Will I Have To Blanket? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 08-12-2013, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Will I Have To Blanket?

My gelding and I are going to be working harder this winter, and I am going to start out with leaving him unclipped for the first time and see how much he sweats and go from there. I assume I will need to clip him with at least a bib clip. But my question is will I have to blanket him with how much I take off. I won't be doing more than a high trace clip. He will be ridden aprox. 4-6 times per week. I live in NE Iowa if that makes a difference where lows are usually around below zero with average around 20. Lots of heavy snowfall freezing rain and wind. So I guess I just want to know if I do a bib will I need to blanket if so what kind. Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 12:04 AM
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Well, I guess none of us can give you The Answer, we can only try to help you deconstruct it a little bit!

- you know that if you work him hard (and that depends on his level of fitness of course) then he will sweat

- you know that you need to avoid him being sweaty on a cold day with no sunshine

- to avoid the sweating you either work him less vigorously, or clip him.

- if you clip him he has to he able to keep warm using his digestive system and remaining fur

- feeding him plenty of forage will help him keep warm

- but if you take too much fur off, then you might tip the balance, and have to start to rug him.

- some people say that rugs flatten the hair, and can actually stop them keeping themselves warm.

- any rug, whatever make, is done up at the front, leaving the bib clip area the least protected!

- you could take off a little bit and see how he goes.

- you might end up taking off more, and rugging more.

- you might end up owning a huge wardrobe of rugs of varying thicknesses with and without necks.....!

Does he live at home?
Can you change rugs easily if the weather turns and you realise that he is cooking/freezing in what you have out him in?
Does he stand nicely to clip??

Oh, questions questions! If it were me, I am an all or nothing girl. I either do a full hunter clip, and employ the full wardrobe of rugs OR I don't clip and I do long slow work that doesn't cause too much sweat. I find the inbetween very difficult to manage.
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Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Running Whisper View Post
My gelding and I are going to be working harder this winter, and I am going to start out with leaving him unclipped for the first time and see how much he sweats and go from there. I assume I will need to clip him with at least a bib clip. But my question is will I have to blanket him with how much I take off. I won't be doing more than a high trace clip. He will be ridden aprox. 4-6 times per week. I live in NE Iowa if that makes a difference where lows are usually around below zero with average around 20. Lots of heavy snowfall freezing rain and wind. So I guess I just want to know if I do a bib will I need to blanket if so what kind. Thanks.
You likely will. Once you remove that amount of hair, especially in such a vital part of his body, you will. How cold are your winters?
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 12:13 AM
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We ride below 0 and used to blanket. That's a pain! We now let em get hairy, and they do just fine.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 12:36 AM
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Question - are you riding in a heated indoor arena?

Unclipped:
1. If you leave him hairy and ride him inside he's going to heat up fast and sweat more.
2. Now you have the issue of a horse who is hairy and sweaty/damp - drying him is going to be a PITA if not impossible, which opens you up for skin issues. Fungus loves damp warm sweaty hair and skin.
3. Are you going to turn your horse out into the conditions damp?

Clipped:
1. If you're riding inside your horse is going to be more comfortable and cool out faster and be at less risk of skin conditions.
2. You should offer his clipped areas some protection from the conditions, if you've belly clipped look for a rug with a belly flap. Be prepared to double rug.
3. He will need some more forage.

I trace clipped my Reiner (haha) last year and he did fine with extra rugs. Here he is trace clipped
image.jpg
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 06:15 AM
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You shouldn't trim your horses at all in the winter, that's their natural blanket so you don't need another one, unless of course you MUST have a pretty-looking horse.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 06:22 AM
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Lostlita-clipping really has nothing to do with looks in most cases. It has everything to do with the horse drying after working. As has been said, when you work a furry horse, it takes forever for them to dry. I blanket, and do not clip, but, I ride rarely in winter, and when I do, I use a cooler and the him in his stall until dry. The barn staff then blanket and turnout later. (or not at all if he is at the training barn)

THe more you clip the more carful you will have to be with balancing the weather and the blankets, in my experience.

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post #8 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by franknbeans View Post
Lostlita-clipping really has nothing to do with looks in most cases. It has everything to do with the horse drying after working. As has been said, when you work a furry horse, it takes forever for them to dry. I blanket, and do not clip, but, I ride rarely in winter, and when I do, I use a cooler and the him in his stall until dry. The barn staff then blanket and turnout later. (or not at all if he is at the training barn)

THe more you clip the more carful you will have to be with balancing the weather and the blankets, in my experience.
Oh, I see now... But still. I would just water-down the horse after it works, unless it's in the winter... Gah! I'm a little new lol xD
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Lostlita View Post
Oh, I see now... But still. I would just water-down the horse after it works, unless it's in the winter... Gah! I'm a little new lol xD
I think your horse would keel over dead if you hosed him in below zero temps!
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-13-2013, 06:48 AM
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This thread is about winter. You would typically not blanket or clip in summer. So, to "water" the horse down would not be something that should be done unless they are in a heated barn.
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