Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USDF Region 1, USEA Area 2, USEF Zone 3 - Maryland
I've never clipped my horse. Our ring is often frozen throughout the winter so I just end up giving my guy 2 months off. When we go to schooling shows in the spring he's fuzzy. It doesn't affect your scores, and I bet alot of other people will have wooly mammoths too! The only thing you will have to do is make sure she's nice and cooled out for the trailer ride back if she does get sweaty.
Also, if you've never clipped before - you don't want to learn right before a show! You might end up getting more looks for a bad clipping job than a wooly horse (not that you would get looks for that...)
For braiding, again - if you're gonna do it - PRACTICE! A great book for learning about braiding is Grooming to win, by Susan Harris (i think). You can always use rubber bands your first time since it's easier than yarn. Otherwise, a nice pulled mane (preferably on 1 side - it doesn't really matter, just looks neater and neat horses show your respect for the judge). You don't need to braid for schooling shows, but it always makes for a polished look!