Horse Clipping Guide: Types of Clips and Tips for Easier Clipping

Clipping your horse is a great way to stop them getting too sweaty with a thick winter coat. Some horses are also clipped year-round due to health conditions or for competing. Despite the benefits of clipping, we can often dread the task. Fidgety horses, blunt blades and hair everywhere seems to make the whole process drag out. Check out our tips below to make the whole process quick and simple, plus we’ll outline all the different types of clip to choose from.

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Before Starting to Clip Your Horse:

  • Weather permitting, wash your horse the day before. This helps to remove grease from the coat. If it’s too cold for a bath, you can hot cloth your horse or spot clean any dirty areas.
  • Get your horse used to clippers before attempting to clip them. You may need to desensitize them slowly in the days leading up to the clip.
  • Check that your clipper blades are sharp or you may end up with a half-clipped horse when you realise they’re dull.
  • Mark out the shape of the clip with chalk before starting.
  • Wear overalls to stop hair ending up everywhere. These will protect your clothes against hair and also clipper oil. Avoid wearing anything fleece as this is a magnet for horse hair.

 Clipping Horse's Legs

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While Clipping Your Horse:

  • Clip against the direction of hair using long strokes.
  • Hold the skin taut and get a helper to hold the foreleg when clipping around the elbows.
  • Regularly oil the clippers to keep them running smoothly.
  • Have a rug available to put on your horse’s hindquarters to keep them warm.
  • Use a trimmer to clip those harder to reach areas or to tidy up any hair.
  • Go over the coat with a hot cloth or soft brush to remove any loose hairs after clipping.

Horse Clipperman Jewel Trimmer

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Types of Clip

Bib Clip
Horse Bib Clip

A bib clip removes a small amount of hair along the neck and chest. This is ideal for horses that live out or are in light work. 

Irish Clip
Horse Irish Clip

This clip removes more hair than the bib clip but still leaves enough to keep them warm. Typically, the clip will remove hair from the neck and behind the elbows where they get most sweaty. Great for horses in light to medium work and it’s a fairly quick clip to do.  

Trace Clip
Horse Trace Clip

The trace clip removes hair from under the neck, chest and belly. Hair is still left on the head and legs. Good for horses in light to medium work.

Blanket Clip Horse Blanket Clip

A step up from the trace clip, a blanket clip removes more hair from the neck and half of the head is clipped. It’s ideal for horses that are in medium work. The hair left is similar to an exercise sheet so still helps to keep the back warm. Traditionally there is a semi-circle clipped out at the point of hip too but you can skip this if it seems too fiddly!

Hunter Clip
Horse Hunter Clip

A hunter clip removes all hair except a saddle patch and the legs. This is good for horses in heavy work that still need a bit of protection on their legs.

Full Clip Horse Full Clip

As the name suggests, a full clip removes all hair. Competition or horses in heavy work will benefit from this type of clip.

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Fun Horse Clipping Designs

Clipping is also a fantastic opportunity to get creative! You could use a stencil to add a star or heart to your pony’s hindquarters. Or, if you’re particularly skilled have a go freehand at something more challenging. Here are some of our favourite creative clips:

A fabulous giraffe design by 


How about this festive clip by @rockwoodeventing?


This puzzling clip by @gretaclip is pretty cool.


Or, how about this gorgeous stag clip by @kupferfuechse?


We hope this gives you some inspiration - happy clipping!


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