Clipping Horses

Why are horses clipped?

As soon as autumn arrives, horses start to develop a thick winter coat. For horses that live out unrugged, their winter coat offers essential protection from the cold, wet weather. However, for horses that are that are in regular work, a winter coat becomes a hindrance, causing them to sweat heavily.


By clipping a horse, you can minimise sweating and enable him to cool and dry quicker and more effectively. Clipping therefore not only cuts down on grooming time, but can also prevent a horse from catching a chill.


Although it is less common, some horses, particularly competition horses, are clipped all year through to keep them cool and minimise sweating.

Leading a horse into stables for clipping.

When to clip your horse

Depending on the breed and the amount of work your horse is in, most people do their first clip in September or October. Native breeds tend to grow a thicker coat in the early autumn, which can lead to excessive sweating if September proves to be mild, as it has been in recent years.


From September to December, the coat will grow quickly, so you’ll find that within a few weeks, your clip marks disappear and the coat gets thick once again. Horses that are competing or hunting on a weekly basis therefore are typically clipped every three to four weeks after the first clip. Many horse owners however find that two or three clips throughout the winter is ample.

Getting ready to clip

This horse clipping website has been created by Lister Shearing Equipment to help get the best clipping results. The Clipping Preparations and Clipper Setup pages will help you prepare your clippers, your horse and yourself. You’ll also find lots of information on the How to Clip and Types of Clip pages to improve your clipping skills and help you choose the best clip for your horse.