Types of Horse Clips: The Ultimate Guide

With winters running in full swing, you’d be looking into horse clip types that can help you remove just the right amount of hair. We all know, horse grooming can be challenging during harsh winters, but with the right tools, this task can become much easier.

There are many types of equine clips, however, you might want to take a few things into perspective before you decide on a clipping pattern. This article will provide you a detailed guide on the types of horse clips and how to choose a horse clip that best suits your horse’s needs. 

Should I Clip My Horse?

Knowing if your horse needs clipping or not can put you in a dilemma. Sounding more of a Shakespeare play: “To clip or not to clip,” is a matter of knowing the circumstances. 

Here is how you can tell if you should opt for clipping or not:

If your horse tends to live indoors, gets frequent blanket changes, and is ridden on a regular basis; then it is advised to clip your horse’s hair. 

However, if your horse tends to stay outside and has little physical activity; then you might as well skip clipping your equine’s hair. 

Let’s dive into the details;

Your horse tends to develop a longer and thicker coat in winter. This is a natural mechanism of your horse to keep warm in harsh winters. Now, if you ride your horse on a daily basis your horse will be working up a sweat. As per science, the longer the hair, the more time it will take to dry. In between sweating and drying, your horse can catch a cold. In such a case, you must clip your horse’s hair so that it can dry off easily. 

Another main concern is the environment. If you have a heated barn for your equine then clipping hair is advised. However, if your horse stays outdoors, it would need its coat to stay warm. 

Types of Horse Clips – Everything You Need to Know

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Now that we have talked about when and why you should clip your horse’s hair, let’s dive into the types of horse clips. 

Full Clip

Just as the name suggests, a full clip is used to clip off all of your horse’s hair. This clipping pattern is ideal for horses that have a thick and long coat and are involved in a heavy workload. With this clip pattern, you remove all of the coat except the triangle above the horse’s tail. 

Hunter Clip

This clip is suitable for horses that are into hard rigorous work, like hunting. If your horse is involved in such kind of work and stays indoors at night or during harsh weather, you should definitely opt for this clip. You can trim all of the horse’s coat except the area around the saddle, legs, and the v shape above the tail. 

Blanket Clip

A blanket clip can be used on horses that are into regular work and get to stay indoors during the night. Just as the name suggests, this clip creates a blanket effect. All of the coat is removed using this clip except a blanket over its back. 

Chaser Clip

This clipping pattern is similar to a blanket clip. The only difference here is that the neck area is left untrimmed. This helps provide cushion to the neck area and keep the horse warm. It is suitable for horses that are into medium work. 

Trace Clip

If your horse tends to sweat more and is into medium to hard work then this clip is for you. In this clipping pattern, the sweat-prone areas like the neck, shoulder, belly, and part of the hind legs are clipped. 

Irish Clip

This clipping pattern is suitable for horses that are into medium work and tend to spend time outside. This clipping pattern includes diagonally removing the horse’s coat. Hair from the full belly and shoulder is removed while half of the neck is clipped. 

Bib Clip

The horse’s hair from the chest, the lower part of the neck, and the front legs are removed in the bib clip. This clipping pattern is ideal for horses involved in light work.  

Now that you have a clear idea of the horse body clip patterns, you can easily gauge your situation and choose a clipping pattern that best fits your needs. 

But the question remains:

When Should I Clip My Horse?

An ideal time to clip your horse would be in between September to October. The end of September works best for most horses. However, if your horse has a fast hair growth then it may require more clipping sessions. 

As part of nature’s evolution, animals tend to develop a thicker and longer coat in winters. Your horse is no exception. Thus, it can be safely said that it is in between the month of September to October when your horse will get a winter coat, making it the best time for a clipping session.

That being said, make sure you analyze your horse’s environment and level of activity before you opt for clipping. If your horse stays outdoors in winters, has little to no activity, or if it is summer; then you do not need to opt for clipping. 

What Kind of Clippers to Use? 

The market is flooded with various types of clippers and clipping tools, making it a hassle to shop for. 

Nevertheless, the following criterion for choosing a clipper will make your task easier: 

Blades: Consider the horse clipping pattern you are opting for when looking for clippers. Clippers come with detachable and non-detachable blades. If your clipper has a detachable or adjustable blade, your job will become a lot easier. Moreover, you will get more options to create horse body clip patterns. However, if you like keeping things simple a simple, a non-detachable blade would do the job, too.

Material: This one is kind of obvious. You would definitely want to get an equine clipper that is made of durable material. You should look for Aluminum (or other metal) clippers that don’t have any plastic parts.

Size: The bigger the clipper, the harder it is to manage. A small clipper is not only easier to maneuver, it is also easier to clip sensitive areas. 

Motors: Motors are like the heart of a clipper. You would want your clipper motor to be perfect. There are 3 types of motors:

  • Rotary motors work on electricity and have a rotary disc attached to them. The disc rotates and supplies power to the blades. With this motor, you can set the speed as per your need. 
  • A pivoting motor is not ideal for beginners. Clips with such motors come with a hand and a magnet. The magnet is fixed, however, the hand and blades move.
  • A magnet motor has a magnetic field that helps regulate the movement of blades. The magnetic motor is good for a small clipping or even a heavy-duty clipping.

Confused about which one to buy? Here are our favorite horse clippers on the market.

Read This Before Clipping Your Horse

Now that we have talked about clipping patterns and clippers. Here are some dos and don’ts of horse clipping.

