When and what should I not clip?
This shows me using a Lister Showman which is operated off a battery pack round my waist. Great for clipping where there is no electricity. These are relatively quiet and give approximately 3 hours clipping time.
Never clip a horse just for the sake of it, if it is a youngster, or an older horse that is unlikely to be worked it is best to leave them with their natural winter coat.
The same rule applies to clipping as feeding – clip according to the amount of work the horse is doing. Generally speaking horses that are not in work do not need clipping.
The appalling practice of clipping foals for the show ring is an unnecessary abuse, which appears to be on the increase. Foals should be kept out as much as possible on the best grass available. They are born with a dense coat to give them added protection from the cool nights, hot sun and flies, and the inevitable knocks, which would otherwise injure their tender skin.
Some horses are genuinely terrified of being clipped, either from a bad introduction to clipping, having been hurt by the clippers or even having received an electric shock. If, in the case of a young horse being frightened, although never having a bad experience, it is worth persevering. There are a number of ways of making the experience bearable and in time gaining the confidence needed. This will be dealt with later on. For the horse that is too terrified and proves dangerous to himself and handler it is better not to clip on grounds of safety. Some horses will settle under heavy sedation, but this will need to be discussed with your veterinary surgeon, as he will be required to be present.