We were very excited to catch up with Shannon about her busy life as a professional groom! Shannon is incredibly gifted at clipping horses, often creating beautiful, intricate designs. (Check out her instagram @radiant_clips)
Horseplay: How did you begin your grooming and clipping career?
Shannon: I guess for myself, when I evented I couldn't afford to keep paying people to braid and clip for me, so I learned how to braid when I was about 14, and started clipping when I was 16 or 17 when someone let me borrow their clippers. Then I started asking around my barn to see if anyone wanted their horse clipped to make a little extra money. The more I did, the
better I got, and the more people wanted me to clip for them! My grooming career REALLY kicked off when I worked for Allie Knowles and was even recognized by USEF in a couple educational videos as a professional groom.
Horseplay: Was it easy to convince people to let you practice on their horses?
Shannon: Yes, because people at my barn were very bad at clipping and knew I'd do anything I could to make it come out perfectly as I'm very OCD with my clipping and grooming.
Horseplay: Do you have any tools that are your favorite to work with?
Shannon: The only things I use for every clip are my Oster clippers with a 10 blade, a soft brush, show sheen, WD40, and Kool Lube.
Horseplay: Do you have a favorite design you've done so far?
Shannon: The lion head I did on a horse named Safari
Horseplay: Tell us what your typical day is like
Shannon: A normal day on the farm starts out at 7am, feeding and making sure all of the horses' legs look good. Those of us that live on property rotate starting before 7, whenever Lars wants to ride his first horse, and tossing hay before they eat their grain. We shuffle riding and taking care of grooming/tacking up/healthcare until about the time we feed lunch at noon,
and then we take a quick lunch break! After lunch we turn out a few more horses, finish riding, I do various maintenance (skin care, shots, treatments, etc.) and then we finish up by feeding dinner at 5. Then we rotate who does night check and feeds hay at about 8:30. Some days I mostly groom, some days I have a list of horses to ride. It's really a day to day schedule.
Horseplay: Last year you shot a video for US Equestrian's educational program about clipping. What was that like?
Shannon: Well it was a very interesting experience. The crew was all very friendly and happy to work with me but it was also very difficult because I had completely lost my voice the day before so I could barely talk when they were asking me questions! We just went to a barn where one of the girls had a horse so they could do all the videoing.
Horseplay: Do you have any tips or tricks to share?
-When you wash your horse, use a medium/stiff brush to scrub
-Coat defense powder is amazing for preventing wrap/boot rubs or fungus and it's a human deodorant!
-SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB your horse in a bubble bath before clipping
-Coconut oil is great for ultra hydration
-Organization is key to a clean, low stress show!
Shannon, thank you so much for all your awesome tips, and for a peek inside your life! We love seeing all your amazing grooming photos, you're awesome!!
Check out these pics of Shannon's Boss riding Ansgar!