Best of HN 2013, #16: Q&A with superstar body-clipper Greta Alexandra Oskolkov-Schneider

Between now and the New Year, we’re counting down HN’s most-read stories of 2013. With 32,723 views, here’s #16.

Q&A with Greta Alexandra Oskolkov-Schneider, the world’s most creative body-clipper by Wylie, published Oct. 17, 2013:

If body-clipping was an art, this 19-year-old New Zealander would be Picasso. She takes us into her studio.


You may recognize Greta’s “giraffe clip” from Facebook, where it has been widely circulated.

Thank you so much, Greta, for taking the time to speak with Horse Nation. How old are you and where do you live?

I am 19 years old and live in a small town called Otaki on the Kapiti Coast in Wellington, New Zealand.

Do you travel to do clip jobs?

At the moment I travel around the lower North Island of New Zealand clipping for people–though unfortunately the equestrian community here is quite conservative so most of my work is “basic” clipping and grooming services. I would love to do more creative clipping so if the travel expenses are covered I would be prepared to travel pretty much anywhere!


Greta hard at work on a commissioned fleur-de-lis clip for Mark’s Zanzidini Arrow of Marrick Stallions.


The finished clip.

When did you get the idea to start doing “creative” clips?

The idea to do a creative clip really came from when I used to get a professional clipping lady (Yvonne Denton) to come and clip my pony Cricket. He is a blue roan and when you clip his coat it shows a great contrast–nearly black and white! She would always leave a patch of hair on his rump in the shape of a lightning bolt for me. So last year when a friend of mine offered me her clippers to do a clip myself (as a joke) I made him into a zebra for summer. That one took me three hours, and the positive feedback pushed me into doing more–so last May I finally got my first set of clippers!


Cricket (as a zebra) and Greta cantering along Otaki Beach in summer last December.

How long does it take you to clip a horse?

The complicated creative clips I have done since have varied largely in time consumption–but for a full body it takes roughly between 3-8 hours.


Taking Brandy for a walk after finishing a most time-consuming clip–roughly eight hours of clipping spread out over two days.


Have you grown to enjoy clipping, or does it drive you crazy (hair EVERYWHERE!) like it does the rest of us?

This all depends on the horse, the coat, the design and the environment. You asked if clipping drives me crazy–well, not really, however I do find it really challenging in the wind!! And so it takes me longer. Also the first priority is the horse’s well-being, to have time in-between to move and have a drink, maybe some feed if it’s required.

Do you have any clipping tips or tricks?

For people who like to do their own horses, use the time clipping to bond with your horse! Make it fun and take your time, be gentle and kind–they put up with a lot for us! And I’m sure they will appreciate the one-on-one time with you. Also oil–oil, oil, oil! The more the merrier! Aim for oiling the blades/clippers every 10 minutes and (this should be obvious) use sharp blades on a sparkly clean horse!


Greta on the job. She says, “On windy days when clipping it’s good to dress like your mum would’ve dressed you, and to wear safety goggles to avoid those nasty bits of hair that fly everywhere getting in your eye. If you live in Windy Wellington–it’s probably best that everyone within a 50-mile radius wears safety goggles.”

What is your favorite clip job you’ve ever done?

My favourite clip I have done to date is the Pink Floyd inspired brick wall clip. The horse I did it on, Jack, was such a pleasure to work with and I also feel that this clip has had the least amount of mistakes out of all the creative clips I’ve done!


Where do you find inspiration for your clips?

I couldn’t really say where my inspiration comes from, just that I do like to make a clip to “match” a horse–in how it works with the horse’s colour and personality!


A freshly done spiderweb clip on Cricket.

Tell us about your own horses.

Cricket is my one and only! He is a 14.2-hand Gisborne/Stationbred gelding. I have had him for roughly five years now and we used to compete in show jumping but since I broke my leg two years ago now we are pretty relaxed–we mostly just go for long walks along the beach and in summer go swimming in the river! A little trotting cantering here and there to keep him in good shape. Lucky for me he grows a full coat almost all year round–and is ready now for a new haircut which I plan to do next week sometime!

Thank you for sharing, Greta. For more information and to keep up with Greta’s latest work, “Like” Greta Clips on Facebook here.





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