Shearing a horse is a necessary procedure that requires you to be well-familiarized with the theory before implementing it in practice. This is why at Artero, we’d like to explain the right way to do it. Take note!
Everything you need to know about shearing horses
The hair of a horse is a natural element that protects it from the cold, and its body regulates when to shed it. Now, if your horse works or trains, the sweat ends up accumulating in certain areas of its anatomy that, if you don’t remove it at the right time, will later require a lot of effort to clean. What’s more, the cold temperatures in winter increase the frequency of illnesses. In that sense, shearing prevents this problem, which is why it is usually done in October or November, just before the cold weather.
Types of equine shearing
These are the main types:
Complete. This is a full shave. It is only carried out on horses that compete or work a lot in winter.
Hitch. This type of shearing is standard among horses that pull carriages. It involves shearing the inside of the neck, the belly and the back, up to the area of the harness straps.
Pony type. This consists of shearing the areas of the neck and chest, which is where they sweat the most.
Hunting. Almost the entire coat is sheared. The saddle area and the extremities are the only areas where the hair is left.
Rug. This gets its name from the shape left on the back, which is similar to this textile element. It is no longer commonly used, and entails shearing the belly, chest and neck.
A few tricks when preparing and selecting the tools for shearing a horse
Having the proper equipment is essential if you want to perform this task correctly. Allow us to share some tips to help you out:
Get your hands on a good electric horse clipper, such as theArtero Hit clipper. Only use specifically designated, high-quality devices! They make your work easier thanks to their speed and excellence.
Eliminating hair will make your horse get cold. As soon as you have shorn it, cover it with a blanket when it’s not working if the temperature is cold.
Before starting the shearing, bathe your horse thoroughly. Its body must be completely free of all dirt and perfectly clean.
Make sure it is calm. You can give it hay or some other feed so that it feels more relaxed.
Check frequently that it is well-restrained while you are cutting its hair. If you secure it by its halter, you’ll be better able to control the action.
Tips for shearing horses
Without a doubt, these tips will increase the efficiency of your shearing. Don’t hesitate to put them into action:
If you’re going to shear your horse’s extremities, dry them very thoroughly after washing
Start by brushing its hair with an Artero S2 Horse brush (3 cm) or similar. Do your best to make this a relaxing activity for the horse, brushing with affection and spending more time on the areas it enjoys.
Always use electric clippers, since these make your work easier thanks to their speed and quality. The Artero Premium Clipper with a cord, for example, is an affordable option with excellent results.
Shear the coat against the grain, in the opposite direction to that in which the hair grows.
Glide the clipper smoothly along the coat, without applying pressure. If it gets stuck or doesn’t glide as expected, replace the blades with new ones. Don’t continue to use worn blades, or you’ll hurt the horse!
Shear the most sensitive areas, such as the belly and head, when the clippers are cold.
If you’re using brand-new blades, start on the back. This is the least sensitive area, meaning that the risk of cuts is lower and the horse will be more relaxed.
Keep in mind that it is better to go over the coat several times than to be rough when applying the clippers.
As you remove the hair, cover the horse with a blanket. This is not for nothing – your horse will notice that the outside temperature feels cooler. This will help it to stay calm.