Thursday, June 7, 2007

Clipping for the Arabian Horse Show Circuit - The Legs Part 4

Part 1

Up to this point I have posted about clipping the face and ears of the Arabian horse for showing on the Arabian circuit. No show clip would be complete without clipping the legs as well.

I think other than being down on the floor in between the horse's legs, this is the easier portion of the clip job to complete. It is relatively simple and straightforward as long as the horse stand still.

How much of the horse's legs I clip is dependent upon the white markings of the horse. All white markings are clipped over the entire marking up to the darker color of the horse. I blend from the white into the color carefully. I usually accomplish the blending by slightly lifting the clippers away from the leg as I reach the bay or chestnut portion of the leg.

It is easier to get in the grooves on the horse's legs by lifting the horse's leg up and bending it. The use of the muscles will cause the groove to fill in and present you with a flat surface to clip. Just as on the face it is important not to leave track marks.

On any leg the horse does not have a white marking, I clip up behind the fetlock, removing all of the feathers. I also take my clippers going with the lay of the hair from the knee down, I remove any long hairs along the back of the leg running down the length of the bone. If the hair is "tight" to the bone, I skip this step but if the hair fluffs a little away from the bone I remove it so it doesn't make the bone look coarse, thick or irregular.

In addition on the legs without white markings I will go along right at the base of the coronet band all the way around and clip the hairs that have grown over the band and are covering the top of the hoof. If I don't remove this hair, it makes the line of the coronet band on the clipped leg look like it's at a different height than the unclipped leg. Also, when using hoof polish, that hair would be in the way of applying polish correctly to the hoof.
To accomplish this I get under the edge of the hair with the clippers and lift straight up. (That's not straight up following the angle of the horse's pastern, but straight up toward the sky in a 90 degree angle from the ground). I do this slowly and carefully to get a nice straight line all the way around the horse's hoof.

In the pictures I have shown both clipped and unclipped legs. I apologize for the darkness of the clipped photos but you can see what the fetlock should look like with the feathers removed. I had a camera malfunction and this was the best I could get. The unclipped leg is complete with a full set of feathers.

At a later date, I'm going to do more posts on clipping showing some of the common errors and hopefully how to fix them. I'll also cover body clipping. Let me know if there are other clipping or grooming things you would like to have covered.

Update on the foal. His diarrhea seems to be a little better but he is not feeling well. He is being monitored around the clock. You can see Aana and her colt on our live webcam through MareStare

You can also see more of our horses on our website Rising Rainbow Arabians.


  1. Horses are magnificent animals. Although living in the city prevents me from dealing close with them, I like watch horses whenever I get a chance. We have mounted police department who patrols parks and stadiums.

    And thank you for visiting my blog.

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog. Love the horse photos.

  3. Great tutorial on clipping! I have never completely body clipped any of my guys but they sure could use it this year. The long cold spring has caused them to really hang onto that winter hair! I'm looking forward to your body clipping advice. One HUGE problem I have with one of my ponies is that he is totally terrified of the clippers. He was abused by his former owners and although we have come a long long way with him the clipping part is just not in the cards I don't think. Last summer I had the vet tranquilize him but I just didn't feel good about that so didn't do it this year. I can use scissors on his feathers and bridle path if I take it really slow with him but it is a process. Any suggestions??????? I need to put your link on my favorites and keep up on your posts as I really enjoy them.

  4. Hi MiKael

    I hope baby is improving. I hate scours, I feel so sorry for the little things.

    I will try the Desitin too with my next baby, I didnt think of using it. Thanks for the tip.

    Hope things are going well for you and you are holding up with the workload. Have a great weekend.