should I clip or be patient?

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should I clip or be patient?

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  • horse forum body clipping
  • Can i clip horse in spring

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    04-16-2011, 06:12 PM
should I clip or be patient?

Hey all,
I have a three year old TB mare who was starved this past winter. She dropped about 250 lbs in 3-4 months. She is now being fed well and making a solid comeback and, according to the vet, is in otherwise good health. I don't know if her malnourishment is to blame, but her coat is still HORRENDEOUSLY long and shaggy. While the other horses (which were also subjected to the negligence of a terrible barn manager and lost less, but still a significant amount of weight) are well on their way to their sleek summer coats, my poor girl is still as shaggy as ever, with no sign of shedding out. (picture a very skinny snuffleupagus without the trunk).
I have read that body clipping a horse this late in the year may well interfere with the growth of it's regular summer coat. I understand that clipping a horse is not a way to make it shed quicker but when it's 80 degrees and she's sweating like a pig (like last week) I want to do something for her. She isn't being ridden due to her weight loss so this is strictly for her benefeit.

So should I wait for her to decide to shed on her own, or should I break out the trusty clippers?

Please realize that I understand not everyone agrees with body clipping. While I respect your stand on this topic, I'm not asking whether this is the right thing to do to every horse, but rather given the circumstances, if this would be helpful for her or harmful to her body coat in the long run.
Thanks in advance!
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    04-16-2011, 07:27 PM
I, personally, would leave her to shed in her own time unless having the shaggy hair begins to threaten her health (getting too hot, etc). I would probably want to have a fecal done just to ensure that the hair isn't due to her being wormy (but you may have already had worms taken care of, if so, ignore that sentence). As for whether or not it will hurt her summer coat, I have no idea. I don't clip my horses.

If you do decide to clip her, I'm not sure I would clip her all the way down all over. I would likely clip where a blanket would go and leave the rest of it long (neck, belly, legs, etc). That way, if it does go cold again, she won't be completely naked other than a blanket.
    04-17-2011, 09:54 AM
We just had another snow storm and I'm glad my two healthy horses are still wearing most of their winter coats. The TB's previously poor condition will have a bearing on why he's not shedding, plus the fact that he's a TB.
    04-17-2011, 10:04 AM
Green Broke
I also want to suggest that would it be possible that she and only she has cushings? That usually results in a long coat that never sheds out anyway.
    04-17-2011, 10:36 AM
I would not clip. You'll be clipping off the beginnings of her spring coat and that means she be a funny color well into summer. My horses' spring coats are well on their way in. Show barns usually stop clipping mid January to avoid damaging summer coats.

I sympathize with the 80 degrees and sweating situation, but I would still do whatever you can to get her to shed out on her own. Poor nutrition can definitely cause poor shedding, so I hope next year this won't be as much of an issue.
    04-17-2011, 10:45 AM
Smrobs- thanks! Makes a lot of sense, she has been recently wormed but I can see how that would be a concern! I'm considering giving her some time to see if she starts to shed naturally now that she is being well cared for, but we'll see, this week doesn't look like it has any unnaturally hot days like last week.

Saddlebag- sorry to hear your still in cold weather! But I have to say that a snow storm here is highly unlikely and she has nice blankets if mother nature gets a freak inclination :)

Lilkitty- cushings is very rare in horses under 15, and I think that if the vet had suspected an issue like that he would have mentioned it. Also, I board at a stable with two horses with cushings, the hair coat is much thicker and duller than your reg winter coat-- kinda looks like they had a really bad blow out at a saloon :)

Maura- that's kind of what I was fearing...not the color so much as damaging the spring coat under the fluff. I guess we'll try to give her some more time!
    04-17-2011, 12:28 PM
I wouldn't break out the clippers just yet! You defecting could damage her coat. Hopefully an unstressful environment she's now in with good nutrition will help her. My mare had a stressful year and when spring came around her coat was in naturally long and curly(but she's no 3year old) I thought she might have cushings she didn't how ever she was just lacking some vitamins..I started her on supplement and she shed out within a maybe try her on some supplements (if she's not already on some) I really like source it's not very costly and has slot of benefits.
Hope that's helpful!
    04-17-2011, 01:58 PM
I agree with not full body clipping her but, I sympathize with your situation. My gelding was laid up this past winter and its the first time I have seen his actual winter coat. Its about 3 inches long! He looks like he has feathers because his leg hair got so long. However, he is coming back into work now and were starting to build up his stamina and doing canter work so he was getting incredibly sweaty, I did what I believe is called a "trace clip"? I really have no idea what its called, I just did a strip that is above his legs and its about 5" which has really cut down on the sweating and I've been working on shedding the rest out every day. I also did a strip up his neck and it has really helped him out. I did shave a bit at the bottom of his legs because our muddy season is approaching and last year a bunch of the school horses got this fungus stuff and scratches.
    04-17-2011, 07:55 PM
Has she been wormed lately? The may be other factors in play.

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