Many horses are clipped, but very few of them like it. If your horse is sensitive about being clipped but clipping is a necessary evil, there are a few things you can do to make it more bearable.
Take lots of breaks. There aren’t many horses that can tolerate standing still for a full body clip from start to finish with no breaks. Make sure you plan to stop at least every 15 minutes to check your clippers and give the horse a break. It’s also a good idea to let your horse take regular water and pee breaks if you plan on clipping for over an hour.
Plan ahead. A stressed-out human often leads to a stressed out horse and a rushed, messy clip job. “There’s nothing worse than needing to get the horse clipped,” says Anne-Marie Duarte, long time super-groom to Olympic event rider Selena O’Hanlon. “Give yourself time to practice repeatedly before a clipping deadline.”
Start easy. “Start on a ‘safe’ zone where horse is comfortable, often but not always the shoulder,” says Anne-Marie. “Once settled in make sure to move to difficult areas (varies by horse but usually ears, belly etc.) before you and or the horse run out of patience. People often leave worst areas until last which can be a mistake.”
Give him a cookie. If your horse is behaving, make sure you reward him. By reinforcing his good behavior and making clipping a positive experience, you’re ensuring future clipping success.