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Southern Heart Ranch
Joyce Manuel
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How to Clip a Miniature Horse
Supplies:

Good set of Clippers                                    Clipper blade Cleaner
Plenty of Clipper Blades/sharp                     cool Lube
Size 10-15-30-40                                           Hot Oil treatment (VO5 etc)
Twitch (optional)                                          Halter and lead rope
Brushes and combs                                      Disposable razor Blade
Towels
Blow dryer (optional)                                   Hay net full of hay
Shaving cream                                            Sand paper (fine) for hooves
Hoof Polish (Clear or Black)
                                    
Time (Lots of Time)
The instructions contained within this website are for reference only.

They are only meant to be a guideline to help you. There are many views on clipping miniature horses and this represents mine.
If you use my methods, you must take full responsibility for your horse and actions. You must decide for yourselves what is right for you.

Plenty of Time: I myself prefer to wash a horse one day and clip the next. Give your self plenty of time to do the job right. Clipping is not a job that can be done fast and get a good effect.

Washing the horse:

First give your horse a complete bath from head to tail. Use good shampoo and conditioner. You will need to use a generous amount of each. If your horse is not squeaky clean the clipper blades get dull fast. It is also hard to clip the hair if it is dirty as the clipper machine will also bog down as the blades are trying to cut threw dirt. So get horse as clean as you can.

Drying the horse:

Dry your horse off as much as you can. You can use a blow dryer if you want
To but be very careful as some horses are afraid of the noise the blow dryer makes.

I tie my horses to a post in the yard with a hay net to keep them busy eating while they are drying in the sun.

You may also want to wash a horse one day and then clip the next. If this is your option, then make sure that once the horse is clean and dry, Cover him with a hood and sheet or body suit so incase he rolls he wont get dirty.

After I have them all covered, I like to turn mine out in a grassy pasture so they can get the roll out of them and then they are less apt to roll in their stall.
Clipping:
Here are 2 Miniatures that we are going to clip. As you can see their hair is quite long. Having already given them a bath the day before we shall proceed to the next process of clipping all their hair off.
Start by using a #10 Blade. Please take your time; this is a job that can not be rushed.
(1) I like to start at the rear and work forward. I start just above the hock and work up and then over to the other side. Always trim against the grain. If you clip across the grain of hair, you will leave nasty tracks. If you find that you are leaving theses tracks, please go over that area again. Also if your blade is dull, that will also leave tracks. Change the blade and replace with a fresh one. Always keep your blades cool.  I find it easier to have many blades on hand.

(3) Make sure your horse is standing still when you clip in the (^). Leave the hair natural with an inverted (V) just above the tail base. This makes the tail look higher as of course its just an illusion. (4) Continue up the body on both sides.
Make sure you place a Hay Net to keep your Horse busy!

He will be less likely to fuss if he is eating!
Always talk to your horse and let him know that you are not going to hurt him.

