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Tracer 12-20-2013 09:08 AM

Clipping - Is it worth it?
 
I'm an Aussie, and our summers are notoriously horrible. This is my first summer with a horse, and I'm being a typical worried mother. I've been tossing around the idea of clipping him to help him deal with the heat, since he has an extremely thick coat at the moment (I curry and curry, and can still pull clumps out with my fingers!), but it's not something I'm planning to do, say, tomorrow, if I do make the decision. I'm simply curious.

The main thing that is making me thing 'no' to clipping him is that he was a school horse, and they would clip him every year. According to many accounts, he had to be sedated to get the clippers anywhere near him, to the extent that he could barely stand up.

To me, that seems to suggest that clipping is basically out of the picture. But, does clipping make enough of a difference to keeping a horse cool to even warrant me thinking about it? If it is going to make a huge difference to how he deals with the heat, then I will look into it, otherwise it seems pointless to me.

Foxhunter 12-20-2013 09:25 AM

My answer is that yes, it would make him more comfortable and certainly easy for you but, is it worth it of he has to be heavily sedated, only you can answer that!

horselovinguy 12-20-2013 09:38 AM

Yes, clipping is warranted to make a horse more comfortable and not get heat stroke or heat exhaustion due to to much heavy coat still on their body.

In the case of your horse now not being a school horse... curry him to death and it will come out if he has no health issues.

I do wonder if his need of being tranquilized is from his years prior to being a school horse?
Is he by chance a OTTB, ex-race horse.... some things that those horses are put through makes them horrific to get near with a clipper.
Most though can be re-trained to allow face, bridlepath clipping with patience and much time. Some never ever allow their muzzle or ears though because of some devices they were subjected to during the "track years".

A regular razor like a woman would use in the shower many will tolerate for their muzzle hair... bridlepath there are hand shears, and you can carefully take the longest hairs even with the ear edge by scissor....
Body clip... a vets expertise in sedation and a skilled horse clipper to get the job done quickly... sedation does not last long enough at the depth needed if the horse is violent and some are.
:wink:


BTW...clipping now that your horse is shedding will clip off the tips of his new coat making his coat appear dull and rough. Till he grows a new coat {horses shed continuously}, his coat will not have that "sheen" you would expect.

walkinthewalk 12-20-2013 11:50 AM

Some other things you might consider to get the body hair off, without clipping:

1. The Furminator - they are fantastic - a bit pricey but fantastic.

See if he will tolerate the vacuum, it sounds like he might not but if he would, a good combing with the Furminator digs up the dander, then vacuum his back to collect it.

2. The razor is a great idea. Another thought is that Wahl makes palm sized battery operated clippers. They are almost noiseless.

I would not try clipping his ears (he needs ear hair to keep flies out anyway:) but, they work very well to clip all that jowel and under-the-chin hair that gets wet then full of mildew when the heat & humidity increase.

I have also used them to clip leg hair and they do a great job clipping the hair around the coronet band:-)

In the end, if this has to all be done manually?

1. Furminator
2. Women's manual razors
3. Scissors (non-pointy children's scissors work great & they're cheap:)
4. Dog grooming mitts with the nubbies on them

:D:D

Yogiwick 12-20-2013 02:17 PM

I would not clip a horse in the summer unless it was not shedding.
Our horse has a good 6 inch winter coat and very sleek summer coat. Last year he blew half his winter coat and then had about an inch long coat that would not shed and we waited to see if he would blow the other half. Turns out this is the year he started showing Cushing's symptoms. I ended up clipping him in June. Vet thinks he will be ok for next year but if not I know to keep an eye out to clip him earlier.
So if the horse has a medical issue, naturally thick coat in a hot climate and the heat is very high I would clip. Otherwise just leave him No shortcut for good old elbow grease unfortunately.

~*~anebel~*~ 12-20-2013 02:46 PM

Are you trying with the big clippers? Or with smaller ones? Many horses don't like the big "body clippers" because they are noisy and tickle and get pretty warm. I have Wahl K2 clippers that actually work great for body clipping and are quiet and cool.
I clip my kids for winter, and again in spring before show season. Just looks nicer in the ring, and makes them far less hot! I use a 7 blade in winter and a 10 for summer.
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Tracer 12-27-2013 01:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by horselovinguy (Post 4345482)

Is he by chance a OTTB, ex-race horse.... some things that those horses are put through makes them horrific to get near with a clipper.

