|Cuna in 2012|
Why We Clip
A horse in work is going to sweat. In the summer, we just hose them off and call it good. In the winter, they grow more hair and it's way too cold to use a hose. Even if you have a indoor, heated wash rack, the hosing will get them very wet and the hair takes forever to dry. (Also if you have one of those, don't talk to me). A wet horse is a cold horse. Moisture on the skin can cause funk. Getting long hair to dry frequently takes longer than the ride itself.
So we clip.
That said. If your horse doesn't sweat during your winter rides, by all means, LEAVE HIS HAIR ALONE. There are many cool properties of equine hair and it's best utilized when actually on the horse.
|First full clip of the 2012 season|
What We Clip
First things first--if you are in a program with a trainer, whether boarding at their barn or hauling in on a regular basis, please ask the trainer what they prefer. You are representing their program and they have worked hard to be where they are. Some don't care. Many do. If you are committed to the trainer's philosophy, show your respect by honoring their wishes here, ESPECIALLY if you will be showing over the winter.
If not, think about your horses's lifestyle and workload. If your horse is in a warm stall in a barn, you can take lots of hair off. If your horse is turned out a lot or lives outside, I'd make a note of where he sweats the most and then limit my clipping to that area. The more hair your horse still has, the warmer she's going to be. Here is a link to a great list of different types of standard clips.
What That Changes
|Courage rocking the sheet|
Cuna runs hot--he's a big horse and he really isn't a fan of blankets. Courage runs cold and has very fine hair, so he takes a lot more coverage. For Cuna, I had a cotton sheet, a waterproof sheet, a medium weight blanket, a neck cover, and a 200 g liner. For Courage, I've added a heavy weight blanket into the mix. I layer up according to the temperatures.
|Modeling the heavy|
This is a lot of maintenance. If you are in a full care situation or keep your horses at home, that's not a problem. It is something to be aware of if your horse is boarded out, though.
It's Worth It
|Tommy, a cute client horse|
Who clips their horses? How do you decide which clip to use?