HOw close to a show do you body clip each color?

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Oct 21, 2003
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Hi all, Its finally spring in Maine, its gone fromm 40 degrees at night to 90 during the day. I have a question and need some advise. I have a chestnut and white pinto filly that has a deep copper chestnut to her but once I clip her she gets kind of dull. HOw soon before the show should I clip her to get that deep glow back and is that what is prefered in the show ring or am I better off having the newly clipped look? I also have a bay filly who I love the bright red bay but once again when clipped she gets dull and smutty looking, :DOH! how soon before a show and is there anything to spray on that really brings out the glow without cooking the coat? I also have a black stallion ( thank you Michele from Lots of Fun-- We love Banjo!)
I need to get him ready for pictures Id love it if you all could give me some advise on how to dress him up for picutes so his color looks Black! Thanks all!!!! Kath
The best thing to do is keep a diary whenever you clip and note when they look the best! But it will vary by color and time of year. I clipped our chestnut and white pinto 6 days before our first show with a 15 blade and showed him again the following weekend without re-clipping (i.e. 2 weeks after clipping). Yes the coat was a bit long the second weekend but his color was fabulous! Some people would think he looked too hairy, but I loved the look - and I guess the judges did too. Our mostly black pinto, clipped the same time (May 10), right now is the blackest I think she has ever been. I also use Healthy Hair Care hair moisturizer after clipping, but I don't do anything else. The horses are out every day, but spend a lot of their time in the shade.
I agree, it depends on the horse... some horses hair grows back in faster- I have had some have their hair grow back in unevenly, etc.... If you use a 15, the color has a few days to grow back in and the coat will still be pretty short for the show. You may need to touch up legs, ears, bridle path, muzzle and minor stuff. But without experimenting, you won't know when your horse will look best. In two days or 9? It depends on their color also, but I know what you mean about the faded out look that appears dull...

I also recommend keeping them out of the sun as much as you can- turn them out at night instead maybe, or early morning and late evening for a while, to prevent sun bleaching, etc... Groom and brush the crap out of them and condition their hair too...

Have fun! All of mine are different, LOL
I clip most of mine 5-7 days before a show with a 10 blade. My appy (whose every color under the rainbow), gets clipped a week before the show. All his color comes back. This is him at the two different shows a week after he'd been shaved.


If your wanting to bring the pop back to a coat color after clipping give them a hot oil treatment, put a slinky on them and let them sit for a 1/2 day.
the more you clip the faster the color comes back.
Marlee, can you recommend a good hot oil treatment that you've had success with? Thanks for any help.
We have also found that if you body clip early in the year with a 30 or 40 blade, the color comes in faster and smoother faster. We typically clip about 3 days before a show and tend to use a 15 or 30 to body clip always. Have never tried the hot iol but may do that for the show we have coming up. Have found clipping the reds shorter works better than on blacks and clipping more often works for both. We also have our show horses on coat conditioners year round.
Thanks Kathy for posting this topic. I have been struggling with this myself. This is my first year really showing and clipping my own horses. I clipped my horses the day before the Maple E show and they all looked horrible. I have always used a 10 blade but I decided to try a 30 blade on my pinto colt and what a disaster! I almost didn't take him he looked so bad. So I have been trying to figure out when I should clip and with what blade before the next show. Your topic came up at a perfect time.

We have a show next Saturday the 21st. After reading this post I may try clipping this weekend my liver chestnut and sorrel with a 30. The sorrel normally looks very dull when I clip him but a week ahead may be the best idea. I will NEVER do my yearling pinto in a 30 again. His white was so pink. It looked horrible. So I think I will stick with 10's for my two pintos and do them in the middle of the week.

I like the journal idea. Clipping is definitely something of trial and error but I think if you can really map it out you can get the results you want. Which I certainly did not do for the first show! Hopefully this time they look a lot better and we won't feel embarrassed walking into the ring!

Bozley- my horses were both at the Maple E show too - with their 2 week old clips. Do you recognize them from my avatar? The B/W mare did halter and jumping and the sorrel & white stallion just did halter but he got some Rserve Grand SR stallions and one Reserve Grand Stallion. Just to give you another point of reference.

BTW, I clip bodies at the time I said, but do legs a few days before the show and heads the day before. All our minis are pintos and I just hate the pink look, which has a lot to do with my clipping practices.
The boy in my avatar was clipped with a 30 two days before that picture.

As far as hot oils, I think Ulta makes one that I used but I have used a variety including just plain old Olive Oil.
Wow, I was hoping I wouldnt have to do everyone the week before but it looks like that has to happen! I clipped my little 1 month old baby the other day as she was born in winter wollies and the heat was getting her, I havent finished the head yet and she looks like a lama! And now because of "Murphsy Law" weve had nothing but rain for 4 solid days now, Ill be worrried if it does this next week!

Also I learned from showing big horses for thiry years that its just as important to wash out all the show goo after the show, alot of the stuff we put in the manes and tails will dry them out alot, so a nice soothing bath the day after with a little liniment rinse makes everyone feel so much better. Well, I better plan on sending in all those clipper blades after next week!!

I do remember you and your horses looked great!

I guess I will get started tonight. This rainy weather is not helping at all. Too bad we don't have the weather we had last week!

For those who use it, How much hot oil do you use?

Thanks Bozley! I have another show myself on the 28th and am in the same boat as you as far as figuring out when to clip. That boat would be an ark, as it has been cool and rainy for days! I think I will clip Thursday, but it might be Friday... I am glad I have a selection of sheets and blankets for cool nights.

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