I love body clipping. I really do. My clippers are on the smaller/quiet side, and they have this lovely gentle hum that feels hypnotic as I clip through Simon’s soft and not overly furry coat. I typically clip twice a year, and treat it as a zen night spending time with my best boy.
Except not so much this year. This year body clipping was annoying as damnit.
I didn’t clip in the fall like I typically do. Simon was leased out, and I was pre-occupied with one million other things so I let him become woolly & feral looking. In January when I took possession back over of him, we were just getting out of vacation mode and the weather was on the chilly side. Not only did I leave him fuzzy, but I only blanketed him when temperatures got in the 30’s. I told him this was how normal horses lived… you know, except for his year-round fly sheet needs (Both my horse and I tend to go for dramatics).
Then in late January I decided I wanted to horse show next weekend, and even this new totally relaxed I’m just riding for the fun of it
but I still want to beat all the children in the low jumpers Lauren can’t fathom taking a fuzzy horse to the horse show. The venue we’re showing at tends to be hot & humid, and Simon is a heavy sweat’er. Fuzzy Simon in the jumpers sounded like a nightmare to me, so I decided to body clip.
First my clippers broke when poor Heather was borrowing them, causing what I know was an annoying repair for her to deal with.
Then the temperature dropped the weekend I was planning on clipping Simon, so I had to schedule time to do it after work on a Monday night.
Since I don’t have time to bathe + clip after work, I paid someone at the barn to bathe my horse. The key part of this sentence is “my horse.” Not my bay horse. Not my horse Simon. Just my horse.
So I came out to the barn Monday evening to find Roman delightfully fuzzy and soft, and Simon whinnying to me with a coat that hadn’t been bathed in months. Coincidentally, this is the same night I learned to be more clear and stop assuming everyone knows what I’m up to.
I coated Simon in coat conditioner, curried the crap out of him and waited for him to dry – hoping that would be enough to forego a bath. Usually when I clip, I work in large areas of the body. Neck/shoulder first. Belly next. Hip last. Monday night I had to take whatever area was dry, so he got clipped in tiny patches that he told me was MOST embarrased. There are no pictures of this, because I was too busy hating my life to stop and snap any progress updates.
I don’t know if you’ve ever clipped dirty, but there is a reason people tell you NOT to do this. Typically hair falls right off my clippers and they literally slide through his hair, but even alternating back and forth between 1 new blade and 1 relatively sharp blade we were captain struggle bus.
The hair collected on the clippers instead of falling off, so I had to stop and brush them out every few minutes. It also couldn’t get a close cut in a lot of places, so I had to go back over the same spots multiple times to get little zebra tracks of hair clipped away. The job that I can usually finish in 2 hours took me a solid 3, and I had already clipped his legs from the knee down.
I also dropped my blades at one point, and the corner snapped off. So then I had to make sure not to apply pressure to the left side, because you know… I’d stab my horse with a sharp edge. In my experience, horses don’t respond super well to stabbing.
Only one part of this experience wasn’t annoying, and that was Simon. He’s usually good for clipping, but this time he was exceptionally good. I sat on a stool while I did his legs & belly, and he didn’t move a muscle. He even let me do most of his head (except his ears, because heaven forbid we touch the ears) so long as I switched blades often so they didn’t get too hot.
If I manage to get any good pictures of the horse show next weekend, you’ll see a pretty damn attractive and freshly clipped nerd horse… but getting there was no walk in the park this year!