Sunday, May 27, 2007

Clipping for the Arabian Horse Show Circuit - The Face Part 2

Part 1

In the event that I totally screw up the "v" on the horse's head (it happens, the horse does something stupid and the result is a chunk gone where I didn't want it gone.) I will extend the clip on the top of the head up to the ears and to the sides in a direct line that extends up from the tear bone. If you look in the image with the side view yesterday you will see the line I'm talking about.

It's important to find a comfortable angle for the clippers in your hand and keep them at that angle. Also maintain the same angle against the horse's skin. Changing the degree of angle contributes to gouges and other inconsistencies in the length of hair remaining on the horse's face.

Also, it's important to not leave track or clipper marks. If you make a pass with the clippers and can see these, change your direction slightly so you are going over the same hairs from a little different angle. Normally this will remove those marks, although it may take a number of passes and adjustments to get them totally gone.

I worked for a trainer who used to say if the head was easy to clip then the horse was not a quality horse. Arabians are know for the "dryness" of their heads. What that means is that there should be a lot of crevices, nocks and crannies when clipping a quality horse. To get the hair out of these dry places, try pulling the skin any direction it might go to pull the hair up into contact with the clipper blades.

Once you have this completed with the #10 blades, it's time to gove over the top of the eyes and around the muzzle with the #40 blades. As I run the 40s up the horse's face over the muzzle, I do a lifting motion to help blend between the two sizes. You don't want a definite line that shows where you changed the size of your clipper blades if at all possible.

Most people who clip for the Arabian show circuit do the clip on the face that I have described to this point. Then they clip the horses ears and the horse's legs which I will describe next. If you want to get fancy (and I do) you can improve on this clip by using the different blades sizes that I listed in the first post and go over the edges that show the edges where you have clipped from the around the eyes and up the muzzle. I begin with the 15 blade and clip over the eye working toward and blending a little past the orbital bone of the eye, blending into the portion on the head clipped with the 10 blade. On the muzzle, I go all most all the way up the sides. Over the bridge of the nose I go up past the nostril's about a couple of inches, the whole time working at blending these so you can't tell where the 15 starts and the 10 ends.

Once I have repeated this, I go back over the same area with the 30 blades, making sure I blend the 30 area into the 15 that blends into the 10. The goal is to clip closer and closer in the area of the muzzle and over the eyes to expose the black skin that is underneath without totally balding the area. Since that black skin is another trademark of quality, I want it to show through when the face is oiled. I complete this procedure with the 40s and the 50 blades all the time being careful not to leave any gouges or lines that show where my different size blades leave off.

This clip is easiest to do on a gray horse and most difficult to do on a chestnut horse. Also with the chestnut horse you need to be careful how far you take the hair down over the eyes and up the muzzle because chestnuts will have pink skin hiding under there. You don't want to expose that pink skin.

To be continued.............

Part 3

You can see some of her previous foals on our website, Rising Rainbow Arabians .

1 comment:

  1. Praying for a filly for you. I am still so sad about our losses last week. This is the first mare that I have lost and to have her colt, the sire and her go all within 4 days has been very hard to deal with. Hope all goes well and that you get to see this one happen.