  1. Make sure your horse is clean before you clip. Clipping a dirty horse makes the blades blunt which makes the clipping process difficult.
  2. It is important that your horse is comfortable. Clipping an uncomfortable horse can make the clipping job ten times harder. Feed your horse before clipping and tie a hay-net around it. This will keep your horse calm during the clipping session, making your job easier.
  3. You should have space to move around. Try and clip your horse in an area where there is enough space. A low space can make it difficult to reach certain areas making it difficult for you and your horse.
  4. Make sure that your clipper’s blades are sharp a blunt blade will not cut properly.
  5. The continuous movement of blades results in friction. To prevent your blades from heating, take a few brakes, and check the temperature of the blade on your hand.
  6. Dress right for the job. Wear something that is easy to clean, you wouldn’t want hair stuck on your clothes.
  7. Even if you are experienced with clipping, ask for help if you have any ambiguity. Moreover, make sure to get your horse groomed by professionals every once in a while.

How to Clip a Horse?

Here is a step by step guide on how to clip your horse.

Step 1: Start with the easy and non-sensitive areas. Make sure your horse gets comfortable with the clipping and then move to sensitive areas like the chest and neck.

Step 2: Clipping a horse is just like shaving your hair. Clip in the opposite direction of hair growth. Start the clipper beforehand and let it run for some time before you start trimming the horse’s coat. 

Step 3: Make sure to clip in straight lines and get rid of the entire patch. Once you are done with one line move onto the next one and then repeat for an even trim.

Step 4: You wouldn’t want to poke your horse. Keep a close eye on the corners of the clipper.

Step 5: If you miss out on hair, use a cutting shear to trim the remaining hair. This is usually advised for leg hair.

Done Clipping My Horse, Now What?

Done with the 5 steps of clipping your horse? Here is what you need to do now:

Brush your horse and remove any loose hair that you see. Make sure to sweep and toss the trimmed hair in the garbage. 

Keep a bucket of warm water and a soft towel. Wipe your horse’s body. This will help remove any residue or small hair from your horse. 

Once you are done wiping the body, immediately cover your horse with a blanket. Trimming off the hair creates a sudden temperature change in the horse’s body. Make sure to retain the temperature by covering the horse with a blanket after. 

Finally, thoroughly clean and sanitize the clipper. Timely cleaning of the clipper will not only help maintain hygiene but prolong its life.

FAQs Related to Types of Horse Clips

Do you still have questions? Don’t worry we have got you covered. Here is some additional information.

How much does it cost to body clip a horse?

If you plan to get your horse clipped, keep a budget of $100 to $150.

Horse clipping can be of many types. If you are opting for a full horse body clip it will cost you more than getting an Irish or Chaser clip done. Make sure to discuss the details. the cost of clipping includes trimming, brushing, post-trim cleaning, and blanketing if needed.

How do you prevent lines when clipping a horse?

Here is how you can prevent lines when clipping a horse:

  1. Make sure your horse is clean before you clip
  2. Ensure that the blades are sharp
  3. Choose the right blade and speed
  4. Lubricate your horse with oil for smooth blade movement
  5. Remove hair from the clipper frequently
  6. Make short strokes, instead of trying to cover a larger area at one go, work around small patches. 
  7. Make sure that blades are resting on the body and not angled upwards.

Should I clip my horse in summer?

As a rule of thumb, clipping is something that is done in winters. However, if you tend to live in an area that is hot and humid, you would want to clip your horse in summers, as well.

Clipping your horse, especially if it has a thick coat can be beneficial in many ways:

  1. It helps your horse cool off after exercise
  2. It is easier to clean a horse with shorter hair
  3. Your horse tends to get less dirty as there is little hair to collect debris and dirt.

How do you clip a horse with Cushing’s disease?

Clipping a horse with Cushing’s disease is not much different than clipping a normal horse. Firstly, make sure the blades are sharp so that all the hair comes off easily. Then start off with a tail and then go forward. Make sure to trim against the hair growth and avoid trimming sensitive areas at the start. If your horse tends to finicky, avoid clipping the legs. 

Since a horse with Cushing’s disease sweats a lot, try and do it with a friend so that both of you work on each side. This will help save time and effort.

It is very important to clip a horse with Cushing’s disease, more than clipping a regular horse for that matter. Clipping hair off the horse can help them easily regulate body temperatures.

How do you clip a horse’s face?

The most difficult part of clipping a horse is clipping the face. A little bit of twitch and you can ruin the forelock or poke its eyes. Here is how you can easily clip your horse’s face:

  1. Make sure your horse is clean and dry.
  2. Your blades should be well oiled and sharpened. Lubricate your blade every 20 minutes. This helps the clipper glide smoothly while reduces friction.
  3. Make sure your horse is not chewing on anything.
  4. Start with cheeks and stay there for some time so that your horse gets used to the sound and the buzz of the clipper.
  5. Move to the jaw then the muzzle and finally lower jaw.

It is important to ensure that your horse is comfortable, the last thing you need is a restless horse to clip.

Can you ride a horse after clipping?

There is nothing wrong with riding your horse after clipping. However, horses tend to get frisky after a clip and you may want them to cool off before you ride them. If you feel your horse is in a good mood, then there is no harm in riding them immediately after a clip.

It is important, however, to know that your horse would take time to adjust to its new hair and will need assistance in regulating temperatures. If you ride your horse, make sure to cool them off and cover them after.


Horse clipping is the tricky and tiresome part of owning your horse. However, if done right, this can become more of a bonding session with your horse. Clipping a horse helps it regulate body temperature and makes it look sassy.

Nevertheless, it is vital to understand the nature of your horse’s hair growth, the nature of your work, and the environment in which your horse stays. Once you have the basics streamlined, you can then decide on the pattern and tools. 

Make sure to understand your horse first because a happy horse is a healthy horse.

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