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Dreamcatcher5 04-03-2013 07:13 PM

Clipping: is it really necessary??
I was just wondering about clipping and if it's compulsory for the well being of the horse if you want to ride or exercise it in winter.
I'm wondering this because I want to continue riding Luca during the colder months but I'm nkt sure whether I have to clip him or not...I have a picture of his winter "woollies" (it doesn't get THAT cold here in Auckland, just a bit of frost in the morning and colder temperatures including rain during the day.) of course he's blanketed, too. He lives outside 24/7. Here's some old pics of his winter woollies...well, it was just around the end of winter. Yes...he's very skinny, I had just got him as a shaggy, neglected 5 year old. :-( but well, here you go:
^poor Luca :( his bald patches didn't help either.
^his face looks creepy :shock:
And the last one. you think clipping will be necessary?
I will be riding about 4 times a week, maybe even up to 6 times, depends on the weather. Each session will be some walking amd trotting, some smaller jumps and maybe a canter or two. I really don't want to let his great condition slip, since its hard to build muscle on him and he's not the easiest keeper either..
Thanks in advance

Kilokitty 04-03-2013 07:43 PM

Personally, I wouldn't clip him, especially if you're in a cold area. Plus, since you said it's hard to keep muscle on him, wasting energy to make more heat to replace what was lost would make him lose muscle., even if he's blanketed. I've had fuzzier horses.

equiniphile 04-03-2013 07:44 PM

Here's the thing about clipping. You have to be extremely vigilant about blanketing, which means being there to change blankets several times a day if needed, as well as having light, medium, and heavyweight blankets and layers with the appropriate fill to use. You're taking away his defense against nature, which is okay, but you need to be committed to changing his clothes all throughout the winter.

That being said, I don't think you necessarily need to clip for the winter with the workload you're doing. I didn't clip this winter because I kept my eventer in very light work; lots of walking and trotting. If you cool him out properly after you ride (which can take a long time with a long coat), he should be fine. If you decide to step up the workload or just want a faster cool-down time, go ahead and clip.

Saskia 04-03-2013 08:29 PM

It's not necessary at all. People generally clip either because they sweat up too much during work, or for aesthetic purposes. However you will have to rug a lot, which I personally don't think is a good thing in itself. Growing up I lived in places colder than Auckland and rode most days in the winter and have never clipped. And never had a problem.

Dreamcatcher5 04-03-2013 08:58 PM

Phew, thanks :D
I'm glad I don't need to clip him, not because he hates clippers, but because he just can't stand still in winter! He's always full of energy :lol:

LynnF 04-04-2013 12:11 AM

I tend not to clip. My horses live outside and don't have blankets on (and it gets cold here) I ride all winter but don't do too much to get them sweaty. I take the time to cool out properly and if they are sweaty I will throw on a fleece cooler until they are dry.

kiwi79 04-04-2013 04:47 AM

I wouldnt bother with clipping him and winters here in NZ are pretty mild compared to other countries. I had my gelding in a mid season rug all of last winter and he hardly grew much of a winter coat at all.

Kayty 04-04-2013 06:26 AM

I clip because my horse is in full work, regularly competing in large Dressage conpetitions, and due to work I need to ride either very early in the morning or late at night which means I cannot take the time to dry him off being putting rugs back on.

If you are not working your horse to quite a heavy sweat regularly through winter, then I would not bother clipping, or would just trace clip (take off some hair from under the neck and belly).
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callidorre 04-04-2013 07:14 AM

I do a trace clip on my horse every winter. He still has a good portion of his winter coat, but enough is gone to make a difference. I don't worry about changing his blankets five million times a day. I do different blanket combos depending on the weather, but it isn't a daily change by any means. And in the worst coldest weather around here, he wears a mid-weight turnout with a turnout sheet over top of it or a thin-ish stable blanket underneath.

Here's what his clip looks like. You probably can't tell, but the bottom portion of his neck from chest to head is also clipped.

It really depends on your winter conditions and how much riding you'll be doing. Pros for clipping are- Your horse is less likely to get sweaty and is easier to cool down with no worries about being wet. You don't have to worry about mud getting stuck to your horse's belly fur (nice for the girth area). Easier grooming in general. It's fun having a grey horse, Kaiba always has a nice blanket line at his neck after a month or two of constant blanketing. He's tinted yellow from the neck up and white where the blanket is.

gypsygirl 04-04-2013 07:48 AM

i just clipped my horse coming into spring. well we havent really had spring, its been a late spring. i had to clip because i am trying to get my horse summer fit and she hasnt lost much hair and was sweating way to much. she lives outside so even when its 40 shes wearing a heavy weight blanket.

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