Shaving the mini for showing

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Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2013
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Washington, USA
I'm from Washington state, in the US. I was wondering, does anyone shows their mini without shaving them? I don't have the resources nor the know-how to shave mine. Does an unshaved mini have a chance at the shows? My girl has a VERY dense coat that I have to brush with an actual hairbrush to get through it. She's shedding like crazy, but it still hanging on.

I didn't know she had stretched that far, I was just trying to square her up. She's a mover and a shaker that won't hold still. I've trimmed her bridle path and feet since these pictures. But would you show a mini with a coat like this?


What type of show are you wanting to show at? If your horse sheds out very slick, you may be able to get a couple months in mid summer without clipping.
I agree with Disneyhorse. I wouldn't ever show in that condition unless it was a late fall fun show or a fat and fuzzy class. After your horse sheds out they will look much better and sleeker. I think it would be harder to compete at a rated show, especially in halter classes.
I think you'll have to clip. But a nice blanket and neck wrap will make her perfectly comfortable. You'll probably want to jump into the clipping-thing eventually, so you may as well go for it. If you know of someone who clips dogs, she could probably help you. I didn't even know how to hold a clipper the first time! A dog groomer showed me that. Don't worry about razoring if you don't feel comfortable doing that. But I'm pretty sure an late spring/early summer show will need a clip job. Frankly, though I have limited show experience, I've never seen a horse at a show that was not clipped.

As a new exhibitor, you will learn so much! I have found all the show folk so helpful. You may do very well at the show, but don't worry if you don't. It's a learning thing for you and the horse. Meeting with other miniature folk, seeing how they clip and travel--so much to learn and it's fun.

Actually, clipping is sort of addictive--I can hardly wait to do mine now!
If it were me, I wouldn't show my horse unless I could properly present him. That would include a proper clipping. It would make no sense to me to go through all that trouble and expense, not to have the horse, or myself for that matter properly turned out. That also includes you and the horse both being trained to show. You go to a show to present your horse in the best possible way and not to clip him to me would be a major mistake.
Thank you for your input and letting me know! And thanks for the advice on having someone helping/showing me how to clip!
There is a video that was made by Brooke, the clipper girl. She did my horse at Nationals one year and she is fantastic. You might look for that video- it would be very helpful and educational. I use at least 4 different blades when clipping... you would need to know what to use where.
I've clipped an entire three times in life. All I know was taught by Brooke the clipper girl. I can't recommend her miniature horse DVD highly enough. It's expensive and you may only watch it twice but it's also highly resellable!

You can show in natural coat, IF your horse has the right coat. Most miniature horses need clipping all summer, but some, especially those with heavy American Shetland breeding, shed out well enough to look sleek and glossy. I've shown my gelding, Mingus, in natural coat at a number of rated AMHR shows. He sheds out to a coat tighter than many clip jobs. If I were to run 10 blades over him, no hair would be removed. At one AMHR rated show, a judge came up after the class and said, "Magnificent job of clipping." In color classes, he's the only one who has any color, LOL.

It is NOT a case of not presenting your horse at its best. It takes a ton of work, sometimes more, starting months ahead of time with great nutrition, since you cannot simply clip off a dull, sun-bleached coat. (Fortunately for me, Mingus keeps his rich red bay coloring even when outside all day, all summer.)

Keep in mind that, while I do no body clipping, I do trim muzzle, under jaw, throatlatch, fetlocks, and, of course, bridle path. I would not attempt to do this in spring or fall -- in the northwest we are limited to early June through end of August.

There are others much more experienced than I who do this. Erica Killion, for one, has shouwn at least one of her ASPC/AMHR horses in natural coat.

Be prepared, however, for nasty responses here. Even if you win, people on this forum will accuse you, as they did me, of entering the Miss America pageant with unshaved legs.
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I agree with the suggestion to get the DVD by Brooke. She does a great job of clipping.

Much as I don't like to body clip, a word of advice from a friend who is a major mini judge. If you present a horse that is not turned out impeccably it give the appearance that you really don't care about the show. Even horses that have a fairly short coat look better freshly clipped as has been proven to me over and over.

If you are lucky enough to have a mini that sheds out with a very nice horse coat, count yourself lucky, it is rare.
If it were me I wouldn't show without clipping HOWEVER my states mini club has fun shows that all kinds of people and minis go to. Even the fat furry ones! Its a FUN show so its about having fun. The spring show is actually called the plump and plush. And last year we put in a plump and plush class to give the fluffiest minis a chance to place. So, if its a fun show you're going to this time then I say go have fun.

Clipping is fairly easy as long as the horse cooperates!
There is more than just beauty and showing for clipping our minis. During the spring lice love our minis nice furry coat. With the fluxuating temps of May the minis could get too warm sweat and then the cold evenings and there will be less of a chance of your mini getting a hair impaction due to the spring itchies So there are other benefits to clipping. There is also another video out the there for clipping minis Body Clipping the Miniature Show Horse which I got for under $20.00. It helped me clip my first mini but I have not shown yet. I also was able to get some advice on clipping by going to an AMHA show without my horse.

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