Body clipping, In winter? Good idea?

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Body clipping, In winter? Good idea?

This is a discussion on Body clipping, In winter? Good idea? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Is it good to body clip your horse in the winter

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    12-20-2013, 11:49 PM
Body clipping, In winter? Good idea?

Now I know what your thinking....Are you nuts! ITS cold! For you maybe it is, but my high tomorrow is 87F I just got Dixie home and is is very underweight. Working her up slowly on feed but the one thing I noticed is she has very long hair.she came almost 5 hours away at the state line where is normally around the 30's or Lower at night, she was kept out in a field, and with being underweight and it being cold she has a full winter coat thing going on. The owner said she should shed a little worried.

She has very long hair, she was sweating today even in the shade, not bad, but I could feel it. Even though are days are in the 80s right now, every so often we dip, sometimes the 70's for the day time high, or the lowest we have gotten so far was down to the 40's.

Should I give her a full body clip? If so. Do I blanket. Because are night time temps range so much, I would probably only throw a blanket on if it got into the 50's or lower. I was thinking of ordering a 100G fill blanket for her, so anything 50 or lower should be OK.

Here is a photo from today after her bath, I washed her 3 times and still had dirt washing off her, she has not been groomed in a VERY long time

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    12-21-2013, 12:26 AM
I would ask the vets opinion. On clipping her and if her coat is just from "unthriftiness" or potentially something else.
    12-21-2013, 12:27 AM
Poor girl! I would certainly clip her some at least. If it warm like you say and you have a blanket that fits, a body clip should be fine. I would probably start more conservatively with a trace clip though. It's easy to take more off if you decide that's not enough. Being overly hairy can be a symptom of starvation, but being skinny, she doesn't have any other reserves or insulation, so like everything with thin rescues, better to go slow and reassess if needed.
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    12-21-2013, 12:30 AM
She was checked out by a vet, if she doesn't shed out by summer, then we can do testing and look into it more, but as of now everything fits for its cold where she was at and was not fed or cared for properly. She has been started on feed Slowly, this is what she is now on, before the old owner said she just got sweet feed 1 scoop am/pm. So its a Huge change
    12-21-2013, 01:15 AM
I wouldn't be taking any horse hair off that horse. She has no fat on her right now as it is. If the worst thing that happens is sweat when it gets hot, then she will be ok. Removing one of her only sources of protection from the elements is the worst thing you can do. Yes I understand a blanket can be an option, but unless you are there every hour to put or remove blankets, she is better off keeping what she has.

She will naturally shed what she needs to shed, if she does get to hot.
    12-21-2013, 02:16 AM
I would do a very minimal bib clip and only if you think it is absolutely necessary.
    12-21-2013, 03:32 AM
I also wouldn't clip. The sweat is carrying out it's job of helping her cool down, and so unless she was wringing wet she probably wasn't uncomfortable. As you aren't working her, a little sweat is not a bad thing.

Imagine you'd been really run down, and then sent on a holiday to the Bahamas - sitting on a lounger, eating nice food, sweating a little bit. Not the worst thing in the world!

Also - the coldest months are still on their way. She will find it hard work keeping herself warm, and a good thick coat like hers is far more efficient than any blanket you can buy.
    12-21-2013, 09:07 AM
It was recommended that I shouldn't body clip her unless she Sweats so much she soaks herself. If I MUST do a bib clip, since her body weight is so low, that's the most likely reason her hair is long, because it was her Only defense in the cold. ((sitting in 30F or lower from where she was) and being ungroomed in a very long time and no real feed given too her.... because we might get a few nights in the 40F and last year we had 3 nights in the 20's. I shouldn't body clip her. And IF I felt like I needed too I need to make sure I had a blanket. But that really wasn't recommended to do so. AFTER I get weight back up on her. She should shed out her coat in the summer. If she doesn't by then might need to look into testing for cushings, but she isn't showing any real signs besides the hair, which looks more like a winter coat... by next late summer if I want to body clip her since we live in Florida I can, but always have a light blanket on hand for a chilly night.
    12-21-2013, 09:12 AM
Leave her alone and don't clip.

IF your sign-in is any indication of where you live, this is a weird temperature span we are going through.
Our nights and days will get back to normal soon and she will need that coat to keep warm. You do get "cold" nights too...

Right now, clipping her will take all her excess feed and make it be used for warmth instead of putting weight and nutrients back in her depleted body. Now that her coat is cleaner and she is being groomed she can also "fluff" that coat to insulate herself from the high temps not just cold temps.

If you want to get her to shed, groom the daylights out of her and put her under artificial light. It is how much light there is that actually triggers the shedding process, not just temperatures outside.
Today is the shortest day of the year in daylight... put her under lights for 2 hours a day every day and she will start shedding out sooner...just be careful you not interfere with Mother Nature taking care of her animals ability to weather the weather changes.

If you clip her you will need numerous blankets and sheets to replace what you remove, you will need different blankets around the clock providing adequate coverage of her body.
    12-21-2013, 11:17 AM
One thing that is common for rescued horses is a big shed- it's not uncommon for them to seem to 'blow' coat and have just about all their hair fall out in the months after they start receiving good food again. Starvation affects hormones, which affect hair growth- it sort of puts it in a slow suspension to save energy, and once they start getting decent nutrition their system kickstarts everything again at once and they can wind up looking half bald and a little silly until it regrows.

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