He's a QH. I don't know much about his past, but two stories I have heard, neither of which are necessarily true, are that he was a teaser stallion and a racehorse companion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by walkinthewalk (Post 4346042)
Some other things you might consider to get the body hair off, without clipping:

1. The Furminator - they are fantastic - a bit pricey but fantastic.

See if he will tolerate the vacuum, it sounds like he might not but if he would, a good combing with the Furminator digs up the dander, then vacuum his back to collect it.

2. The razor is a great idea. Another thought is that Wahl makes palm sized battery operated clippers. They are almost noiseless.

He's not a fan of noises that are close to him - he hates even being sprayed with fly spray! The battery operated clippers are a good idea - if I was only doing a small area, his girth would be my main focus.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ (Post 4347106)
Are you trying with the big clippers? Or with smaller ones? Many horses don't like the big "body clippers" because they are noisy and tickle and get pretty warm. I have Wahl K2 clippers that actually work great for body clipping and are quiet and cool.

I've never tried it myself, I'm going off stories I've heard of him. Like I said above, he isn't a fan of sounds - the spray of a spray bottle sends his head up, ears back, and he gets ready to run a mile. I basically have to spray, soothe, spray, soothe...

I think I will wait a little while and see how he goes. I have a battery operated ladies razor that needs new batteries that I might try on him if I can't get enough out with a good curry combing. Doing a proper clip will stay as the last resort, as I really don't want to have to drug him

horselovinguy 12-27-2013 07:49 AM

Have you tried desensitizing him in steps to noises....to noise and vibrations????

Fly spray... randomly make a "Pssst" sound yourself while you have your hands on him grooming, do it often and with a soft touch so he is reassured and grows accustomed to that noise..
Clippers are much the same....run them in your hand off, over his body while reassuring him in your grooming time....quietly you make a buzzing sound...over time turn them on and touch him doing the same thing over his entire body. When he realizes the thing won't hurt him you are on the road to him accepting.
You need to be his leader, the respected one in the herd and give the cues about all of this... if you act tentative and scared of his reaction you will have a horse who will give you what you ask for.
If you introduce then expect him to respect what you are doing and trust you, in time you will have that horse too.

Please, also remember that what people tell stories of of a horses past concerned another handling them.
That handler has much to do with the horses allowed responses to all kinds of stimuli, clippers, spray bottles, anything and everything.
Your "vibes" are being sent before you even realize it, so go to the barn with a calm and clear mindset and see where that can get you to in handling your horse all the time.
Also remember that many love to embellish and fabricate stories... with us thinking the worst and having the least of issues. That goes for all kinds of things "horsey"...and in life sometimes too.

BTW.... do not use your womans razor on your horse.

It is not made for that and will yank and pull his coat beside cutting/chopping it to close and possibly really hurting him or making him uncomfortable in his girth area.
If you have the right clippers for a horse and truly know how to, clip.
If you don't, then pay someone who is experienced with difficult horses to clip him.
If it needs done...Tranquilizing is not always bad if done for the right reason and by someone who knows what they are doing.
Your horse may have had some rough handling by how you write of information being passed on to you...he needs a confident handler to re-train him that "clippers don't bite" and "spray bottles don't attack".

Remember, he takes his cues from you, your body language and your tensions you exhibit.
If you relax, he will...if you go at him all ready for a fight & war....he will give you one.

Good luck.

My2Geldings 12-27-2013 03:25 PM

Its a case by case decision. If what you are describing is accurate, then yes its very much worth it. Clipping is a pain in the butt to do, but it doesn't take long to do, and it makes a huge difference for a horse that works hard on a regular basis and ends up really hot. What you have to keep in mind, is that you need to make sure you have blankets on hand in case you get bad weather.

In your situation however, I would really consider the risk of having to use sedation to clip him and if its worth the benefit of clipping him. Have you considered boarding him indoors and/or blanket him so he naturally grows a smaller coat?

Shropshirerosie 12-27-2013 05:33 PM

"I basically have to spray, soothe, spray, soothe..."



And herein lies your fundamental problem.

You need to spray - tell him not to be a jerk - spray, continue spraying, spray some more, then give him a pat.

This won't solve the clipping problem, but will increase your likelihood of solving it. At the moment he is successfully teaching you to stop the scary spray when he makes a fuss. You need to teach him that any kind of scary thing (be it clippers, sprayers, plastic bags, shadows, or rustling paper bags) is not scary because you say so.

This is a whole new thread of training though - but please take it as food for thought on your approach to his spooking issues.

On the clipping question: if he is uncomfortably hot, then get him sedated and clipped in the short term. Sedation only works for a short time for a clipper-shy horse so expertise is needed on the clipping side.

You will then have the summer, the winter, and all the time in the world to work on the sprayer/clipper/noise issue training.


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