Why clip a horse in winter?

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Why clip a horse in winter?

This is a discussion on Why clip a horse in winter? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Who clip horses in winter
  • Clipping horse for winter

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    12-04-2010, 08:23 PM
Why clip a horse in winter?

My daughter's 10 year old AQHA is starting to grow a nice fuzzy winter coat. We see lots of people clipping their horses for winter, especially the English riders. My dauughter rides both English and Western. We just got this horse and dont' expect to show him at all this winter. He has a good cooler and a nice mid weight waterproof blanket if it gets really cold. Is there any reason why we should consider clipping him aside from appearance? He looks like a disheveled furball with his long mane and forelocks compared to some of the horses in our barn; but I don't see the reason to clip and trim when his natural coat can help keep him warm this winter (you can tell I am totally new to this horsey world). Thanks.
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    12-04-2010, 08:58 PM
The most common reason for clipping a horse is due to sweating. If a horse is in full work during winter it becomes hard for them to dry out after work if they have their winter coat. Horses will also sweat more readily with their winter coat - as it is thick and designed to keep the heat in!

Other people clip their horses simply because it is time saving. Winter coats take more effort to look after, brush and they take longer to dry.

Yes, people who show competitively clip their horses regulary - a clipped horse is easier to keep clean.

However, if your horse is only in light work or living outdoors I would not clip. Horses coats are very good insulators and provide aqequate protection against the cold.

I believe clipping also deteriorates the coat, making it thicker and often resulting in having to clip regularly.
My personal opinion is that you should leave your equine friend ale-naturale during the winter especially if you are not showing :) My girl gets extremely shaggy in the winter but looks lovely during the summer. In a few months he'll be back to normal when the weather warms up!
    12-04-2010, 09:59 PM
You could always just do a trace clip. There's some great youtube vids on the "what" and the "how to" of trace clipping.
Although if your horse isn't in serious training, then skip it.
    12-04-2010, 10:13 PM
I've only done it one winter, and that was last year; the mare I have got easily sweated and fatigued because she hadn't been in work for a while before I got her, plus she moved from lower altitude to a much higher one when she got to me. So I did a trace clip on her, and that made a HUGE difference for her...blanketing was a pain, but we got through and it was so much easier working her when she wasn't so miserable.

This year I do not plan on clipping her, and SO far she has not had much issue staying 'cool', and such even though I am working her even harder this year compared to last. I'm glad, and I hope it stays that way! I don't have the luxury of having her out my back door now, like I did last year.

Your horse should be just fine without being clipped, especially if he's not in heavy work. That you have blankets for him, even if he does get sweaty, just blanket him until he dries and then fluff him back up later. That's what I did back in my home state of MN...If they got really sweated I would just blanket the horse, cool him out, and toss a different blanket on him to dry him out.
    12-04-2010, 11:14 PM
I clip my horse or aesthetic reasons (i think it looks cool lol), she also gets dandruff with thicker coats and it hard to take care of all the fuzz, she gets dirty so I like to bath her and it takes her a shorter time to dry, and she is also in hard training (5-6 times a week dressage, up to 3rd/4th level movements, will start jumping up to 3'6 and jumping training in january) for show season and gets sweaty. There are many diffrent kinds of clips, I do a full body clip but leave the head and legs. For you maybe a trace clip might work (underside of neck, chest, and belly).
    12-05-2010, 12:25 AM
I just did a trace clip on my horse today. She was a fur ball and it took over an hour for her to dry off enough to put a blanket on after just a little work. I am hoping we can really get some work done now. This is the first time I have done it though. I never had to with my other horses.
    12-05-2010, 04:53 PM
My thoroughbred gets clipped in the winter because he is in hard work and he's a sweater. It would takes hours for us to clean him get off of the sweat. He also shows all year so he gets clipped for that. Right now he has a full clip, but our other horses are fuzzy and happy.

If you aren't showing, he isn't overly sweaty and you don't mind the extra grooming he'll be much happier fuzzy. Clipped horses (especially full clipped horses) have to be blanketed all winter and you would most likely have to purchase at least a 300 - 400 g blanket. As well as getting a quarter sheet for warming up.
    12-05-2010, 05:00 PM
I'm going to clip my horse soon. I don't always have the 2 hours after training to make sure he's all dry when he goes into his stall and having him clipped and blanketd without doubt is a better option than having him furry and wet.

If you do decide to clip your horse (though I don't believe it's necessary from what you wrote), you MUST blanket him!!
    12-05-2010, 05:20 PM
Green Broke
My barn clips most of their horses and ponies because they get ridden in lessons all year round. Not all the kids and parents have time to stay an hour or two after the lesson to cool the horse/pony out.

My Grandparents race their Standardbreds all year round (or at least until the weather is too crappy that they can't, which is maybe for a month) and they don't clip....BUT they blanket early so that the horses don't grow as long/thick of a coat. It also helps that we have a bank barn that stays fairly warm. I can wear a light long sleeve shirt and still be a bit too warm.
    12-05-2010, 06:50 PM
I do not clip any of my horses show or not. I do not find a need for it. I do not find them easier to cool out or keep cleaned if clipped.

That said if you want to mess with it go for it. I just do not do it or see a need for it. Never have.

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