If I want to ride hard this winter, do I need to clip and blanket?
I'm moving my horse much closer to my house this winter so I will be able to ride her much more. I live in Canada so she grows a pretty thick coat. I was wondering if I would need to clip her in order to prevent sweat from sticking in her coat and thus making her sick, and if so where on her body should she be clipped? She stays outside 24/7 if that makes a difference. Also, if im clipping and blanketing her, do I need to ride with a quarter sheet and do I need to use a cooler to cool her out in? Thanks in advance :-)
If you ride her every day or close to it, and know you will work her to a sweat even if it's a small sweat I'd at least do a trace clip and a light blanket, if hard work, clip what you know will get grossly sweatly, keep her legs a strip along her back un clipped and a heavy blanket.
It depends. My horse is also out 24/7. If we ride outside in winter, even after hard work, he doesn't break a sweat. If we ride in the indoor, he will sweat at the girth area and under the saddle. I leave him with his full winter coat and use a wool cooler for the sweat under the saddle and blow dryer. It only takes about 15 minutes for him to dry off. I just let him stand there while I clean up and put my stuff away. Works fine for us. I guess it all comes down to how much time you have after your ride to cool and dry your horse before turning out. Maybe start with a full coat and do a trace clip if it becomes a problem.
My girls are out 24/7 as well and we trail ride several times per week for about 3 to 4 hours per ride. When we get back from a ride, my horse may have worked up a sweat under her saddle, so I'll use a cooler on her until she is dry then load her back on the trailer.
If you trace clip your horse, you will have to blanket her because you removed her natural insulation. Since I don't show, it isn't important to have that sleek look to her - furry is just fine.
You may ride a lot at first but it seems to taper off. Because the horse is home and available 24/7 we soon develop the attitude, hmm maybe tomorrow if it's nicer. We ride in -20 but keep pretty much to the walk. Even then the horses sweat, mainly the chest and saddle area altho we often go bareback. The wet areas get a vigorous towelling before the horses are turned out. You may find that just spending time with your horse has many joyful moments that the desire to ride fades a little.
I'm having a similar issue. I want to be able to take lessons at my training barn weekly and they heat their indoor to like 60 degrees! The rest of the time she's outside or in a barn heated to about 40 degrees. I'm going with the -prevent the coat from growing in thick and then blanketing as needed approach. She has a sheet on now (well not this week since it went back up to 80 degrees!) and we'll progress to a blanket later. Theoretically I won't have to clip because she'll just have a lesser coat to work with. I've never done this so I could be wrong, just imitating some of the other people at the barn...
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