To keep your clippers and trimmers for horse clipping working their best?and giving your horse the sleekest look possible?you need to make sure you've got the right horse clipping equipment and then take care of it before, during and after clipping a horse.
Before turning the clippers on, spread a think layer of clipper lubricating oil across the top blade. | Photos ? Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore
For smaller tasks, such as tidying stray hairs under your horse's jaw, on his fetlocks or around his ears, small, lightweight trimmers, often called finishing trimmers, will work fine. For a full body clip, use larger horse clippers that can handle bigger areas without getting hot and burning out the motor.
1. Prep the Clippers
You need to oil your clippers often to keep the upper blade moving back and forth smoothly against the lower blade. At the start of any clipping task, before turning the clippers on, hold them so the blades face sideways or down. Spread a thin layer of clipper lubricating oil across the top blade, then run the clippers for about 30 seconds. (You don't want the clippers facing up because the oil could run into the motor and burn it out.) Shut off the clippers, wipe the blades with a paper towel or dry cloth, then turn them on again to let any remaining oil drip off. If the blades are too oily, the hair will stick to them and clump.
2. Tips As You Clip
If you're body clipping your horse, clip for 10-15 minutes, then dip the running blades in a blade wash (poured into a shallow container) to flush hair trapped between the blade's teeth. Next, spray the blades lightly with WD-40 or a product designed specifically to cool and lubricate the blades during operation, which will reduce the heat and friction between the upper and lower blades. Repeat this every 10-15 minutes. Every 30 minutes, after you've dipped and sprayed, add a drop of oil on each oiling point on the body of the clippers (usually labeled by the manufacturer).
If you're just lightly trimming your horse, dip the running trimmers into the blade wash whenever you move to a different area (from leg-to-leg or ear-to-ear or ear-to-muzzle, etc.) then spray with lube to keep the blades cutting smoothly.
3. After-Clip Care
Use a small short-bristled brush to clean trapped hair from between the clipper teeth.
Once you're finished clipping, ?remove the blades and use a small, short-bristled brush to clean trapped hair from between the teeth. For larger body clippers with two blades, separate the blades to clean. Hair trapped between the blades will make it harder for the upper blade to move back and forth over the lower blade the next time you use the clippers. Use the brush to remove hair from the body of the clippers, too.
Next, spray the blades with clipper disinfectant so they don't retain any skin fungus that could be spread to ?another horse. Then lightly oil the blades and the body's oiling points.
If the blades could be jostled around in your tack trunk, use a blade case to protect the delicate teeth or wrap them in a soft cloth or tissue.
Fold the cord accordion style and fasten with a rubber band or twist-tie to store.
Fold the cord accordion-style and fasten with a rubber band or twist-tie. DO NOT wrap the cord around the clippers. This can bend the cord too tightly and can cause small cracks in it, creating a safety issue.
Keep all your clipper essentials (clippers, extra blades, lubricants, small brush) together in a container that will keep moisture out and avoid exposing the container to excessive heat.