Andis Horse Grooming Tips...
Have the horse as clean as possible. Ideally, bathe the horse with soap and water, and scrub with a brush to get the deep dirt out. Rinse thoroughly. If it is too cold to give a bath, try vacuuming. If these are not options, use a curry comb or a long nylon mane comb (like a curry comb) to get down to the skin and loosen up the dirt and dander. Then brush the horse to remove the loose dirt.
The coat needs to be dry. Use a fan to help prevent sweating if the horse is getting hot or to help dry after a bath.
Use a dry bar of soap to mark or outline any clipping patterns, such as a trace, blanket or hunter clip, to insure evenness and uniformity.
Use an overlapping stroke when clipping to help prevent lines.
Remember to oil regularly. I like to oil after clipping each area, such as after the neck, again after the shoulder and chest, after the barrel and before the "tie-in" and sheath area. (The "tie-in" is the thin, sensitive area connecting the barrel to the hind leg.) Oiling helps keep the blade cool and helps prolong the life of your blade.
Step the front leg back when working on the neck to shoulder area as well as that same side of the chest. It will help open the area up by stretching the skin naturally and provide better access for easier clipping.
Step the front leg forward when working on the shoulder to barrel area. This will also provide better access to the girth and elbow region.
When working on legs, be on opportunist. What I mean is, after you have clipped the outside of the leg closest to you, touch your horse first on the inside of the opposite leg to let him know you will be working there, and clip the inside of the opposite leg. Take the opportunity while it is in front of you. You may have to step a leg forward or back half a step for better access. This is a safer way than looking around the front or back of the leg and possibly being bumped in the face, however accidental it may be.
Step the hind leg back half a step for better access to the "tie-in," sheath and stifle, as well as the inside of the opposite hind leg.
If your horse is skin sensitive in areas, such as the "tie-in," use the lower speed and your spare hand. Keep your empty hand on the horse, close to the sensitive area, and clip near your hand. Your hand will act as a shock absorber and help desensitize the area.
When clipping the ear, hold the entire ear in your hand. Try to keep your thumb in the base of the ear. Your hand acts as a shock absorber, and by using your thumb it is possible to prevent banging the clipper into the base of the ear if the horse throws his head up.
You may consider using earplugs (they look like yarn pom-pom balls, or sometimes foam rubber) or cotton in the ear to prevent the loose hair from falling in the ear. They will also help block out some of the noise for those extremely sensitive individuals.
Use a brush to sweep the loose hair off of your blades before oiling. If you are using a detachable blade system, take the blade off. Brush the hair from the blade and the machine. Reattach the blade. Holding the machine with the blades pointing down, oil only the blade, NOT THE MACHINE. Wipe off the excess oil to prevent oil leaking into the machine, as well as streaking the coat.
Use an egg timer set at 15-20 minutes to remind you to oil regularly.