From Endurance to Dressage
This is definitely not a topic I've ever covered here before. Why would I; who wants to talk about clippers? When I first had that thought, I realized the answer was just about every other equestrian in the normal world. Clipper land is just not some place I visit very often which makes me the abnormal one. Weird, but true.
While I could body clip, or at least do a trace clip, to make winter grooming easier, I prefer not to. I don't blanket because our winter weather is just way too mild. We rarely get temperatures that are both wet and cold. On top of that, it only rains about 10 times a year. If I were to blanket, they would have to be removed every morning and replaced every afternoon. The ranch owner doesn't really want to do that, and neither do I. So, my boys grow winter coats and shed them when they're ready.
Over the weekend, I finally got tired of wrestling my bridles over the jungle of hair that was growing behind both of my boys' ears. Bridle paths, jaw hair, fetlocks, and protruding ear hairs are all that I actually clip. During show season, I keep their bridle paths, and all other above mentioned areas, neatly trimmed. A messy bridle path is more than a little obvious against a sleek, summer coat. During the middle of winter though, it almost disappears, or is at least unobtrusive, when viewed through Speedy's polar bear coat. The same goes for fetlocks and jaw hair.
A month or so ago, I finally bought a new pair of clipper blades, but I hadn't yet used them. See above. With a three-day weekend, I had enough "extra" time to pull out my clippers and replace the old blades. As I was cracking the blades out of their hard plastic casing, I stopped to wonder at how old my clippers were. Pretty old I realized.
I did some quick googling and found that yes, Oster does still make these clippers and they even come with the same accessories that came with mine nearly 20 years ago. I count the age of something based on where we lived when I bought the thing. We've lived here just over 2 years. We lived at our last house for 11 years, the one before that for 2, and the one before that for 6. Add it all up and take away a year or 2 because I don't remember exactly when I bought them at that first house. That means that I bought these clippers somewhere around '99 or 2000.
I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but I take terrible care of my clippers. I never clean them, unless you count blowing on the blades to remove stray hairs. I know there is a filter under the bottom cap that I have dusted off, but it's been years. I never oil anything, spray anything (except some cooling spray that is as old as the clippers), or get the blades sharpened. In fact, I use the blades until they literally cannot cut through a single hair. Gross, I know.
The only good thing I do for my clippers is to keep them in a storage bag. I also refrain from winding the cord around the clippers themselves. At this point, I am afraid to do anything other than replace the blades. I am pretty sure whatever dirt and hair are caked to the motor are what is holding everything together.
My clippers get stored at the bottom of my braiding box. Hey, that counts as another good thing I do to protect my clippers. As I dug through the pile of loose braiding bands and discarded candy wrappers (Speedy's not mine), I found an old pair of cordless clippers that never worked right. I realized that my braiding box was a jumbled up mess. I was inspired to do a thorough cleaning.
After attaching new blades and dumping everything out of my box and reorganizing it, I finally got to Speedy's bridle path; Izzy's too. And you know what? New, sharp blades actually cut straight through the hair! In one pass! Who knew?
Both boys started shedding in January. I can't decide if I want them to hurry up and shed the rest, or do I want them to slow down because February is turning out to be much colder and wetter than normal. Either way, I am now armed and ready to tackle this summer's bridle paths. And jaw hairs, old man ear hairs, and Speedy's fetlocks.
Anyone else out there living with old clippers and shaggy horses? We need to form a club.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%