Which Clip??

So today we are going to look at which clip to do on your horse. Now there are quite a few different types of clip around and the reason why you are clipping, along with your horses lifestyle will determine which one you do. If it is your first time clipping, or you are not sure how much hair to take off, you are better staring with a bib clip, and if that is not enough then you can always take more off if needed. Remember to take your time with the lines.

if you are doing a clip that requires lines then draw them on first with chalk, use a piece of string to ensure they are the same height both sides. If leaving a saddlepatch on then put the saddle on the horse and draw around that with chalk. Remember to keep stepping back and checking the are even.

The Bib Clip

This clip takes off just the front of the horse – the chest and the underside of the neck, you can take it further back to incorporate the girth area too. This clip is suitable for horses in light work or who live out. This clip leaves the hair on the legs, although if you have a horse with very hairy legs you can run the clippers down the back of the legs to remove the hair and help keep them clean in the mud.


These 3 are very similar, as you move along each one just takes off more hair than the one before. These are suitable for horses in medium work who are turned out a lot or who live out, again these clips all leave the hair on the legs and really only remove hair from the underside of the horse.

Blanket Clip

This clip removes more hair than the trace, Irish or tracer and leaves a ‘blanket; of hair across the horses back, in the ares that are nor t prone to sweating, it also leaves the hair on the legs. In the picture the horse has had half a face off, however you can also take the whole face off, or leave it all on. This clip is suitable for horses in medium work, and also good for horses who suffer with cold back, as it gives an added layer of hair for warmth.

Hunter clip

This clip removes almost all the hair from the body, you can choose to leave a saddle patch on – recommended if your horse is prone to being rubbed by saddlecloths, or you can remove it too, leaving the body completely clipped out. Again you have the choice to do a half face or a full face. The legs are left on to give protection from mud and water. This clip is suitable for horses in heavy work.

Full Clip

This clip removes all the hair from the horses body, legs and face. You can leave the front of the face on if your horse does not like it being clipped, some horses do not like the sensation of the clippers on the front of their face. This is a very sensitive area with not much coverage over the horse facial bones, and of course the eye area too. Again with this clip you can also leave a saddle patch if you wish. This clip is suitable for horses in heavy work and is also the recommended clip if you are clipping through the summer as well.

There is a final clip that some people like to do, which involves only clipping the ares that sweat. For example a bib clip and then the girth area and between the back legs, or maybe some patches on the neck. This type of clip is popular with owners whose horse live out unrugged all year round.

Clipping benefits the horse by stopping them form becoming too hot when working, it is not healthy for a horse to regularly overheat, and also they can get ill if they are not properly cooled down. When the temperature is between -5 to 25 degrees the horse can regulate its own body temperature and should largely be left alone. However if the horse is in hard or regular work and sweating up then clipping would be recommended. When removing the hair be sure to rug appropriately when needed so the horse does not get cold. Again the weight of rug will depend on the horse, some horses can do winter fully clipped out in a lightweight rug, others need a couple of heavyweight rugs. You know your own horse so rug accordingly to their needs, everyone will be different.

I hope this blog has been useful for you, tomorrows one will go over the method and handy hints and tips for clipping.

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