Why do we clip horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Why do we clip horses?

I think I know why, but I've never actually been told whether or not it's right...is it so that when we ride in winter the sweat doesn't get stuck in their coat and give them a chill because we can't brush it out?
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post #2 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 09:57 AM
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I don't body clip my horses in the winter. But then, I don't ride when it gets below freezing.

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post #3 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 10:01 AM
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It's for our convenience and for looks as well as for the horses comfort, but not always all o those things. In the winter, you could always dry the horse but it's far more convenient to clip and throw on more blankets. Who wants to wait 2 hours for their horse to dry under a cooler or have to low dry? A clipped horse looks smart and neat which looks nice at special events. Sometimes a horse will grow a coat too early or hang on to it for too long.
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post #4 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Okay thanks!! :)
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post #5 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 10:10 AM
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I only think of clipping if the horse is getting sweaty. They cool and dry faster when clipped, and being rugged up over sweat can be uncomfy, make rugs extra smelly/dirty/mouldy, cause sores and if the horse is damp for long periods of time cause rain rot :/ basically if the horse is getting sweaty with a full coat, it makes life simpler to clip em! And of course being clipped in itself reduces how much the horse sweats and makes them comfier being worked :)

Even just a bib clip can reduce how hot a horse gets, and if your not going for a full out clip, I've seen some people shave simple shapes into their horses quarters, like permanent quarter marks!!!

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post #6 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Ah right thanks.
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post #7 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 10:36 AM
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If you are actually trying to build fitness and condition the horse (think racehorse, event horse, endurance horse) you have to either body clip or keep the horse under lights to keep the coat down in winter. Otherwise, the horse will overheat before you get to the point in the workout were you're building fitness.

That's one reason, and the most legit reason, IMO to body clip.

Since I mostly pleasure/traill ride, my compromise is to blanket clip - just remove the hair on the belly, chest, neck and head and keep turnout rugs on. It makes a big difference in how quickly the horses break a sweat and makes riding in the winter more enjoyable for me and I think the horses.

It does make grooming a snap, and cooling out quick and easy. When I had multiple horses to get ready, it was a matter of taking the blankets off and either hot toweling or going over them with a soft brush - huge time saver. But that of course is more about human convenience.

I also had a touchy TB that HATED to be groomed. His skin would literally crawl even when I used a soft brush, and was miserable being curried. Body clipping him, so I could wipe him down with a hot towel instead of grooming, was a kindness.
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post #8 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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So you clip for convenience?
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post #9 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 11:32 AM
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Yes and no. I clip because if I didn't, I'd have to severely curtail my riding in the winter.

The grooming time/cooling out time etc. is a convenience factor.

And clipping is a necessity if you are doing serious fitness or conditioning work.

Last edited by maura; 06-26-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 06-26-2012, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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So if you want to still exercise your horse as much in winter then you should clip them?
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