It’s the time of year again where we find our equine friends getting fuzzier and fuzzier by the day. Horses begin to grow in their winter coats in response to the days becoming shorter not the temperature, and quite often this time of year brings warm days but chilly nights. This can sometimes become a problem as the same amount of exercise can become more laborious for the horse and it can be more difficult to cool the horse out, especially if it is too cool for a bath.
Many horse owners decide to clip their horse this time of year. This can be a great solution to help the horse be more comfortable during exercise and make his cool down easier. There are many options for clipping from partial clips to an entire body clip. A partial clip can be done in a variety of forms depending on how much work you do with your horse. The intent of a partial clip is to remove hair in the areas where the horse sweats the most while not taking away all of his coat. Partial clips will always leave the hair on the legs as well.
- This clip takes the hair off of the underside of the neck and the chest
- This is ideal for horses who are in light work and maybe live outside as it leaves most of their protective hair
- This clip takes the hair off the underside of the neck, a line along the barrel and the flank area
- This is ideal for horses in light to medium work as it takes off some more hair than the Bib Clip, but still leaves a majority of the protective hair
- This clip leaves the hair in the shape of a quarter sheet, removing the hair from everywhere else on the body
- This is ideal for horses in medium work but who may do some work outside
- Use of a quarter sheet is still recommended with this clip
- This clip is the same as an entire body clip, but leaves a saddle pad shape on the back
- This is ideal for horses in heavy work, but who may be more sensitive as it prevents rubs from the saddle pad
Entire Body Clip:
- This clip removes all the hair, excluding the legs
- This is ideal for horses in heavy work throughout the winter
In the winter it is wise to leave the hair on the legs to provide a barrier against any ice or snow that is present. Depending on the weather and the type of blanketing you choose, it can also be beneficial to the horse to leave some hair on the underside of the belly. It is important to note that when a horse is clipped he will need blanketing, especially if he lives out. The amount and type of blanketing will depend on his turnout and the weather. Even for partially clipped horses quarter sheets would still be beneficial on cold days or when riding outside to help keep the muscles warm, especially during warm up and cool down. While clipping your horse will help to ease the cool down of horses in the winter, it is still important to make sure that your horse is cooled out properly (wool coolers are especially helpful!!).