Melody Hames profession is clipping horses for a living. She does much more than a “simple” body clip. Harmes does something so much more, her exquisite designs and intricate details transform normal clipping into an art.
JMC Equestrian Custom Clipping located in Lancashire, northwest of England, is the result of her strong creative streak and a passion and intuition for horses.
She began with regular clipping in 1999 when she had a Connemara pony who suffered from Cushing’s disease. He needed to be regularly clipped since his body no longer shed out properly on its own. She perfected regular body clipping on him and then a friend of approached her and asked her to do a simple star on her horse. The rest, as they say, is history.
Hames then began custom clipping all over the northwest. While she does help out a friend groom dogs from time to time, horses are where she shines.
“Horses are my natural passion and first choice when it comes to grooming and clipping,” Hames said. “It just comes naturally. I am addicted to working and hours pass by and before I know it, I have done 4 or 5 horses, and it is the end of the day.”
The designs are owners’ requests. Her degree in graphic design has proven handy as she finds ways to put someone’s idea onto a horse.
The designs are done “Freehand” without the use of stencils
Despite being chastised by haters, who went as far as calling it animal cruelty, Hames has never had to sedate a horse for a creative clip and she never will.
She specializes in working with young and nervous horses to teach them how to relax during the process.
“I make it my mission build up horses’ confidence to allow me to work without sedation,” she explained. “The horses I work with are calm, relaxed and made to feel completely at ease so standing around is no problem at all! After all, horses are built to stand up. I think a lot of people who say I am bad for clipping don’t consider this!”
“Regular breaks are taken during the bigger clips and sometimes even split over several sessions,” she added. For example, Armour De L’amore was spread over three separate days! You cannot force a horse to stand to complete a creative clip if it does not want to do so! I assess the horse’s behavior and work to each horse’s individual needs to provide them with a happy and positive experience every single time.”
Hames advice to anyone wanting to try their clippers at creative designs:
“To anybody wanting to try their hand at clipping my main advice would be to exercise patience, persistence and perseverance – don’t give up before you start – don’t be afraid to make mistakes, this is only way to perfect a craft and clipping is very much a craft learned only by experience. Get to know your area if interest and read about it too, learn about your equipment and most of all listen to the horse stood in front of you.”
Here are more examples of her amazing work:
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