Does Size Really Matter?
By April Ray-Peterson
Last fall I wanted to buy some new clippers and in an effort to help pay for them, decided to start clipping horses for other people again. I never actually did clip my own mare, deciding that clipping a three-year-old, barely broke horse was not in my best interest. But the clippers are now paid for and I got to clip a handful of lovely horses for some even lovelier people here in the community.
Earlier this year, a friend of mine asked if I would be willing to clip her daughter’s two mini horses. I, of course, said yes, because saying no is just not something I seem to be capable of doing. I touched base to schedule a date and then realized I needed to quote a rate. I charge $150 for a full body clip for a regular sized horse, so how much should I charge for a mini? I figured half of that would be fair, but realized almost immediately after quoting that just because they are smaller, doesn't mean they are going to be easier.
Life is tough when you can't even see over your stall door!
Due to their small stature, and because they are not necessarily handled on a regular basis, minis and ponies can be badly behaved – similar to how small dogs are allowed to act in a manner we would never put up with from a larger dog. In addition to their behaviour, another thing I didn't consider when quoting a rate was the difficulty of clipping a horse that is so much shorter than me. It’s something my back still hasn't really forgiven me for.
Before and After
Luckily for me, these two minis were incredibly well-behaved and so very tolerant of me ridding them of what seemed to be about 100 pounds of hair each. It must have felt much like taking off six layers of really itchy and dirty clothes. Having never spent much time with minis, I was amazed at just how small they were and equally amazed at just how much hair they had! My clippers definitely worked hard to get through their dense coats and I'm pretty sure I'm still cleaning hair out of my clothes, car, and maybe even my eyeballs.
While the difficulty of clipping these minis didn't come from their behaviour, it came from how close they are to the ground. I found myself at many times kneeling on the ground and, of course, breaking every safety rule when it comes to working around horses. I don't think I will be in a rush to add mini clipping to my list of regular services, but I would definitely clip these particular little ones again, if asked.