Do I really need a pair of clippers? I never plan on clipping my horse!
A pair of clippers is not only for horses that are clipped - it’s for the totally unclipped horse, too…For one reason alone: Wound care. When you find a cut, nick, or wound the easiest way to see what’s going on is to clip the area. This allows the Vet to determine the severity of the wound, and it also allows you to better apply bandages and medications. This also allows you to easily monitor for signs of infection. Think about a case of scratches - the name of the game is clean and dry - that’s hard to do with lots of hair. It’s also hard to apply meds to a sore covered in hair!
When properly cared for, clippers can last you a lifetime!
It’s also nice to tidy up your horse with clippers, even if you don’t do full or partial body clips. Bridle paths make bridles and halters fit more comfortably. Clipped fetlocks present a clean picture, and stray hairs can be mowed. (For a video on trimming fetlocks see this article!) For some situations, like a blazing hot summer or a horse with anhidrosis, clipping some air conditioning stripes under the neck and along the belly help with cooling your horse.
For show horses, clippers are your best friend! Same goes for horses that are clipped in the winter. Many show horses are clipped year round, for ease of grooming and cooling while competing in hot weather. The metabolically challenged horse or the horse in work can benefit from a trace or full body clip in the winter.
Clippers are also great at banging tails, trimming tail tops, creating an even coronary band, taming fetlock wildness, removing stray ear hairs, you name it. Invest in a good pair and take care of the blades and your clippers will last a lifetime.
This is just taking off the longest of feathers in the back. For a show horse, I might clip the leg completely.
When you are shopping for a pair of clippers, you don’t have to get the yak trimming model if you are looking for a Vet Kit pair. Also, the tiny handheld varieties are great for tiny areas, not for clipping wounds and larger areas. Most clipper motors are light, medium, and heavy duty. Look for models with quiet motors, multiple speeds, and high quality blades. (More on blade selection here!) Some top notch models are even designed to stay cool, minimize or eliminate vibration in your hand, and be cordless! I actually prefer a corded model, as you never have to worry about the batter being uncharged. But, for horses that equate cords with hideous horse eating snakes, you may want to go this route.
What’s in your clipper arsenal?