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Horse Grooming Supplies – The Perfect Finish on a Clipped Horse
Anyone who has ever had a horse with a full or part clip knows they are a lot easier to keep well groomed than a horse with a think woolly coat – especially when they’ve been rolling in a bit of winter mud! But those that show all winter long, they also know the frustration of trying to get a good shine on a clipped horse. Those short, thick hairs just don’t seem to ever glow the way a summer coat does!
But there are a few tricks – the clippers you have in your horse grooming supplies can make a big difference, and there are a few other handy tips to get a show ring shine on a winter horse.
Step one – when and how you clip
The first thing you need to know is that a horse just clipped will be at its least shiny. The short, thick winter hairs will have blunt ends after clipping, and they won’t want to lie flat. If you need a shine for a particular event or show clip at least two to three weeks before so you have some time to get let the hairs grow out.
How you clip will affect how much shine you can get. To get an even finish, you need to clip against the lay of the hair, but this will cause the ends of the hairs to bend upwards, causing a dull finish. It’s important to clip in small sections, and after each section go over the hairs with a damp brush to get them flat right away. Keep a clean, soft brush in your horse grooming supplies specifically for this purpose. Use warm water to smooth the hairs flat after each section is clipped. Spraying the hairs with some leave-in conditioner also helps, or you can put a little baby oil into the water bucket to help smooth the hairs down.
Another factor is temperature – when a horse is cold, the hairs stand up on end to trap warm air. When you clip, after you’ve finished a section and have smoothed the hairs down, make sure you keep your horse warm. A light cotton blanket or sheet laid over the newly clipped sections won’t catch the hairs, and will keep your horse cosy – and the hairs flat. Likewise, keep your clipped horse warm before you go into the arena at your show!
Step two – have the right tools for the job
To get a good shine, you need the smoothest possible finish from your clip. If you are clipping for shows, or clipping frequently, that means you should invest in the best horse clippers you can afford for your horse grooming supplies. Most major equine clipper suppliers offer both corded and rechargeable models, and each has their own benefits. Cordless horse clippers are usually quieter, and you don’t risk getting tangled up in the cord – or not being able to reach all parts of your horse, so they are good for fidgety or nervous horses. If you don’t have easy access to electrical sockets, you may have to opt for a rechargeable model. Corded models have the benefit that you don’t need to recharge them, so if you have a big horse or one with a very thick coat, several horses to clip, or need to clip often, a corded model is probably more convenient.
First, always choose clippers from a reliable manufacturer. This way, you will get a good warranty, and replacement blades will be easy to find. Plus, you can be sure that by sticking with the best suppliers, like Wahl, Andis, and Oster that your clippers will be safe – and that’s important anytime you use electrical products around horses.
Try to choose clippers that give you a good choice of blades. If you need to clip a very woolly horse, you’ll need to start with large, broad blades to get through the hair. But for touch-ups, repeat clippings, and to get the best possible finish, you will want to choose the smallest blades you can. That’s why regular clipping is essential for show horses that really need to shine – you want to be able to use the smallest set of blades in your clipper supplies!
Here’s a selection of some of the best choices of horse clippers from the top suppliers:
- Wahl horse clippers. The Wahl Liberty Clipper is one of the best cordless models, With low noise and vibration, it’s ideal for sensitive horses, and when fully charged you can get up to 2 ½ hours of clipping time. As with all Wahl clippers, a full range of blades are available, including a fine set to get the maximum shine!
- Oster horse clippers. The Oster Golden A5 two-Speed Clipper gives you a choice of blade speeds for different types of clipping. The ‘normal’ speed is best for a careful finish or precise edges, and the ‘fast’ speed gets through a thick coat quickly. You can use the same blade sets and attachments as most Oster clippers, so combine a set of fine blades with the precision settings to get a professional finish.
- Andis horse clippers. The Andis AGC Super 2-Speed is great value choice and still gets excellent results. The two speed motor, like the Oster Golden A5, gives you the quick option if you have a lot of horses to do or need to get through a heavy coat. The Andis has a super-cooled motor, so unlike other clippers it doesn’t need any air vents – this means you don’t get a draft blowing the unclipped hairs around, and so you can get a really smooth, even finish. Not only can you use a range of Andis blades, but this Andis model is compatible with Oster A5 range, so you can be sure you can always get replacement blades.
Step three – maintain your horse clippers
Finally, to get the smoothest finish and the best shine, you must take good care of your clippers. Clean the blades as you clip – hairs caught in the blades will lead to rough edges! Keep the blades oiled, and let them cool down if they start to get hot. For the best shine, you want the hairs cut as cleanly as possible, and that means sharp blades. If a good shine is important to you, then keep a few sets of blades in your horse grooming supplies – that way you always have a sharp set for each clip, and you have spares for when you need to get the blades resharpened.
Properly maintained, your clippers can be one of the most useful tools in your horse grooming supplies. For a hard working horse in winter, or one that needs to dazzle in the show ring, a good quality set of clippers and replacement blades will be the first step to both your horse’s comfort, and to your success!
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