If your horse is afraid of the clippers, then let the clippers run for awhile and let him see and feel them and rub the clippers on him. The more you clip the horse the better you and he will get at it. Remember do not get mad at your horse if he should shy away, he just needs to understand whats going on.
I Always try to get a good straight line where the mane meets the neck on both sides. It is my preference to clip the mane at a slight angle under the mane up by the bridle path so the hair will lay down better on the neck. I use a size 15 blade for the bridle path (See Photo Below)
Just remember you can always take hair off, but, you never can put it back. So be very careful. Always think before you cut.
Next I do the chest and the throat and still remember: (always clip against the grain of hair).Next I start to do all 4 legs:
When I get to the hoof, I make sure that I get the hair really good around the cornet band and then when all 4 legs are done I change the blade to a size #40 and just clip from the hoof up all around the hoof about 1/8 of an inch. This gives a better look which is in my opinion only for when you put the hoof polish on. The foot looks nice and clean with no hair hanging over onto the hoof.(See Photo right)
Next I start doing the head. What I do is I take off the halter and place around the neck. Always remember you can use the twitch on the nose if need be. I personally, do not like to use the twitch unless I really have to.
(See Photo left)
Try to clip into every nook and cranny of the horses face and under the jaw.
Then also do inside and outside of the horses ears. If your horses ears are on the short side, you might want to leave a little hair right on the tips of each to give the illusion of him having longer ears. I have seen some horses with short ears and this works great. (Always remember when doing the ears that a cool blade is a must, you never want your blades to get hot at anytime). I (do not) shave off the eye lashes!Try to clip into every nook and cranny of the horses face and under the jaw.
Then also do inside and outside of the horses ears. If your horses ears are on the short side, you might want to leave a little hair right on the tips of each to give the illusion of him having longer ears. I have seen some horses with short ears and this works great. (Always remember when doing the ears that a cool blade is a must, you never want your blades to get hot at anytime). I (do not) shave off the eye lashes!
I always keep checking the temp of the blade against my hand when clipping. Its a good habit to get into as if the blade gets hot your horse will jump and then that might leave to hair removed that you didnt want removed or better yet, a gash in your horse as the side of the blade can be sharp and enough to draw blood.
Looking back at the last picture. Always get a nice clean shave around the ears and the bangs. Always be very careful when clipping around the eyes. I use a #30blade just above the eyes to enhance the look of his eyes when showing.

Also you can save the horses nose with a Disposable razor Blade (optional) I do not like to do this. I prefer to clip the nose with a #40 blade.

When I shave the nose I shave it up to where the show halter will be and then feather it in so that there is no straight line there that will be so obvious. You want the hair to flow and look natural as possible.
When the horse is done then it might be a great idea to take a break. But always remember you can take a break at any time and a break would also be good for the horse. Give both of you a moment to relax before continuing on.

After the horse is all clipped, I like to give them a hot oil treatment. I feel it enhances the color of the just clipped horse. I use VO5. I take a cup of hot water and place the tubes, unopened in the cup. (Do not use scalding hot water. You do not want to burn your horse. Follow the directions on the package.

Wet the horse down and then add the oil to the mane and tail and the back and legs, neck. I do not do the under belly or the ears, just up to the back of the ears.

Next I place a big piece of plastic over the horse up to the ears, Tucking the plastic under the halter so it will stay on. Make sure the total horse is covered, except of course for the head. The plastic will lock in the heat. I keep the oil on for 30 min.

Do not place the horse in the sun while doing this. Make sure that he is in a good shady place out of the sun.
Let the horse snack on some hay from a hay net and you can go take a nice break.
After the 30 minutes are up you can give the horse another bath and dry.

Brush him and comb out his mane and tail. If your horses tail is a little on the thick side you can use a thinning comb to thin it out. But again be very careful as once the hair is gone, you can not replace it. (Remember if the tail is too long or too bushy, the judges can not see the horses legs and how he is walking or trotting when you go past the judge at the show).

I like to braid the mane and the tail and put the tail in a tail wrap to keep it clean.
Put on slinky hood and body suit or sheet. If you have been using a neck sweat, you might want to put that back on also.
The day of the show:
Before putting on the hoof polish, I like to take very fine sandpaper and sand each hoof a little to get any nasty looking groves out and smooth the hoof. I use an electric small sander, but do be very careful in doing so. Clean the dust from the hoof so its nice and clean then put the polish on very carefully. I use black hoof polish for back hooves and clear for the white hooves and on appys that have the stripes in their hooves, I also use the clear polish. Then after the polish dries really good. Put the Baby Booties on. They will keep your horses feet nice and clean till show time. They won't fall off.
Take out the braids and brush out the mane and tail.

Place oil just above the eyes, careful not to get oil in his eyes and then oil nose and inside the ears by rubbing it on very gentle. Spray the horse with Show Sheen and fly spray. Place the show halter on and your are ready for the show.

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2007