Post-clipping tips to bring back color and shine
Caring for your horse’s skin and coat before and after a body clip is important, and there are some steps to follow. These post-clipping tips also apply to trace clipping or trimming your horse.
Jump to videos and shopping
- It’s best to prep the skin for clipping, decreasing irritation from the blades and making the whole process easier. I like to do these steps before clipping the body, the legs, or both:
- Start with a horse that has a naturally oily and healthy coat.
- Have a squeaky clean and dry horse. Sweat scrape, towel dry, air dry. Try to avoid walking in dust or dirt, and just this once don’t let your horse roll.
- Make sure your clipper blades are wickedly sharp and oiled. This article here has more info on clipper blades.
- Know exactly where skin irregularities are, and be prepared to pull the skin taut to allow the clippers to pass over. Think tendons, the elbow area, etc. Don’t clip through skin tags, scabs, or wounds.
Have sharp and professional blades for the best body clip
After clipping your horse:
- Immediately after clipping, I brush my horse with a super soft natural bristled brush to try and remove most of the tiny stray hairs, which are then invisibly deposited on me.
- A good grooming and possible rinse following a body clip can help ensure an itch-free feeling.
- Since you have just bathed your horse and then clipped off all of those hairs, his skin and coat will be missing some of those amazing oils that make him shiny and protect his skin.
- It’s up to you to mimic your horse’s oils and allow them to return naturally. Some folks like to do a deep conditioning treatment here also, just after clipping and before rinsing.
- You can use mayonnaise (ugh), horse conditioners, or grooming oil to help restore condition and shine.
These are all good options. Use what you know works for your horse, but if you need to shampoo your treatment off, it may not be worth the hassle as you are likely to remove most of the good stuff you just put on. Most good grooming oils are designed to be applied sparingly, in which case you likely do not need to remove it the next day.
Spritz on a grooming oil, cover with a sheet, and rinse off the next day (if you like!)
The mayonnaise trick requires a strong stomach and nose.
- You coat your horse in the stuff, leave it on for an hour or so, and rinse off. The problem with this is that you will likely need to shampoo it off, which can strip the natural oils even more.
- I have also heard that you can make a mayo rinse with some mayo in a bucket of water and use that. Still won’t catch me using mayo on my horses, just can’t take the smell, and I might be wretching as I type this. Yup, wretching.
After clipping, you may have a sensitive or ticklish horse.
- Any true white hair will have pink skin underneath, and this skin is typically most sensitive. If you clip closely to the skin, you must figure out some sun and bug protection. Fly boots, sheets, and fly masks are good options here, even if it’s not technically fly season.
- Clipped skin may be a smidge more sensitive, so avoid using stiff brushes, hard curry combs, and shampoos until the hair has come in a little. If you use grooming gloves, you can feel your horse’s reaction as you vary the pressure while grooming. One great benefit of clipping a horse is the ease in which you can groom – take advantage of this, and enjoy how spiffy it makes your horse look!!
Bring back the color
- Nothing says a freshly clipped horse quite like the pumpkin color of a chestnut horse or the mousy color of a bay or black. Time will certainly bring back some of the colors as the coat grows out.
- Color-enhancing shampoos are another option. These shampoos deposit gorgeous pigments into the hair coat after letting your horse “marinate” in the bubbles for about 5-10 minutes.
Read the COMPLETE GUIDE TO CLIPPING YOUR HORSE for start to finish tips on clippers, techniques, and troubleshooting!
You can pick up these items if you need grooming boosts after clipping your horse! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which is no extra charge to you! I greatly appreciate your support!
This cactus mitt may be easier to use than a cloth.
Genuine Cactus Cloth – Natural – 18 X 16-1/2 Standard This is much better for stain removal and spreading natural oils around.
HandsOn Grooming Gloves – also, use code PEG for some free shipping!
You can also snap up a bottle of the grooming oil I love
This shampoo, MediCare, has soothing ingredients for sensitive skin.
EquiTone in Black is great for bays and darker horses.
Whitening EquiTone is good for all colors for shine, and whitening for grays.
Red EquiTone in brightens chestnuts and blood bays.
EquiTone in GOLD works with palomino coloring.
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.
Clipper Blade Coolant- You still need to use oil
Clipper Oil – please use this every five minutes as you are clipping.