Over the cold winter months, our horses can grow an impressively woolly coat in just a few weeks. If you want to regularly ride your horse during this time, you probably clip them to prevent excessive sweating, which can cause them to catch a chill. Clipping your horse means they won’t sweat as much, and it also allows them to cool off faster once you’re back at the barn.
You can schedule a professional groomer to come and clip your horse, but depending on where you live, that’s not always practical. Investing in a pair of clippers to use yourself means you’ll always be able to keep your horse looking neat and tidy.
There’s a huge range of clippers out there to choose from, so it can be hard to know which ones are going to suit you and your horse best. We’ve rounded up our top five clippers and included reviews for each one with everything that you need to know, making it easy for you to choose the pair that meets your needs.
Quick Glance at the Winners of 2023
|Best Overall||Andis Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper with UltraEdge T-84 Blade||
|Best Value||Wahl Arco SE Cordless Horse Clipper||
|Premium Choice||Oster Clipmaster Variable Speed Clipping Machine||
|Wahl Professional Bravura Horse Clipper||
|Oster A5 Two Speed Animal Grooming Clipper||
The 5 Best Horse Clippers
1. Andis Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper with UltraEdge T-84 Blade – Best Overall
As the best overall horse clippers, the Andis Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper with UltraEdge T-84 Blade are professional-grade clippers that do a great job creating a clean clip in whatever shape you prefer. For sensitive areas, you can switch to a lower speed to increase comfort. These clippers are specifically designed for cool and quiet running, making them perfect for horses. They’re super-heavy duty and will make easy work of clipping all types of coat textures, including the thicker hair found on draft horses’ legs.
The detachable blade means you can use this clipper with any Andis® UltraEdge® or CeramicEdge® blades. Oster A5® blades will also fit. The clipper comes with 1 UltraEdge® T-84 blade. These clippers have shatter-proof housing in case you accidentally drop them. The heavy-duty power cord is 14 feet long, so you can easily reach a power outlet and still tie your horse in your preferred location.
2. Wahl Arco SE Cordless Horse Clipper — Best Value
In terms of the best horse clippers for the money, we highly recommend the Wahl Arco SE Cordless Horse Clipper. This brand is well-known for its high-quality clippers, and while this model is of exceptional value, it performs just as well as some more expensive models. These cordless clippers come with a multi-purpose blade that can clip to five different lengths when used with the included guards.
These clippers are an excellent choice for finish work around your horse’s face, ears, bridle path, and legs. It might struggle to complete an entire hunter clip, especially if your horse has a large amount of hair. This set comes with two batteries, each of which should last around 80 minutes. You’ll also get an instructional DVD, which is useful if you’re going to be clipping your horse for the first time. Reviewers love how easy to use these clippers are, and these are also quiet with low vibration, so clipping delicate areas is easy.
3. Oster Clipmaster Variable Speed Clipping Machine — Premium Choice
If you’re ready to invest in a premium pair of clippers, you can’t beat the Oster Clipmaster Variable Speed Clipping Machine. These clippers have a variable speed that can be adjusted from 700 to 3,000 strokes per minute. The lower speeds are perfect for delicate areas around your horse’s head, while the higher speeds will easily cut through body hair. The balance of these clippers has been designed to make maneuvering them easy while reducing fatigue. They come with a toolbox case, brush, grease, and an extra intake screen.
These clippers have been designed to be 30% lighter than previous models, which makes a significant difference when you’re clipping a large animal and will be holding these for extended periods. The only thing that keeps these clippers out of our top two is the higher price. If you’re looking for a durable pair of clippers to clip multiple horses with ease, though, you won’t regret buying these.
4. Wahl Professional Bravura Horse Clipper
The Wahl Professional Bravura Horse Clipper is a great choice if you’re looking for a lightweight cordless clipper for finish work around your horse’s head, ears, and legs. The lithium-ion battery gives a runtime of 60 minutes. A great feature about these clippers is that you can also use them as corded clippers when the battery runs out.
These clippers come with a five-in-one blade and six guides, so you can choose the perfect length finish for different areas of your horse’s body. You can choose from five different colors, so if you want to coordinate with the rest of your grooming kit, you can! Reviewers do note that the housing of these clippers isn’t shatter-proof, so take care not to drop them.
5. Oster A5 Two Speed Animal Grooming Clipper
The Oster A5 Two Speed Animal Grooming Clippers have a powerful motor designed to stand up to heavy-duty clipping work. These will make easy work of clipping multiple horses, including full-body clips. The speed can be adjusted from 3,000 to 4,000 strokes per minute. Even on the lowest setting, this is still a high speed, so you might need to give your horse some time to get used to these. The textured casing makes the clippers easy to hold and handle, while the 10-foot professional-grade power cord means you’ll have plenty of flexibility when maneuvering around your horse.
One word of warning from some reviewers is that these clippers can heat up quickly. Make sure you keep them well oiled, and check the temperature regularly by placing the blades on the back of your hand. If they’re uncomfortably hot, you’ll need to switch them off and take a break while you wait for them to cool down.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Horse Clippers
If you’ve decided to invest in a pair of clippers to keep your horse neat and tidy over the winter months, it might seem like a fairly straightforward task. But a quick look at the market will reveal its complexity. Here’s a guide to help you out.
Why should I clip my horse?
