Last clip... when should I do it?

when should you do the last clip?

Theories abound about the best time to do the last clip of the winter. What’s your theory? Here are some that I’ve found…

Some believe that the last clip should be done by the end of January to allow the spring coat to grow through properly. Others believe that beyond January it interferes with their summer coat coming through. I ask you…which is it?!

One lady I spoke to clips her horse right into March and his coat still looks fine in the summer.

Whether you show your horse or not appears to play a part in your thinking on this subject. Owners that show often leave their last clip to February, just before the season starts. However, other show horses are clipped all year round. 

Some people simply feel that there is no such thing as a last date to clip. You can clip all year round with no problem!   

Perhaps it’s all just about timing… There does seem to be a commonly held view that if you wait until the summer hair has started to grow through and then clip, you’ll shear off the tips of the summer hair making it grow in oddly or feel more rough. 

When do you do your last clip?

Let us know what you think based on your experience in the comments below. You never know, your comment may just help a fellow equestrian!

Not sure which clip is best for your horse? Read our blog on different clips to see which suits you and your horse best. 

What Is The Best Clip For My Horse?


Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.


  • Juliet Pebbles Mum Turrell posted on January 28 2019 at 06:01 AM

    Old fashioned but never clip after Christmas.

  • Vicky Goody posted on January 28 2019 at 06:01 AM

    Love receiving your newsletters and as we are also clipping specialists it was really interesting to read this one in particular and giving such informative links. Much for us to learn from!

    With regard to adding comment to your question “When should you do you last clip?” we often get asked this too. Personally, we clip one of our horses all year round, being a heavyweight cob, she needs all the help she can get in the hair department and the summer coat comes through quite happily in between.

    The majority of horses coats only need to be clipped through the winter averaging around 3 clips during the winter season, and this tends to coincide with their summer coats starting to change late January early February. The trend coming in from Europe with competition horses, is to keep them clipped, even with their fine coats, all year round, and this is becoming quite common now in the UK too.

    Does it damage their summer coats? I don’t personally think it does. If a horse is kept warm with sufficient rugs, then this will definitely help the new coat come through more quickly and will also keep the cat hairs at bay.

    To tidy up cat hairs, a stand off plastic comb attachment added to a trimmer (most normally come with a set of add on combs) are good to use to quickly whiz over for a tidy up. In the old days, the grooms used to use a flame, to singe the long cat hairs. Think I would prefer to use the trimmer method myself!

  • carol wilson posted on January 06 2020 at 09:01 AM

    I never clip my Friesian she is as nature intended for winter…………………hairy ! She doesn’t need a rug which prevents the hair on the horse from doing their job which is standing on end trapping air and keeping her warm and dry. I think in this age of over weight horses we should be allowing them to take care of themselves by using energies to keep themselves warm when need be. Is she filthy when she comes in ? Absolutely ! A good brush and we are done. I don’t rip out hairs from her tail or yank our hair from her mane just to please the eyes of judge either. We go to shows and she looks stunning hairs an all !

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