Clipping a horse with sensitive skin

Clipping opener.jpg

If your horse has sensitive skin, clipping can be problematic. It can lead to irritation, marks from tack and itchy, sore hives.

Clipping expert Lisa Edmed explains how to overcome issues with sensitive skin when clipping.

Bath time

The most important thing is that your horse is clean before clipping, so bath him the day before (you can bath him on the day, but he must be 100% dry before you start as this can make the issue worse).

The cleaner the horse, the less friction will be caused by the blades. If your horse is dirty, greasy or covered in dry sweat, you are automatically setting him up for a reaction.

Use a coat spray

A coat shine or conditioning spray that you know your horse isn’t allergic to can help the blades glide through more quickly and easily and will minimise any reaction.

Replace clipper oil with baby oil

Some mainstream clipper oils may cause some horse’s skin to react. Try using baby oil to lubricate the clippers instead.

Leave more hair

For horses who mark easily after clipping, use a medium blade that leaves on slightly more hair to provide extra protection.

Tricky areas

There are a few tricky areas, such as the elbow, the head and inside the back legs around the sheath area, which can be extra ticklish.

For these, it’s advisable to have someone with your to pull your horse’s leg forward so that you can reach, or hold a front leg when you’re clipping inside your horse’s back legs.

For the head and legs below the knee, always use trimmers – they can get into those little nooks and crannies more easily.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here