If you look at any professional clippers kit, you will notice that they have a wide array of clippers, trimmers and blades.
horses have different coat types – fine, sort, fluffy, dense and long. They can also have pink or dark skin, and most definitely have more sensitive areas on their body.
I’m going to go through each of the clippers in my own personal kit today, and what I use each of them for.
Please bare in mind, there are many different techniques that can be used when clipping horses, and what I do is not necessarily the only correct way of doing things.
All of the clippers I use are from Liveryman, and I have been exclusively using this brand for many years now. I am extremely lucky to be a brand ambassador for them as of 2019.
I‘d also like to add – For best results when clipping (no matter which type or brand of clippers you are using!) the horse should be as clean as possible, and bone dry with no products on the coat. A thorough bath the day before if possible, or a PROPER groom is recommended.
MEDIUM – HEAVY DUTY CLIPPERS
These are the strongest of my clippers – able to get through the thickest of Cushing coats, they are essential to my team.
I primarily use these to clip the body of the horse – neck, barrel and hind quarters. I also use them to take off the bulk of heavy feathering if required.
These can run off of the mains, or from a separate battery pack which holds roughly 5 hours charge. They have an adjustable speed setting, so it is possible to make them quieter for nervous horses.
Medium A2 blades are suitable for most horses – these have a cutting length of 2.5mm
Coarse A2 blades have wider teeth than the medium blades, and are used for horses with super thick and greasy coats. They don’t tend to leave a neat finish, so going back over the coat with medium blades is required.
Fine A2 blades have a cutting length of 1.5mm, and work best on horses with a fine coat, or for summer clipping.
I never use these blade on horses with pink skin, as the cut is too close and they can look like a ‘skinned rabbit’. Horses with pink skin tend to be more sensitive, and liable to sun burn, so medium blades are more appropriate.
Lightweight clippers that have the A5 blade system are a fantastic item to have in your arsenal.
I use these mostly for clipping the head and lower legs of the horse. As the small clippers are quieter, with less vibration than the larger clippers, I find that most horses are more tolerant when having their faces clipped.
As the blades are narrower, it is much easier to clip all the knooks and crannies on a horse’s legs and head.
With wide blades, you are also able to clip the body of the horse, although it will take you longer than if you were using medium/heavy duty clippers. These clippers aren’t as strong as medium/heavy duty clippers, so when clipping horses with a thick or excessively dirty coat you would be better to use medium/heavy duty clippers.
I find these clippers very useful for youngsters and nervous horses, as they are so quiet it’s a nice introduction to clipping.
The A5 blades have the widest selection of blade options to choose from – everything from a surgical cut up to 16mm skip tooth, and wide blades if you need them to clip parts of the body.
The most common lengths that I use are –
2mm narrow – for head and lower legs, hogging and for blending
3mm narrow – for face blending
2.4mm wide – for body
6.4mm & 9.6mm skip tooth – for lower legs, when you want to shorten the hair rather than fully clip the legs
The trimmers are perfect for clipping ears, bridlepaths, jawlines, armpits, stifles, and any ‘hard-to-reach’ areas on the legs (around the chestnuts, back of pasterns) and head (above the eyes and under the jaw).
As the teeth of the blades are so close together, there is no chance of cutting the horse’s skin in any of the sensitive areas of the body.
Another thing that these trimmers are incredibly useful for is blending. Blending has become more and more popular in recent years, especially for competition and showing horses.
These trimmers have adjustable cutting settings, ranging from 0.8mm – 2mm, which make them perfect for blending various areas of the horse – legs, mane line, top of the tail (where you would normally make a point).
They also come with guard combs, so you can choose longer cutting lengths if required, though I seldom use them.
If you are looking for Liveryman clippers, then please check out their website to find a list of official stockists – Link is here
Liveryman also have a fantastic FAQ section, check it out here
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