How to avoid clipper lines on your horse.

 

  • Well, think about painting a room. 99% prep and 1% painting. The same goes for clipping your horse. It doesn’t matter if you are doing a body clip or a trace clip, avoiding clipper lines starts with prep. Do the best possible prep work, then your clipping will be about as perfect as it can be. But there is still the element of practice!

 

Things that contribute to clipper lines on horses:

 

  • Dirty and dull blades. You might as well use a blindfold and two rusty spoons to clip. Dirty and dull clipper blades also tug at the coat and skin, making the clipping experience not so nice. Spend the time to clean and oil your clipper blades after every use. Also, have them sharpened as needed!

 

  • A dirty horse creates clipper lines. Which, incidentally, is also a great way to get dirty and dull clipper blades. Do the prep work of cleaning and oiling your horse to make everything go well.

 

clipper lines on a gray horse

Uneven pressure caused these lovely lines!

 

  • Uneven pressure. This is literally just about practicing with clippers. It also has a lot to do with the angle that you hold the blade against your horse. Again, just practice. Massively resist the urge to press harder when the hair is thicker, like over the knees and over the croup.

 

 

up close of number 10 blades on a gray horse

Rest the clipper blade on your horse. Angles like this photo cause the clippers to dig in and create marks.

 

  • Blades that are hot need some oil as you are clipping. Can you tell OIL is a theme here? As you clip your horse, the blades might start to heat up. Give a quick spritz with some coolant. Also, add some clipper oil to the blades. Coolant or a coolant/lubricant combo is not the same as oil! Just add a few drops of the oil, let the clippers run, and off you go.

 

  • Using a blade that is too wide for the area you are clipping. Working around faces and elbows and such, the wide blades don’t fit into those areas and you end up using uneven pressure. Switch to a more narrow blade, just be sure it’s the same number.

 

  • Use a step stool to see what you are doing. If you go “by feel” on areas you can’t see, you will end up varying how much pressure you use, which will give you lines. Every time!

 

What do you do if your horse has clipper lines?

 

 

  • Try going over your horse again. Paying particular attention to the pressure of the clippers and the angle at which you hold them.

 

 

gray horse clipped with saddle pad remaining

 

  • You can also swipe your clippers in an X shape over any lines to help even things out.

 

  • Wait a few days. Most lines will disappear before you know it.

 

  • Keep practicing!

 

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