are perfect for taming hairs that are out of place for the show ring or accidentally got missed in your home clipping job.
Both of these small clippers would be great additions to your horse first aid kit, too!
- Wahl Mini Arco Clippers: Weighing in at just 4.9 ounces, these are travel sized and perfect for your show ring bag. Address last-minute trim needs on your horse’s face, ears, and legs in no time, and don’t worry about battery life. They’ve got you covered for 45 minutes of cordless power. (See customer reviews on Amazon)
- Wahl Super Pocket Pro: One AA battery is all it takes to make this palm-size clipper power up. This model is also known for being quiet and lightweight at only 3 ounces. (See customer reviews on Amazon)
Q: How do you keep a horse calm when clipping?
Start by getting your horse used to the noises and vibrations the clipper makes. Place your hand on his neck or stomach, turn the clipper on, and place it against your hand. He’ll feel the vibrations, but on a smaller scale.
Next, run the clipper on his coat in the same direction as the hair (so it doesn’t cut).
If your horse is still calm, clip a small section, perhaps on their shoulder or neck (someplace flat and easy). Give the horse a treat, then do another small clip.
You can always give a calming paste (something with magnesium) a couple of hours before you clip to help your horse relax.
Q: Do you need to wash a horse before clipping?
If you can, you definitely should. Clean, dry, grease-free hair is much easier for a clipper to cut through, meaning the process will go much faster.
Bath not an option? Give your horse a thorough grooming to remove as much dirt as possible. The dirtier your horse, the more abuse your clippers will take during the process. You’ll have to stop more frequently and the blades will overheat more often.
Pro tip: in the winter, dip a rag in hot water and wring it very dry, then use it like you would a curry comb. Repeat until the rag comes off clean. Your horse gets clean without getting soaked.
Q: What are the quietest horse clippers?
If your horse is particularly sensitive to noise, quiet clippers will be at the top of your requirements list. Here are two of the quietest horse clippers with excellent reviews:
- Wahl Arco Equine 5-in-1 Cordless Horse Clippers: These are not only our best cordless recommendation, they’re one of the quietest clippers on the market. (See customer reviews on Amazon)
- Oster Finisher Equine Trimmer: This model boasts a powerful “whisper-quiet pivot motor” tailor made for auditorily sensitive horses. But, these are only powerful enough for finishing trims like faces, ears, and feet–not full body clipping. (See customer reviews on Amazon)
Stop Tearing Your Hair Out
Riding is supposed to be fun, and I don’t know anyone who thinks standing around in the cold waiting for a sweaty horse to dry classifies as fun. (It certainly doesn’t for me!) Body clipping is a convenient option that allows your horse to dry faster and stay more comfortable when exercising in cold weather.
Just remember that choosing to body clip your horse means you’ll have to take extra precautions when it comes to blanketing. If you’re not up for that responsibility, it’s best to let your horse’s coat remain au naturale. (Pick up a copy of How to Think Like a Horse, one of my all-time favorite books, to read while he dries.)
P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:
- Wild & Hair Free: What is Horse Body Clipping?
- 6 Best Horse Clippers by Body Part
- Survive Horse Shedding Season (w/o Pulling YOUR Hair Out!)
- 7 Best Blankets for Happy Horses
- Horse Hay FAQs: List of Types of Hay, What Hay is Best, etc.
- Food or Foe: What Do Horses Eat (And Why)
- Fact of Fiction: Do Horses Eat Meat?
- How Horses Sleep: A-Zzz Guide to Equine Rest
- Horse Lifespan 101 (Life Stages, Teeth, Senior Horse Care)
- Why Some Horses Wear Shoes (And Others Don’t)
- 6 Best Horse Brush Brands for a Great Grooming Sesh
- Fight the Fidget: Teach Your Horse How to Stand Still