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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there!
I have an eight year old draft cross gelding, and during the winter he grows quite a thick fur coat. I actively ride him four times a week, doing dressage, western pleasure, and reining. I would definitely not call it "light riding". The problem I have been running into is that he becomes very sweaty quite quickly with all his hair. I take a good deal of time (45-60 minutes) after every ride to cool him out/groom him before putting him in his stall, but he almost never dries off completely, and it's not realistic for my schedule to stay any longer after my rides than this. I would rather not clip him, as I am kind of funny about letting a horse have his natural winter coat, and the last time that I clipped him he looked silly for months and months. My question is, if I invest in an Irish knit anti-sweat sheet, and dress him in this as well as a cooler after I cool him out/groom him for my regular amount of time (45-60 minutes), is it alright to let him finish drying off with these sheets on in his stall while I go home, and then come back in an hour and a half or so later to remove the sheets and blanket him again? Would this be unkind to him or make him uncomfortable?
If anyone could help me I would greatly appreciate it! I need to keep working him to prepare for shows in the early spring, but it's just as important to me to keep him comfortable, healthy, and happy. :)
 

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I would encourage you to rethink your aversion to clipping your horse. My mustangs also grow thick winter coats and I ride them very actively 4-5 times a week. I found that not only did it take forever for them to cool down and dry off... but that also during our actual rides they would often be breathing harder from being overheated and were frequently less willing to move out freely. Clipping them has kept them more comfortable than anything else. Our rides are more productive, and they don't get drenched in sweat.

They both have low trace clips. I call it their "racing stripes", because they really do seem so much happier and more willing to go to work once they have their winter racing stripes. ^_^
 

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If you are blanketing him anyways, why not just trace clip him? It will save you both a lot of time and grief.
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I would encourage you to rethink your aversion to clipping your horse.
LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE!!!!
I don't know how to do it, but you CAN find someone who does. This will keep you horse healthy, though you WILL need to blanket. I have seen my horses go from IL in July, where the temperatures were pushing 90, to 11K feet in CO (Camping) where it dropped below 32, and it took them 3 days to grow a coat.
Clipping is safe. A heavy wet coat is like you sweating in your socks early on a winter day, and then WEARING those wet socks all day.
Think about it.
 

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I condition endurance horses and we also don't clip in the wintertime. They grow decently fluffy winter coats, although I'm not sure how they would compare to your horse (they're all arabs haha).

They live out 24/7 but if they get really sweaty from a ride we sponge lightly with warm water and throw a fleece blanket on and leave them in the barn for a few hours - overnight to dry(depending on how late in the day/how sweaty).

I think that coming back in a few hours and swapping the blanket out is probably fine personally, It works well for the horses I ride.
We don't clip because the horses are generally not blanketed.
 

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Having a 'natural' thick coat on a horse is really nice but once you start riding them enough to raise a sweat - and fairly regularly - you're moving away from keeping a horse naturally to needing to keep it in a way that fits what you're doing with it
Your horse would be a lot more comfortable if he was trace clipped and would probably work better too - imagine going jogging/running in your thick winter jacket?
Since you blanket him anyway its not going to make you more work.
 

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Articles like that one are fine but they fail to take into account what the horse is being used for and how thick the horses coat is
 

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I want to amend my answer to your question...slightly. I keep horses and chickens. This year I have my pared down flock down to 6 and they live outside in a small coop. My 3 horses are stalled during inclement weather, but mostly, turned out 24/7 as often as possible.
Your concern about your horse drying off needs two things:
1) School on a day where you can stick around and gauge how low it takes his coat to dry
2) Test his stall for drafts
It's a balancing act with animals kept in cold climates during the winter. They NEED fresh air. They get chilled with drafts.
With just 2 horses in my barn several years running, they (and the loft full of hay) keeps the water liquid, when it freezes outside of the barn. I believe the temperature difference can be as much as 15 degrees F. I always keep my east facing dutch door open.
The chickens have an even greater balancing act--keep them dry, prevent drafts but always allow for air exchange bc birds produce tons of humidity and too much humidity will kill them.
So...thinking about this, if your horse's stall is not drafty, I wouldn't worry too much about his wet coat after a workout. When I work one of mine on a cold, winter day, I put him or her in the stall for an hour or two to dry off. Then my horse wants to be outside in the weather.
If you horse is shivering, then you will need to change some things, but otherwise a stall and a blanket should be sufficient.
Keep your horse from drinking cold water until at least one hour after a hard workout. =D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you to everyone who has replied to my question! I really appreciate all the feedback and suggestions. I have come to the conclusion that I will either give my horse a low trace clip, or maybe even just a strip clip or partial strip clip as he mostly sweats on his neck. I am pretty sure his stall doesn't have any drafts, and it is usually quite warm when I step inside. So I think for the mean time, until I clip him, he will be okay with standing with a cooler on in his stall until he is dry. He stays inside all night anyways. :) Now, my next problem is determining which kind of clippers to purchase. if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! And again, thank you so much to all who replied, it has helped me a lot.
 

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I love my andis clippers, they are small and easy on my small hands lol
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The agc super 2 speed. They are awesome! When I bought them they also came with a free little cordless clipper.
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