Yeah. They look funny, naked, and I think it's very uncomfortable to them. Imagine yoursef in winter. Wearing jacket, but in this jacket would be a huge hole on your belly. And then again winter trousers. I think it would be very uncomfortable for you to have this kind of clothes. And the "reason" for this? That the horses get sweaty and they can get ill and sick??? Wth??? You don't have any time to put "( I dunno the right word-try to understand
)sweat-drinking blanket" over your horse and simply walk with him for 10 minutes?
Hi, I'll try and answer this question for you as best I can.
Horses have been given a very efficient coat by nature, but nature never did intended horses to be worked hard to the point of sweating in their natural behaviour for hours on end in the way they are asked by us keepers.
The growth cycle of a Horses coat is governed by the amount of daylight hours in a day (hence the winter coat starts to grow in early July after the summer solstice, and the summer coat starts to grow in early January after the winter solstice) in the northern hemisphere .
So why do people clip their horses ?
We ask them to work in varying degrees irrespective of this and they warm up and start sweating very quickly with a rider on their backs (depending on their level of fitness).
If a horse has a full coat of hair 30+mm long, it will hold onto the sweat for over an hour and so you cannot throw a rug on a wet horse and turn it out, as for one reason the salt in the sweat crystalizes in the coat as it dries and will cause irritation under the rug, and if you don't rug your horse, cannot turn it out soaked with sweat as it will get a chill (all horses must be rugged if clipped)
In regard to horses and ponies in competition, if their body temperature goes above normal range, they will struggle to hold their attention (like us humans). If this becomes the case and they overheat, then it is a waste of time entering them in competition as they will never give their best once they get hot apart from it being unfair to work them to this temperature
You see different clips on horses and they are all designed to offer the correct balance between natural protection and avoiding this overheating (and brain cooking).
I have a section on my website which explains this in detail and what sort of clip style people choose, how much natural protection the take away in comparison to human clothing. Why clip ??
If you are not working your horses, they don't need the help of clipping (unless they have cushings disease), but if they are in work, then they and you will benefit from this practice, and this can be done in both the winter and summer depending on climate and workload (eventers clip all year around in the UK)
Lastly, Irrespective of what style or design of clip which people give their horse's and pony's, it is only a haircut, and provided they are properly protected from the elements and managed accordingly it will not be an issue to them.
I have some pictures of custom designs which we have done ourselves and also that I've sent out to people all over the world in my album here for those interested.