It's that time of year again – your horse looks like a muddy, woolly mammoth and cooling him down after a ride takes longer than the ride itself. To help him comfortable, and make looking after him a little easier, follow our useful hints. Remember that if you do clip your horse, you must replace the lost hair with rugs, to ensure he doesn't get cold...

1. Clip against the hair growth

When clipping it is important to always go against the hair. If your horse has whorls in his coat you will need to clip in lots of different directions. If your clippers don't glide easily through the coat, don't force them. Check the sharpness of the blades and change if necessary,

2. Oil your clippers

Oil blades regularly as this keeps them running smoothly and prevents them from getting too hot. Hot blades could be uncomfortable for the horse and lead to tram lines. 

3. Keep him warm

Have rugs to hand while you are clipping, to place over your horse. He will feel the cold as his hair is removed and this is likely to make him fidget.

4. Mark out a template

Decide on the type of clip you are going to do and mark out the lines using chalk or saddle soap. This will give you the best chance of getting a symmetrical finish. Make sure your horse is standing square when you clip round his hindquarters.

5. Be prepared

Make sure your horse is really clean before you start – preferably clip after a good workout and a bath, if possible. Have everything nearby and in good working order, too. It's a good idea to have a spare set of blades in case one set goes blunt or gets damaged halfway through the clip.