It’s October, and Sandie started working on her winter coat weeks ago. And Sandie is a sweater. Big time. And unless I want to spend 5 days drying her off every time I ride her, it’s time to body clip!
My usual solution: Pay someone else to clip her for me.
My challenge this year: She needs to be clipped twice – once now because this Ohio weather is unseasonably warm still…and another time when she inevitably grows her coat back in despite my best efforts in another month!
I don’t have the funds at the moment to pay someone to clip her twice. So I decided to finally buy a decent sized pair of clippers and try it out for myself. They’ll pay themselves off on the second clip, what a deal! So this is for all of you who have ever body clipped a horse before…
**12 Steps to a Quality First Time Body Clipping Job**
Step 1: Go get your horse out of the pasture. Bring treats or you’ll never be able to move on to Step 2. Play tag with your horse and eventually get lucky enough to catch her and drag her inside.
Step 2: Bathe your horse to prepare for clipping. End up with a bath yourself, which will be really valuable when growing your OWN furry winter coat, which will inevitably happen when you clip your horse.
Step 3: Wait for your horse to dry. Wait some more. Decide to put her back outside in the sun to dry faster. Watch her roll in the dirt. Go back to Step 1 and start over.
Step 4: After second bath, spray horse with Show Sheen to allow the clipper blades to slide through more easily. Start clipping…realize there’s no turning back now. Attempt to go slowly but fail miserably when your impatience kicks in and you realize just how long this is going to take. Stand back and gaze at the lovely track marks you have made. Attempt to clip in different directions to make them disappear…instead create an array of track marks that are now going in every which direction.
Step 5: Stop. Clippers are hot…put horse back in stall while they cool off for the next 20 minutes. Answer the lesson kids’ questions about why your horse looks like Edward Scissorhands was grooming her. Give up and decide to take a break and go to lunch.
Step 6: Come back from lunch and drag your horse down to the wash stall again. Resume clipping. Realize you need an extension cord to reach the other side. And a drink…a very strong drink. Consider that for a moment, then reconsider since you don’t want your horse to look like she’s mid-battle on the set of War Horse.
Step 7: After clipping the rest of the body, start on the head. Narrowly miss chopping your horse’s entire forelock off, because said horse is stomping and wiggling around in response to the horrific fly attack going on around you both. Set up a fan to attempt to deter the flies, since you’ve been told that you can’t use your oil-based fly spray while you’re clipping. Fail miserably at keeping the flies away, but succeed in blowing all of the hair around causing a fuzzy, itchy tornado.
Step 8: Start on the legs…3 hours later…at this point you could care less if there are track marks the size of the Grand Canyon, you just want to finish before your horse (and your head) explodes. Try in vain to clip legs as your horse stomps and paws. Almost chop half of tail off, as horse is using it to attempt to swat devil flies.
Step 9: Consider going back over your horse to get any spots you missed. As it is now 4pm and you’ve been at it since 11, decide to just give up and let the track marks grow in a couple weeks later.
Step 10: Put horse back in stall and gleam with pride at your first attempt with clippers…unevenness and all! Understand right then and there why people charge as much as they do to clip a horse.
Step 11: Clean up the giant mess in the wash stall that looks like you sheared a sheep.
Step 12: Realize since it’s October, you’ll have to do this again in another month. Go find that drink you wanted earlier. Well, at least you’ll save some time grooming for a while after all this work!
**And stay tuned for my informational (sarcastic) video coming soon – “Stefanie and Sandie’s Tips & Tricks to a Good Clip Job!”