END- OF- WIN­TER CLIPPER CARE

EQUUS - - Handson -

The horse hair cov­er­ing your jacket and truck seats is a clear sign that shed­ding sea­son has fi­nally ar­rived, so you can put away your body clip­pers and let na­ture do the messy job. But don’t just toss your clip­pers back into your tack trunk; im­prop­erly stored clip­pers aren’t likely to work well, or at all, come next win­ter. In­stead, take some time to do ba­sic main­te­nance:

• Re­move the blades and clear out as much hair and gunk as pos­si­ble. a. b. c.

d. For the an­swers, see page 21. Re­mem­ber to sep­a­rate the larger “comb” from the cut­ting blade for thor­ough clean­ing. Some clip­pers come with a small brush for this pur­pose, but a tooth­brush will also work.

• Wash the blades with an ap­pro­pri­ate clean­ing so­lu­tion. Most clipper man­u­fac­tur­ers sell a brand of wash; use one of those rather than a home­made prepa­ra­tion or kerosene, which could dam­age the blades or cause them to rust.

• If nec­es­sary, send your blades out to be sharp­ened. Clip­ping sev­eral horses or even one with a par­tic­u­larly dirty coat may dull clipper blades. Not only do dull blades not clip as well, but they pull on hair as they work, which can make a horse un­com­fort­able. Most clipper man­u­fac­tur­ers have their own ser­vice cen­ters or can rec­om­mend a re­pair cen­ter that sharp­ens blades. Blades that are rusty or have bro­ken teeth will need to be re­placed.

• Oil the blades with blade oil (not the spray lu­bri­cant you use while clip­ping) and store them in an air­tight plas­tic bag­gie. Again, it’s best to use an oil made by a clipper man­u­fac­turer rather than a home­made prepa­ra­tion. Place the bag­gie with the oiled blades in a plas­tic con­tainer so they are less likely to be dam­aged in stor­age. If your clip­pers came with more de­tailed in­struc­tions on blade stor­age, fol­low those.

• Store the cord care­fully. First, in­spect the cord for dam­age. If you find any fray­ing, you’ll want to get it re­paired now be­fore the rush in the fall. If it ap­pears to be in good shape, loop it back onto it­self and se­cure it with a twist tie. Do not wrap the cord around the han­dle of the clipper; do­ing so can dam­age the in­ter­nal con­nec­tions.

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