The San Diego Saddle Trim - Groomer to Groomer

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The San Diego Saddle Trim

The San Diego Saddle Trim is my personal creation. This is my rendition of a Rio Bandero Trim with an English Saddle thigh pattern line variation.

It is best suited on a Poodle in a Poodle Trim, or any and all curly coat types with a full face and foot, or even a Teddy Bear variety. 

Fig 1) In the case of a Poodle in a Poodle Trim, you will first shave your Poodle feet to the deepest part of the pad and at the last place the foot will bend backwards. 

Fig 2) Then moving on to the tail base, shave to the point where the body tells you to stop before turning your clipper outward to follow the hip. You can then use those markers to twist your blade in from either side and finally etch in the point of the “V.”


Fig 3) For the final bit of Poodle shaving, you will do the face from the corner of the eye to the corner of the onset of ear with the deepest part of the neck shaved to extend no further down than what is level with their tooling. 

Fig 4) Next, using curved shears, trim a bevel on all four feet to create structure at the bottom of each leg.

Fig 5) At this point, you will return to all your shave lines and transition them cleanly and seamlessly, from short to long.

Fig 6) This is where I take the two-thirds point on my dog and create a waist band that is one third shave, one third coated and one third shave to create the Rio Bandero portion of the San Diego Saddle. 

Fig 7) Now it is time to put in your saddle thigh line which only slightly rises towards the back of the dog to pick up the bum and push your image inward. 

Fig 8) You can then begin setting in your front leg parallels.

Fig 9) Moving to the back legs, they can be trimmed as to show a sweeping gate. 

Fig 10) Next, use a #1 or shorter guard comb over the top line from the pattern line to the point of rump.

Fig 11) Using a curved scissor, pitch your wrist under the dog and scissor a finish upward to create a nice spring of rib and structure to your coat and finish. 

Fig 12) The same technique can also be used to finish the coat along the belt.

Fig 13) Moving to the head, shape your topknot.

And after you’ve done your tail of choice, you are finished!

The San Diego Saddle has been a long time coming. I wanted to use my knowledge of patterns and modern flare to meld into a fun, sporty look. And, well, with Rio Bandero being very “San Diego” and the trim resembling a dog in short shorts, it’s going be a “yes” from me! 

If you try this trim, please tag me on any social media platform @blakemhernandez ✂️


Blake Hernandez

With his crazy suits and outgoing personality, Blake Hernandez is the epitome of “Mr. Approachable,” making him a shot of energy and positivity for the industry. Blake is the 2020 Barkleigh Honors Seminar Speaker of the Year and co–creator of Groomsource, the dog grooming education hub. He also represents Foxy Roxy’s Supply Co., Ladybird Line smocks and GroomLoop, but is best known for his online persona and feature in episode four of Netflix “DOGS” documentary series. Blake manages a successful salon in San Diego, CA, grooming many breeds, with Poodles being his true passion. Find Blake on Instagram @blakemhernandez

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