Can You Clip a Wet Horse?


YES! You can clip a wet horse. But – this is not ideal for so many reasons, and may cost you in the long run. Let your horse dry before you start to clip.  

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What happens when you clip a wet horse


  • A few things happen to your horse’s coat and clipper blades during a wet clip. Wet hair gets easily stuck in the teeth of your clipper blades, much more than when you clip a dry horse. 


  • Clipping while wet is not comfortable for your horse. The clogged-up clipper blades will tug at your horse’s skin, and make it harder for you to maintain an even pressure and angle.  


  • Your end results will look like you clipped while blindfolded using rusty spoons. When the hair tugs at your horse, the resulting clip is choppy, uneven, and full of lines and gouges.  


Your clipper blades


  • Wet hair in your clipper blades also slows the motor down. Your clippers will work harder to cut, and the blades and motor will become hot.  


  • You will also find that wet clipping makes you stop more often to clean out the blades and re-apply coolant and oil. Perhaps you need to restock on coolant and oil more frequently!  


  • When cutting wet hair, your clipper blades also get dull, and any residual moisture is the perfect storm for rust to invade.  


up close of clipper blade

Clipper blades get dull and gummed up when clipping wet hair. 


Your clipper body


  • If you have ever taken apart your clippers, you know that they collect tiny bits of dust and hair. Water could also find it’s way into your clipper body, creating damage, rust, and shorting out components.  


  • Is clipping a wet horse an electrical hazard? Probably! I’m no electrician but I wouldn’t want to risk it. 

10 wide blade on km10 clippers going through a coat

Your horse’s body clip will be more polished when you clip a clean and dry coat.


Clip a clean and dry horse, instead


  • The most gorgeous clip will also be the fastest when you start with a clean and dry horse using sharp clipper blades. Guaranteed!


  • Think of dirt, dust, and dander on your horse as clipper blade obstacles. The teeth cut through the dirt to get to the hair and, in doing so, get damaged and dull.   


  • You can help your clippers even more when you treat your clean horse’s coat to some conditioning. 


  • Grooming oils can be sprayed, brushed, sponged, or toweled on your horse to help your clippers glide. You could also use a sheen product, but many are loaded with excess alcohol which can dry the coat and skin.  


  • You could also condition your horse after shampooing if you like, although this does take some time to rinse fully.

Help your horse dry in preparation for clipping


  • Part of the challenge with horses after a bath is to help them dry without rolling, which they will do at the drop of a hat. 


  • Don’t skimp on sweat scraping. Repeat the sweat scraping process as your horse dries, especially around the belly, as water will collect there. Thanks, gravity. 


  • Get in on the drying process with clean towels. As if you were waxing your car, a buffing with terry towels will help dry your horse. For extra fuzzy horses, leave the hair messy to get more air into the coat. 


gray horse in green wool cooler grazing

Let nature and coolers dry your horse.


  • Use nature to dry your horse. A slight breeze and some sunshine will speed up the drying process.


  • Coolers are wonderful at wicking moisture from the coat. You could even layer coolers in chilly weather, and take them off as they get damp.  


  • Solariums are another option, and provide some warmth to a grooming area.  


Once your horse is dry, clipping is a breeze.



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Coolers with necks are great for cold weather

Keep it simple with a traditional cooler

This is a lighter scrim style of cooler



Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Lithium Clipper – this includes the 5 in 1 blade that goes from a #9 to a #40. Perfect for designs!

Wahl Professional Animal ARCO with 5 in 1 blade


The Chromado, also available in black.


Wahl’s Creativa horse trimmer is also availabe in pink.



The KM10’s are the gold standard for horse body clippers.


The Pro Ion, this is a body clipper that uses 30-15-10 blade system.

The Lister Stars – the best shear-style clippers for horses!


Blades for body clippers, the detachable style.


The 10 Wide blade for body clippers, the detachable style.

A 5 in 1 replacement blade.

Lister Star blades, fine cut.


Liste Star Blades, Medium


30-15-10’s adjustable blade.



Clipper Blade Coolant- You still need to use oil

Clipper Oil – please use this every five minutes as you are clipping. 


Professional Animal Stainless Steel Attachment Guide Combs for Wahl’s Bravura, Arco, Chromado, Figura, and Motion Pet Clippers (3379) – these combs match the 5 in 1 blades.

Professional Animal Stainless Steel Attachment Guide Combs for Detachable Blade Clippers (3390-100) – for detachable blades.



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