This is going to sound like a noob question lol yet again but Why do people clip? And why are there soo many types?
Is it just a fashion statment or is there a reason behind clipping
It's something I have never really understood but it feels like everyone in the horse community just knows but no one cared to inform me lol
They clip to prevent horses from getting so sweaty in the winter. That way it takes a lot less time for them to be walked out and totally dry when they are put back in the field or in their stall. If they had very very long hair and weren't totally dry they could catch a chill and become sick.
The clips also mostly start with at least the neck, which has the huge veins running through it. So, if there is no hair covering those veins the horse should be able to cool faster.
Of course, some people do clip for the look. If they're planning on showing throughout the winter they want their horse to look sleek, not wooly.
The different clips all serve a purpose. How much hair you take off depends on how much work the horse is in. If it's flat sessions a couple days a week you might go for a low trace clip. If you're our foxhunting a couple days a week then you're most likely going to give a full clip. If you're horse is prone to rubs you might leave a patch of hairs for the saddle or a blanket. You should always leave the hair on the legs for protection from thorns and the cold.
You may also be asking about just clipping around the face---i.e. Whiskers, ears, etc. and that is just to make those horse "show-ready" and look sleek and refined. I think that this kind of clipping is uniform no matter the breed/ type of showing/riding you do.
It's expected at some shows to have your horse trimmed. For h/j/dressage shows I clip whiskers, ears, bridle paths, and around the feet. Just makes them look more polished and trimmed. I also body clip some horses for the winter (or in the spring if they're late shedders) for the same reasons My Beau said.
I never really heard of clipping horses, other than bridle paths, and I guess facial stuff, for show horses... UNTIL I got a few miniature horses that is.
I was shocked at the difference in coats, between full size and mini horses.
Every one kept telling me I would have to body clip them for Summer, and I just pretty much dismissed that.
Boy was I wrong!
They get such thick, dense coats for the Winter, and they do not shed out "timely" like a full size horse either, as I was sure they would!
So needless to say, I have learned how to body clip my miniatures, and am just grateful I do not have to do the same for my full size horses too!
I clip mine purely for the ease of care during winter and for my horse's comfort. If you are just trail riding or having the odd short ride here and there then there is no point clipping. Or if your horse doesn't grow a thick coat over winter.
But I'm sure we all know what a pain in the backside it is waiting for them to cool off and dry before putting rugs back on in winter when they have a full, thick winter coat!! I also liken their having to work with a thick winter coat to us running a marathon in thick tracksuit pants and a woollen jumper. Much more comfortable for the horse to be able to cool down faster, it reduces fatigue and stress, and cools them down quicker after a ride so you can get a rug on them before it gets too chilly.