Summer clipping and legs

So it was recommended to me to clip my horses legs in summer to help with the dew poisonings etc. So I have it a shot and it looks like crap, is there a secret? I have no problem full body clipping or the sorts, but my horses legs look terrible. I have a chestnut and his knees are dark while everything below, as I was told to go the knee and hocks, is bright chestnut.

Please help, I have a show this weekend and he looks like crap. I am tempted to pull from the show so its not embarrassing :sob: :sob: :sob:

Typically, it’s good to try to blend the hair under the knee/hock area by clipping the hair down towards the ground, around there.

This close to a show, I’m not sure blending would make much impact on coat color difference which seems to be your concern.

Honestly, once the chestnut legs get even a tiny bit dusty, the color difference should be muted.

I have owned/shown liver chestnut and golden flaxen chestnut, so clipping chestnuts always revealed another color shade. Next time, clip the legs a few weeks out to allow for some hair growth, if the color change bothers you.

Enjoy the show.


I second blending it as best you can.

For the show, they make horse “spray paint” that you could try if you can get your hands on some. It washes out, so I’d give it a test run to see if you can’t at least make it look a little more uniform!

Hair also grows in quicker than you might think (which you find out if you try to touch up or finish a clip job a few days after the initial clip and discover that the hair length is already noticeably different), so do your blending ASAP and there will still be a few days for the colour to change a tiny bit before your show.

You can also try using a different set of blades to help with the blending, if you have one that will leave the hair longer than the one you initially used.

I flip the clippers over and drag them from the clipped part into the unclipped part; it feathers in fairly well. Maybe a better way to describe it is hold the clippers as though you were going to clip the body and rotate them 180 degrees in your hand. Then drag downwards. When I clip my horse in the summer, I don’t do his legs for fly protection. I show him that way. Typically, people don’t even realize he is clipped. I hope this helps.

Thanks everyone, it really looks terrible. I tried feathering but it almost made it worse!! His knees are just so dark! Should I clip his knees too? Here is a pic of them after my attempt touching up, hind legs dont look bad…

Google Photos

I think it looks good!

The “secret” is that many show horses are body clipped year round so doing more frequent clips on the legs looks less noticeable. If you choose not to body clip for the summer the line is a little more obvious. I really do think it looks perfectly fine and certainly much better than not clipping the legs at all.


A little hair oil will do wonders to darken the legs a bit if it really bothers you.

My chestnut pony’s knees are darker naturally.

I think this looks totally fine! Don’t sweat it.

You’re fine! They look fine!

I understand it looks a bit shocking to you if this is your first time doing this. And chestnuts are hard with everything clipping-wise. But this is pretty close to what a lot of show horses that live on the road look like. As someone else said, the more frequent body clips mute the difference a little, but legs are generally still clipped more regularly (think every week or two) between body clips, and the lines are there. Not so noticeable when the pony is out and moving (and hardly seen at all if they happen to be a jumper wearing boots).