Thursday, June 2, 2011

Body Clipping

This week was body clipping week. I do the usual suspects each year and usually another innocent victim or two that didn't shed out well for whatever reason. This week Lily, Cuff Links and Chili all had a date with the clippers.

A few years ago I started using my Andis Progress Clippers. I love these clippers, very heavy duty and durable yet not heavy and clunky. It used to be everyone had Oster clippers for body clipping. I can't remember which model, but I do remember how incredibly heavy those things were. I swear they could have been used as a boat anchor and I felt like I had permanent carpal tunnel syndrome after body clipping one horse.

For harder to do areas on the face, legs etc. I use Andis AGC 2 Speed clippers. If you can't tell I am a fan of Andis clippers. In total I have three sets of Andis clippers. Using them feels like a gift from the gods after lugging around those Oster clippers for years.

Lily was up first and could not have been better. She stood like a statue and made things easy. Cuffie was equally as good. They both were clipped on Tuesday. Yesterday I clipped Chili. One would think that the 32 year old horse who has been body clipped who knows how many times in his life would be the easiest one. I've clipped Chili four times myself. As always I gave Chili a good bath (dirt dulls the clipper blades) to start things off. Then I handgrazed him for about 10 minutes until he was done dripping, then it was off to work.

a freshly bathed Chili ready for clipping

I like to clip the horses when they are wet to keep the hair from flying around everywhere, and hopefully cut down on the amount of horse hair that I inhale. This is my diary of body clipping Chili:

10:30 - put Chili on the cross ties, turn on clippers

10:31 - make two passes with the clippers, then stop to clean up Chili's fresh manure pile

10:32 - make a few more passes with the clippers, then Chili starts twitching his skin (that tickles!) and stomping his legs at the fly that is about 4 feet away from him

10:35 - cover Chili and the barn aisle in a cloud of fly spray; Chili keeps stomping away

10:37 - Chili decides it is time to add some fidgeting and shuffling around in the cross ties in with the twitching and stomping

10:45 - turn off clippers to clean up Chili's second manure pile

Chili smiling at me mid-clip

And repeat all of the above for three hours. Twitch, poop, stomp, shuffle, fidget, repeat. He never really did anything bad, he just made everything hard if that makes sense. He smiled the entire time I was working on him, and the more annoyed I got the bigger his smile appeared to be.

the final product

Eventually I got the job done although I will admit it was not my best work. When I put him back outside he was power trotting away from me the moment I had the halter off his head. Hopefully Chili and I are done body clipping for another year, although I might have to clip him again in another 90 days. It would be safe to say that Chili and I are both hoping this will not be necessary!

Chili says "hasta la vista, baby"

Cuffie in progress
I forgot to take a picture of Lily in progress and of course she rolled less than a second after I turned her back out; thus I was denied even the sparkling clean, freshly clipped picture.
Silver enjoying a nice roll

with a big shake afterwards

Fonzi followed Silver's lead

and then Chimano joined in the fun


Thanks Lily for letting me get that clean, freshly clipped picture!

Clayton, Stormy and Kennedy

Rampal and Stormy

MyLight and Silky

Fonzi, Faune and Winston


Anonymous said...

Glad the Lil was good - she looks sleek (we won't look at her color). Chili is a goof!

SmartAlex said...

Great rolling and shaking photos! I never get the right fraction of a second.

EvenSong said...

I'm curious about the need (?) to clip so many. Are they [pre-] Cushings? The Morgan-Welsh cross that my kids learned to ride on developed that as he got way old, and didn't shed at all--he looked like a yak! Clipping was the only way to keep him comfy.
My current boarder, 31-y-o RT hasn't quite finished shedding out this year yet, but it could just be the miserably cold, wet spring we've had--I don't blame him for hanging onto a little extra warmth--but we may need to have him checked...

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Hi ES, good question. Cuffie and Chili both have cushings. Lily just naturally seems to carry more coat than is ideal for our climate in the summer. And sometimes I do a couple of others just because they are slow shedders, my hands are blistered from weeks of using the shedding blade, and I just want to be done with shedding horses. Although it looks like I'll probably stop at just the three body clips for this year.