It helps them cool out faster if they are worked hard during the winter. It also makes them look cleaner and neater for shows during winter. Fortunately, my TB has a thin coat and doesn't need body clipping, but he does have four blankets, as do all the horses in my barn. (It gets COLD in NY!)
It really depends on where you are located, what type riding you do, and also what you do during the winter. There are a few types of clipping that you can do, like hunter clip, full body clip, etc, and it depends on all that was said above. Personally, my horse grows in too thick of a coat during the winter, and I do a full body clip since he's still pretty active with showing also. You just have to really blanket a horse, like with hoods, heavy blankets, and fleece linings, so they don't get sick especially during those cold nights!
Really? I would guess that is a health issue, as not shedding in summer can be very dangerous to a horses health. Borderline cushings even. I know people clip year round for showing and such.
One of my college friends has a fell pony who is clipped all year round - I don't know of any health problems with that horse, he just stays hairy - maybe because he's a native breed
also, some older horses don't shed their coat very well and in england a lot of people have heavy-set, thick-coated horses - I would have thought that it would be much nicer to clip a horse like that so that he doesn't get excessively hot in the summer and feel uncomfortable
We clip for two reasons usually, first of all to allow me to be able to dry them off properly in winter without it taking hours, and secondly we clip at a specific time of the year so they have their short summer coats and colour by show season.
There are different types of horse 'body clips' that are intended to protect the back, keep the horse's limbs warm, etc...They are usually clipped in the winter months, of a rider does alot of winter workouts...the clips keep the essential body areas warm, or protected from the tack, and help the horse cool and dry off easier should he get sweated up. Most of these clippered horses will be blanketed to keep them from getting chilled during turn out.
For horses with just a 'neck' clip, this is done most often on Arabians and half Arabian horses, and help the owner see just what kind of refinement is under all that baby fur. Alot of people who show their horses early in the year, will do a body clip, in order to help attain a smooth appearance, before the actual winter coat sheds out.