Summer Clipping - Have you got a Hot and Hairy Horse or Dog?

Summer Clipping - Have you got a Hot and Hairy Horse or Dog?

Clipping during the summer months is often frowned upon, but it can become a welfare issue for some when excessive hair in extreme heat can cause unnecessary suffering. 

Horses and ponies that are competing regularly, are often clipped throughout the summer period to ensure their body temperature is kept as low as possible.  By taking off even 2mm of hair, (medium grade) this will allow the skin to work more efficiently and can be cooled off quickly after exercise.

Heavier breeds tend to have denser hair, and the summer coat of these breeds are often similar to the winter weight coat of a thoroughbred or warmblood.  It is quite usual to clip a cob every two or three weeks during the summer to achieve a fine summer thoroughbred coat. 

Colouring is also a factor for heat absorption, with dark or black coats retaining the heat more than the lighter colours, and again, this may result in clipping to help reduce the heat.

Some horses are not able to shed their coats easily and carry a thick coat all year which makes clipping an essential job to consider when experiencing hot weather. 

Others clip for personal preference to give a continually clean and sharp look and to allow cooling off to be done as quickly and effectively as possible after physical exertion. 

For summer and autumn clipping on show horses, Lister Shearing offer a specialist blade called the Covercote.  This skims the top surface of the coat, leaving a 5mm shorter under coat, allowing the natural colour of the hair to remain and is particularly good for keeping coats tidy before heading to a finer blade to get a 2mm or closer finish.

For summer clipping, a lighter weight clipper is ideal as its not having to cope with the thick and greasy conditions that are found when clipping during the winter months.

Light Duty clippers take the “snap on” blade system and can also double up as trimmers for winter use, by fitting a narrower blade.  There are various grades of blade to choose, but a medium (No 10) or fine (No 15) would be the most frequently used during the summer.

Light Duty clippers are lighter to hold and manage, with many now being battery operated, allowing more flexibility and ease of use.

This type of clipper is also tension free and is easy to use, particularly as an introduction to clipping young or nervous horses as they are so much quieter than the full-size larger models.

Being so multi-purpose, they can also be used for dog grooming, by choosing appropriate grades of blades for the type or breed of dog.  These are useful dual purpose clippers and a useful choice for keeping dogs cool and tidy during the summer months.

14th July 2021

Back to news