Battling winter ick- clipping girth? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-23-2017, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Brunswick Canada
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Battling winter ick- clipping girth?

It's winter here. Minus -20C temps regularly (although it's been oddly mild) so I can't bathe my horses. Ive stopped riding this winter because I cannot for the life of me get Troubles girth area clean. It's almost to the skin, thick matted hair full of pee and grime. I brush and scrub and curry and pull some out to the point he gets sensitive, so I quit trying. I get it half clean and it's nasty the next day.

So I was wondering what everyone thinks of clipping just the girth area? The short rides we go on don't make him sweat, so I don't need to clip anything else. I also don't blanket him so I'd like to keep as much hair on him as possible. I don't care if it looks wacky, I'm the only one who sees him most of the time. It shouldn't make him cold or anything? I don't clip, and I don't blanket so I'm new at this I don't feel he sweats enough for a bib clip, and he's out in cold temps during the day with no shelter, in at night and when the weather is extremely bad and when it's -30C or lower. I'd just like to ride a little bit this winter!
WhattaTroublemaker is offline  
post #2 of 3 Old 01-23-2017, 08:13 PM
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I think you have nothing to lose trying to make the horse comfortable...
I would use say a #10 blade or a longer length of hair like a #7 or a #5 and clip in the direction of the coat not against it to leave as much length for protection as possible, yet that will take off the yuck and allow air to circulate in that area.
By clipping with the hair it also gives you the chance to see if "some" removed is enough without having to remove all the coat to the skin.
It also give your horse better protection from the elements.
I would only clip exactly where you are having the problem as you do not blanket and don't wish to the width of your cinch/girth and maybe 1/2" extra....
Remember that although you have a smelly mess the horse also has some protection from the caustic nature of urine burning the winter there are several layers of coat to insulate and I have to wonder if the "mess" is soaking through to the actual skin layer itself.
So, yes clip.
But clip carefully and as little as possible.
You can make several clip attempts taking a small amount each time but once removed you expose the skin to the harshness of your winter weather in that area and the harshness of urine against the skin.
Bare skin, and it will be bare compared to winter woollies need to be watched extremely closely as frostbite can happen to exposed skin in all animals.
I found a article with number of blade and length of coat left when clipping with or against hair might help you to pick a appropriate length blade to start....
Good luck.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 01-24-2017, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Colorado
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I have the same problem in Colorado with my palomino QH who grows a lot of winter coat. I was tempted to take the clippers to him but soon realized getting through that sticky stuff would probably ruin the blades. I soaked an old terry cloth hand towel in Cowboy Magic and gently rubbed his girth area and was able to clean off most of the "ick". I rinsed out the towel and when it's dry I'll do it again in a day or so.
Light Em Up Jack is offline  

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