Percherons are large, elegant-looking draft horses. Although they are not usually used for riding, many Percherons, and other draft horses, are shown in draft horse shows, either by hand, in what's known as a halter class, or are featured in pulling events. Whenever you're planning to show a Percheron, it's important to know how to correctly trim, or clip, the horse. Show judges can be very critical of things such as the mane, tail, and feathers.
Trim away any feathers that your Percheron might have. Feathers are long tufts of fur that grow from the back joint of the ankle of the horse. Unlike other breeds of draft horses, Percherons are not supposed to have any feathers, although sometimes some do grow. Snip away any feathers that you see, trimming them so that they are the same length as the rest of the horse's fur. Use electric horse clippers or a pair of scissors.
Clip away any long fur that is growing from the horse's legs down over the hooves. Use a pair of scissors or horse clippers to make fur end evenly at the spot where the ankle meets the hoof. Trim all the way around the hoof, making everything as neat and even as possible.
Clip away any whiskers or beard fur. Not all horses grow beards, but some do, and they should definitely be cleaned up before showing the horse. If your horse is comfortable with clippers, it's generally easier to use them as opposed to scissors on the face and muzzle area. Make sure all of the fur along the horse's nose and muzzle is even and neat.
Create a bridle path by clipping away a small section of mane just behind the horse's ears. This allows a bridle or halter to sit flat on the horse's neck.
Comb the mane before pulling. Taking pieces only from the underside of the mane, grasp a small clump of hair. Backcomb the hair until you are left with only a few long strands.
Twist these pieces of hair around the comb. Holding the hairs in place, yank the comb firmly, removing the hairs.
Repeat this process until the mane looks even. Don't remove too much mane.
Braid the mane in the show style of your choice.
Comb through the Percheron's tail, removing any knots.
Thin the tail in a manner similar to how you thinned the mane if it is too thick. Pull out hair only from the middle and undersides of the tail.
Trim the ends of the tail with scissors so that they are even.
Turn the scissors up and snip up into the ends of the tail, creating a more natural look.
Braid the tail carefully, in whichever tail braid style you like best.
Things you need
- Horse clippers
- Comb or brush