prepare your horse for clipping

Prep your horse for body clipping!

If you want the following things for your horse while clipping:


  • Comfort
  • Speed
  • No skin pulling
  • An even finish

And if you want the following things for your equipment while clipping:


  • Hot knife through butter
  • Keeping your clippers sharp
  • Cool blades as you clip along


You should prep your horse and your clippers:


  • Make your horse super clean
  • Make your horse super slippery
  • Make your clippers super oily


up close of clipper blade teeth

Sharp blades = clipping success


Find a way to remove every last speck of dust and dirt from your horse. A few ideas here for prepping your horse for clipping.


If bathing your horse is not an option:


  • Curry comb your horse until you could theoretically lift a car once your arms recover. Maybe try out your entire collection of curry combs and grooming gloves on your horse.



  • If you don’t have a vacuum, immediately write a letter to the powers that be to make a vacuum appear, or just dandy brush a lot. Then soft brush. Then dandy. Then soft.


  • Hot towel your horse. This lifts and removes any remaining dirt and dust. Don’t be super concerned with stains, they will get clipped off.


horse getting shampoo with a brush

Scrub scrub scrub, rinse rinse rinse.


If all conditions are a go for bathing your horse:


  • Shampoo your horse after thorough grooming. I like a simple, shine-enhancing shampoo, as this helps to create a great coat for clippers to slide through.


  • Rinse until the cows come home.


  • During the drying process, which will involve towel drying and lots of coolers and absolutely no rolling, spray your horse with a shine enhancer. I use grooming oil before and after body clipping and trace clipping.


  • The combo of dirt removal and slickifying of the coat allow your clippers to work at maximum efficiency. Using the grooming oil creates just enough stick that as you clip, the hair stays relatively clumped together so there are not so many hairs flying through the air.



grooming oil on a horse after clipping

Grooming oil makes your horse’s coat slick and shiny – which makes your horse easy to clip! Use before and after a clip.


Make sure your clippers are sharp to begin with, properly oiled before and during the clipping process, and you check the blades regularly for heat. The easiest way to do this is to clean and store them properly after every use.


Enjoy the easy cleaning of a freshly clipped horse!


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


go shopping button for horse products


The following links go to my favorite pre-clipping prep products. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and there is no extra charge to you. Your support means that I can float this website to keep bringing you good information and bad jokes. THANKS!

Shapley’s Hi Shine Shampoo, 1-Quart

Shapley’s Magic Sheen Hair Polish, 1-Quart

Shapley’s No.1 Light Oil – this is the “secret” oil to use before and after a clip.

For actual clipping, I rely on these:

Wahl KM10 Clippers – powerful enough for all body clipping.

Wahl KM Cordless – the same power as the KM10’s, but cordless. They do weigh a bit more than the KM10’s, but totally worth it.

Wahl Professional Animal 10 Ultimate Competition Series Detachable Blade #2377-500 – My blade of choice.

Thank you!