It is show season, and I don't show my horse a whole lot (just in some schooling shows) but my trainer normally clips her horse's fetlocks off completely for the shows. My horse is outside a lot though, so he probably needs some protection from all that sun and moisture. I want to trim off just enough for him to have some protection but still look neat for shows. Do you know exactly how much fetlock hair he needs for it to continue to serve its purpose?
My horse is out for about 12 hours a day, and he has his entire lower legs clipped. He'll get scratches once in awhile, but not anything worse than when he has full hair. My logic behind clipping is to prevent the fungus that he always seems to get on the front of his hind legs every summer, and it works. I wouldn't be too concerned if you're just tidying up the long hairs on the fetlocks- he will be fine.
It's winter over here...
I have a chestnut TB with 3 stockings... He has a full body clip and he copes fine in the paddock 24/7.
Your horse will be fine with as little or as much hair as you choose to leave on.
I have 2 pasture kept horses, and both get their lower legs clipped, winter or summer.
It makes the mud easier to rinse off and I haven't had scratches since I've started clipping.
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I much prefer to have a horse's lower legs clipped, winter and summer. It is so much easier to dry them and avoid scratches when they are clipped. I also think a horse looks more polished and sharp if you are showing. But, if you truly do not want a close shave, clip going with the hair rather than against it. You will take off less hair that way.
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