What to wear when clipping your horse


  • Perhaps the oldest joke in the book about clipping your horse is to not wear lip balm while you are doing it. Logically. While this is excellent advice, I have some other tips that can help you stay relatively hair-free when clipping.

How to keep your clothes mostly clean when you are clipping your horse.


Avoid the wind.


  • Freshly clipped hair is just downright out of control in a breeze. If you are clipping indoors, find a nook in your barn or shelter out of the wind. This can help keep the hair out of your clothing.


But also, harness the wind.


  • If you have no choice but to clip in the wind, keep it at your back. This might require some creative positioning of your horse so the wind is at your back, and do so with caution and safety in mind. Asking or bribing a friend to help you here is a great idea. And to help share the hair.


Shapley's No. 1 light oil grooming oil

Prep your horse for clipping with a grooming oil, this keeps the hairs a bit more together and less likely to settle in your skivvies.


Keep your horse’s coat a bit oily.


  • The ultimate pro tip for horse clipping is to start with a clean horse and a conditioned horse. No. 1 Light Oil is a fantastic product to rub into your horse before you start clipping.


  • Not only does this condition your horse’s coat, but it also makes the hair heavy and stuck together. This makes it more likely to fall on the earth, not into your clothes. And yes, you will absolutely be able to tell if you have applied too little or too much. Which doesn’t matter, and either way, your clippers will thank you.



What about clipping a wet horse?


  • Isn’t this like an oily horse where the hair just falls to the ground? While you technically CAN clip your horse when he’s wet, this will seriously gunk up and create dullness on your blades. This makes your clipper motor work overtime and can tug at your horse’s skin. Not fun for your clippers, your horse, or your wallet when replacing blades. You might find that a mildly damp horse creates less hair floating around, and you can even use conditioners and grooming oils to create this effect on your horse without being wet.


Dress appropriately.


  • Skip any body lotions and potions in the morning and anything that might make the hair stick to you! I like to wear a top that zips up. You know, that super fashionable mock turtleneck style, zipped up to my chin.


  • I keep the long sleeves tight around my wrist, you can even use hair bands if you need to. You can also wear an undershirt tucked into pants. If you do this, keep an outer layer hanging out and long so nothing slips into your pants.


  • I also tuck my jeans into my socks to keep my legs mostly free of hair. Or, I wear extra log pants that balloon over my shoes, which is a better idea. Jumpsuits can help, as can avoiding certain fabrics.


  • Flannels are out, sleek and slick fabrics are in! I think that some of the technical fabrics are so airy that hairs can get stuck in them, I generally prefer something a bit thicker and slippery. Think of a shirt that is almost stiff with starch, nothing’s getting through that. Ultimately, it’s a big experiment anyway!


  • And I didn’t know these things existed until someone from social media mentioned it – RAIN PANTS. Whaaaa? Genius.


Also – think about your lungs and mouth and eyes when clipping your horse.


  • Clipping does stir up a ton of tiny bits of hair and dust and “stuff” – so many levels of yuck. Covering your mouth with a bandana is a good idea. And, a wickedly sexy fashion statement.


  • Has anyone seen one of those hats that has mosquito netting attached? Much like a bee keeper’s uniform? Consider one of these shocking fashion statements if you are especially prone to hair and dander in your eyeballs.


bee keepers hat

This lovely stock photo shows a sporty and practical way to fend off bees, wayward hair when clipping your horse, and any potential dates.


Planning your day around clipping is also a great thing to do.


  • Having a change of clothes so you can slip into a hair-free outfit before you leave the barn is a good idea. I will even use a damp washcloth to tidy up any areas that are itchy as I change. I also clip my horse when I know I can go home and shower right away.


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