During the winter, most horses grow a nice thick coat to keep them well insulated from the cold weather. When we exercise them, this can cause them to overheat and start sweating. Too much sweat can then lead to your horse getting a chill because they can’t stay warm and dry with a soaking wet coat.
One solution is to clip their coats, which means they won’t overheat or start sweating. After a ride, your horse’s clipped coat will still be mostly dry.
- Related Read: 7 Best Horse Feeds for Weight Gain 2021
When to clip your horse
Ideally, your first clip should be completed when temperatures start to drop in fall. Depending on where you live, this may be as early as September or as late as November. Horse’s coats tend to grow quite quickly over the winter, so you may need to clip them every month.
It’s generally recommended to complete your last clip no later than February. Beyond that, you may interfere with your horse’s summer coat that will be starting to come through.
What to look for in horse clippers
When buying a new pair of horse clippers, these are the main features that you should be looking for.
Cordless or corded
Cordless clippers come with a battery pack that can be recharged. Some give you the option of using them as corded clippers as well. Cordless clippers are great for using with nervous horses who may move around, so you don’t have to worry about them standing on the power cable. They’re also usually quieter, and as a result, they are better suited for finishing off areas on your horse’s head, ears, and face.
Corded clippers have a power cable and need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. These cables are usually heavy-duty, but you still need to be careful that your horse doesn’t tread on them. Corded clippers are usually better suited to clipping your horse’s body than their face. Their increased power compared to cordless clippers means they can be noisier and vibrate more.
In an ideal world, it’s best to have a pair of heavy-duty corded clippers for clipping your horse’s body and a pair of lightweight cordless clippers for finishing their face or tidying up clip lines on their bodies.
Strokes per minute
This lets you know how fast the blades move. You’ll also see it referred to as SPM. The higher the SPM, the faster the blades move. Generally, this means the clippers will do a better job of tackling coarse hair. At a higher SPM, the clipper blades will heat up quicker, so you’ll need to check that they’re not overheating or becoming uncomfortably hot.
Some clippers offer a variable SPM, while others are fixed. A lower SPM can be useful for clipping delicate areas, like your horse’s face and ears. A higher SPM is useful for clipping bodies and legs with coarser or denser hair.
There are three main types of blades found on horse clippers:
The most common length blade that comes with horse clippers is the number 10 blade, which cuts hair to 1/16 of an inch. You may choose to use a number 40 blade, which cuts very short, to 1/100 of an inch. A 3 ¾ blade leaves ½ of an inch of hair. If you live in a cold climate, you may choose to use a blade with a longer cut so your horse has slightly more coverage. If you live in a warmer area and your horse tends to grow a thick coat, you could use a shorter cut so you won’t have to clip so often.
- Also See: 6 Best Fly Sheets for Horses 2021
Types of clip
The type of clip that you choose for your horse will depend on:
In a full clip, the horse’s entire coat is clipped, including their legs, face, and ears. This is only recommended for horses that do hard work, like eventers or jumpers. Most horses with a full clip will live inside most of the time.
A hunter clip removes almost all the coat, leaving the legs and saddle area unclipped. This leaves some warmth and protection on your horse’s legs and saddle area. Horses with hunter clips will need warmer weight rugs to keep them warm if they’re turned out.
This clip pattern leaves a “blanket” over your horse’s back and loins. The hair on their face, neck, and chest and under their belly is removed. This is a popular choice for horses in medium work that are also turned out. The blanket clip helps your horse stay warm when turned out but also reduces excessive sweating.
Similar to the blanket clip, everything apart from the hair on the top of the horse’s neck is left unclipped. This clip provides additional warmth on your horse’s neck muscles and is suitable for horses in medium work that get turned out during the day.
This clip pattern leaves the hair on your horse’s head unclipped. The clipping starts at their throat and extends down the bottom half of their neck, across their chest, and under their belly. This is suitable for horses in medium work that spend more time turned out than in a stable. The hair left on their face, upper neck, and legs helps keep them warm.
For this clip, the hair on your horse’s face and lower neck is removed, as well as from their chest and belly. Their hindquarters are left unclipped, as are their forelegs. The line for this clip runs from your horse’s poll down to the point of their stifle. This clip is good for horses in light work that spend most of their time turned out.
This simple clip only removes hair from your horse’s neck and chest. If you prefer, you can extend the clip under their belly to form a neck and belly clip. This is suitable for horses in very light work that spend most of their time turned out.
You may decide to let your imagination run wild and create a personalized clip! Some owners choose to trace a pattern on their horse’s hindquarters or combine different clip patterns to create an individual design to suit their horse’s needs.
Preparation for clipping
Once you’ve bought your clippers and decided on your chosen clip pattern, it’s time to get ready!
Clipping your horse
As the best horse clippers, the Andis Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clippers with UltraEdge T-84 Blade have two speeds and shatter-proof housing and are cool and quiet to run. The blade makes light work of clipping, so your horse will soon look ready for the show ring.
In terms of best value, we highly recommend the Wahl Arco SE Cordless Horse Clipper. These cordless clippers come with two batteries that can last up to 80 minutes. They’re best suited for finishing areas like your horse’s face, ears, and bridle path.
Finding the best clippers can feel like an uphill struggle when there are so many out there to choose from. We’ve done all the hard work for you by reviewing our favorites. Now you should know exactly which ones will suit your horse best!
Featured Image Credit: Chelle129, Shutterstock