By Becky Shipps
Sometimes it’s not a good idea to do a full body clip.
If you live in a place where the climate gets cold and your horse isn’t in full work, a trace clip might be enough to keep your horse from sweating up during rides but allow him to stay warm otherwise.
A trace clip can be done several ways, but all the variations involve clipping the hair on the horse’s neck, chest, and other sweat-prone areas of the body. Often times, a trace clip includes a long clipped stripe that stretches the length of the horse. Getting that stripe symmetrical on both sides of the horse can be tricky, but here are three tricks to help.
Use masking tape.
If you’re unsure about exactly where to clip on both sides, use masking tape to mark your lines.
“Masking tape makes a much clearer marker than chalk,” says Anne Marie Duarte, the professional groom for Olympic Eventer Selena O’Hanlon. “I’ve found that masking tape makes it easy to get a nice straight line.”
Clipping hair that’s untangled and flat will make it much easier to see your clipping line. Brushing away loose hairs will also ensure that you’re only clipping hair that you want to clip.
Remember the danger is just taking a little more off. If you take too much, you can’t put it back! Don’t let your inner perfectionist trick you into endless touch ups. If your initial pattern looks good, go with it.