How to clip a design or saddle pad on your horse


Well, you don’t need many fancy tools, although you might need a bit of practice…and the ability to remind yourself that it will all grow out… if you want to clip a design or keep a furry saddle patch on your horse.


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  • Regardless of your style of clipping on your horse, leaving some hair over the withers and down the spine might be a good idea. Clipped hair is shorter than a summer coat until it grows a bit, so that furry saddle pad might be a good idea.


very shiny bay horse on the grass

Full body clip with a saddle patch remaining.


How to create saddle pads and designs


  • Step one – draw it out. Use a water-based marker in a contrasting color to your horse and trace a numnah or half pad for the saddle area. For designs, you can use masking tape, a stencil, or draw freehand.


I place the half pad, then trace around it. I go wider than I think I’ll need, so I can do some fine-tuning if I have to.


  • Step two – grab some clippers with a blade that takes off a lot of hair. A #30 or #40 blade is good. Hold these clippers like a pencil, and at an angle, to trace the lines you have drawn or taped. You may need to flip the clippers around to find the perfect angle to cut a line into your horse’s coat.


Use a blade that removes a lot of hair to edge out your design. Think #40 blade or so.  These are trimmers that have an adjustable 5-in-1 blade. 


  • Step three – Clip the rest! Start a bit bigger for fuzzy designs on a clipped rump so you can work in. Start a bit smaller for clipped designs on a fuzzy rump so you can clip out. I switch to a #10 blade to clip the actual design, it leaves more hair than a #30 or #40.


stencil for design on your horse

Stencils are helpful, too.



  • If you find that your horse has some colored marker lines remaining, grab a damp cloth and you should be able to wipe them away.


How to use a stencil to create designs


6 Easy tip for clipping


Somewhere in this video there is a glaringly obvious mistake because I’m human and the loose hair obviously infiltrated my train of thought.


Read the COMPLETE GUIDE TO CLIPPING YOUR HORSE for start to finish tips on clippers, techniques, and troubleshooting!


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