To Clip or Not to Clip? Body Clipping.
I've seen several threads, articles, etc. about body clipping. When exactly is clipping needed and what requires a horse to be clipped? Would you say clipping is just for the hard working horse, or is it for any horse under light work whether during the winter or summer months? For instance I don't do a lot of really hard work with my horse, but by the end of a ride he is sweating. So I guess my question is, when should a horse be clipped and when is it not necessary?
For horses who show year-round, they'll be clipped to stay clean and neat looking.
My gelding doesn't get much of a heavy coat, so I haven't had to clip him to show locally, but like this winter, I'm going to some pretty big shows, so I'll probably clip him for that.
If people still work their horses pretty hard during winter, they'll do a trace clip, or a full clip, so sweat dries quicker. It's dangerous to have a wet and cold horse, especially right after exercise.
I have a mini who has cushings and anhidrosis. Since he never stops growing a thick coat, I have to clip him about 3 times a year, mainly during summer to keep the hair off, so he can stay cool.
There's multiple reasons, but mainly it's either for show appearance, or to keep them drier in the winter.
As an interesting aside, FYI Holton is my family home, or at least was until they all died off. Most of them are buried in either Soldier or America City. My grandfather's house is a grey brick house up on a small hill on the edge of town - used to be open fields around it, but from what I understand there are other houses there now...I haven't been there in maybe 40 years. My grandmother owned the Gossip Printery in Holton... Dorothy Emily Osborn Coffey (1886 - 1967) - Find A Grave Memorial
I clip in winter as I compete through winter - if I dont clip it takes forever for them to dry in the evenings as they are so much hairer and its hard to even work them as they just sweat...
heres a pic of Kazz who was clipped yesterday.... she just gets rugged accordingly... Ill probably clip again in a couple of months and then let it grow back for summer
Honestly life is SO much easier
makes her go fast too with her racing stripes ;)
Oh and I dont bother clipping in summer as they sweat still yes but they also dry fast too - so its not an issue....
Now we are talking normal short haired horses here,
Two schools of thoughts on summer clipping an endurance horse.
Theory one is smooth skin / very short hair has no insulation so sheds heat better. Water is added and sponged off to remove body heat.
Theory two and the one I subscribe too, Horses can regulate heat just fine, a bit of hair holds the sweat and it evaporates from the hair removing the latent heat from change of state. I feel sweat will remove much more heat if it evaporates than if it just runs off. Efficiency of transfer with added water doesnt matter as you have lots and lots of water to add. Id rather have more efficient sweat cooling and less efficient added water cooling.
When in doubt go with mother nature, ever seen a hairless Arab ? and we all know the middle east isnt exactly known for its arctic conditions. If hairless was better we would have hairless genes in horses.
I see clipping as a fashion statement first. Then people come up with excuses why its better.
I blanket clipped both my horses last winter, and will do so again this winter. It DOES keep them from overheating as quickly and reduces the time to groom and cool out. I also body clip my 10H pony; he doensn't shed out completely until May, and the hot early spring days make him miserable, so I do it for his comfort.
If clipping did not have very real, substantial benefit, I wouldn't do it. One, it's expensive, with a set of blades running about $50; two, it's time consuming, and three, it's a filthy job that's tough on my knees and back.
If I wanted to stoop to your level in agressively stating my opinion, I could say people who are too lazy, cheap or unskilled to clip make excuses not to. However, I do think it's a matter of what works for you, given the individual horse, riding schedule, climate and personal preference. If you chose not to clip, that's fine, but there's no reason to be diagreeable and insulting about it.
@Jody111- Beautiful clipping job!!
We just body clipped our fur ball minis for the summer. All of that thick fuzz was too hard on them in this early heat. We didn't clip last year, and they shedded out by June, and literally starting growing in their winter coat around August. I think that clipping definitely has a functional purpose, especially for our poor little dudes, lol!
I clipped my jumper for the summer because he wasn't shedding fast enough and after every ride he was almost dripping in sweat and took sooo long to cool out, I paid someone to do it for me, took about 6 hours!
I'm sooo happy with the results, takes two seconds to brush and no time to cool out when I'm done! plus he looks great.
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