To achieve the best results when trimming your horse's head you will need a set of small dog grooming clippers with a #10 clipper blade. These clippers are by far the easiest way of getting a good job done, however a fair result can be obtained with scissors and a comb and a lot of patience.
Don't try to trim your horse with ordinary scissors alone; first, it isn't safe - you can poke the sharp points into the horse easily if he moves or jumps - and secondly, you will have an uneven, amateurish-looking job when you finish.
If you must use scissors, use a comb to lift the hair and snip it off; this will give a smoother surface and protects the horse from an accidental jab.
When clipping the head, a good headcollar which unsnaps at the throat lash is helpful. The horse should be groomed and cleaned before you start to trim him, as wet, muddy or dirty hair is impossible to trim neatly. The clipper blades must also be sharp or they will do a poor job.
How much of the head should you clip?
Depending on what you do with your horse and how he lives will impact on how much hair you should take off the head. Horses living outside should not have their heads clipped, unless a full, insulated hood is worn.
How to clip the entire head..
When clipping the entire head, start by taking off the hair around the ears. Carefully hold the ear in one hand and clip along the outer edges. Clip downward on the upper part of the ear and upward along the lower curve of the ear. Do not clip the tips of the ear, leave a natural point.
If you plan to clip the inside of the ear clean, first place a large piece of cotton wool in the ear to deaden the noise of the clipper and to keep hair from falling down inside the ear. Use a #30 blade to clip the hair down to the skin. Brush the inside of the ear clean before removing the cotton wool.
Clipping the face you should pop on a #10 blade (finer blades will remove too much hair, giving the face a bald, scalped appearance) Clipping against the direction of hair growth, clip the sides of the lower face up to the check bone.
Clipping whiskers has now been outlawed by the FEI from July 2021. The new rule, part of the Veterinary Regulations covers sports horses competing internationally under the FEI rules for all disciplines.
Carefully work down the face towards the eye, taking note of the direction of hair growth. Be extra careful at the eye sockets. the horse has a pocket above each eye that you will need to be careful in scooping out. When clipping near the eye, put your thumb over the eye, gently holding it closed. This protects the eyeball from the clippers and stretches the skin so it is smoother and easier to clip.
Never clip the eyelashes or the hair inside the nostrils!
Take note of whorls and the way in which the hair grows. You will need to clip into the centre whorl from each direction.
To discover more on how to clip your horse, please click here