When should you do your last clip?

When should you do your last clip?

We often get asked this.  Personally, we clip one of our horses all year round, being a heavyweight cob, she needs all the help she can get in the hair department and the summer coat comes through quite happily in between.

Most horses may only need to be clipped through the winter averaging around 3 clips during the winter season, and this tends to coincide with their summer coats starting to change late January early February, hence the old fashioned saying that the last clip should be by the end of January.

The trend coming in from Europe with competition horses, is to keep them clipped, even with their fine coats, all year round, and this is now becoming commonplace in the UK, particularly in the show jumping sector.  It certainly helps keep them cool when competing in the warmer climates, and does make for a very smart finish too.

Does it damage their summer coats? We don't personally think it does.  If a horse is kept warm, has adequate protection and has sufficient rugs, then this will definitely help the new coat come through more quickly and will also keep the cat hairs at bay. 

If you do find your horse is looking rather untidy but doesn’t have much coat to clip, then a tidy up of cat hairs will definitely give back a more defined, tidy finish.  To do this, we recommend the following two options:

  1. Use a plastic comb attachment added to a trimmer (most normally come with a set of add on combs) are good to use to quickly whiz over for a tidy up. They won’t actually go into the coat and clip to the skin, and will just take off any untidy long “cat hair”.
  2.  If you have a full size Lister clipper, for example – Lister Star, Lister Legend, Lister Laser or the Lister Liberty, then another recent development by Lister Shearing has been to produce a special blade which skims over the coat, this is called a Covercote Blade.  We have had great success with this, and it certainly gives a smooth finish without taking any summer coat off that may be coming through.  It is ideal to use at this time of year to go over the coat to remove cat hairs, and particularly good in the early Autumn and prior to HOYS for show competitors to use over the coat when it has just started to grow. 


This will then take off the excess hair and give a smooth unclipped look.  Perfect for the show horse that is requiring a sleek, shiny look but without looking like it has been freshly clipped.


In the old days, the grooms used to use a flame, to singe the long cat hairs, known as singeing. Thankfully we now have more modern equipment and methods to use to create a smart, well turnout out horse.


29th January 2019

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