View Full Version : Cliping the event horse

Jan. 10, 2010, 04:25 AM
What kind of clip do you use for your horse? I'm in SoCal so winters are mild, horses are out with no shelter during day, but come in at night. Going back to full work, including aquatread. It's been in the seventies during the day here:), and gets down to mid forties at night, but the barn stays fairly warm with forty head. Although "winter" is supposed to be headed this way....sometime....what would you suggest? What kind of tranq "cocktail" do you find works best for clipping, without making them sweat up?

Jan. 10, 2010, 11:58 AM
Gonna search in the way-back machine; I rode in San Diego in the 1970s and early 1980s. All lesson horses/schoolies, but they foxhunted nearly every weekend during the season (fall/winter) and worked pretty hard. Most got a trace clip and the really thin-coated ones got a lightweight blanket at night. They lived outside in a big herd.

I'm a little surprised you assume that horses need to be tranquilized to be clipped. *Some* do for sure, but most (of my acquaintance) do not. (My own horse isn't thrilled about getting her ears done, but she doesn't *do* anything besides pin them.)

Jan. 10, 2010, 12:32 PM
Patrick gets a trace clip down the sides and around the rear, plus his chest and a strip up under his neck.

No drugs, but it's best if he's held, so it takes two people. He doesn't like the clippers, gets snorty, and leeeaannns way away from them. Probably if this happened more than once a year, he'd get used to them.

Jan. 10, 2010, 01:59 PM
I'm in Norcal and my mare who lives in a mare motel has a high trace clip, this way she only needs a blanket when the temps drop into the 30's at night which isn't too often. No tranq needed for clipping.

Jan. 10, 2010, 02:02 PM
as someone who clips racehorses for a living, I recommend 1cc Torbugesic and 1/2cc Dormosedan. Do Not use Rompun, unless you would like to see just how lightning fast a tranqed horse can kick!

Jan. 10, 2010, 02:04 PM
The clip depends on the work too, what exactly is "full work"?

Jan. 10, 2010, 04:34 PM
For my event horse, she gets a full clip or a hunt clip with just her legs left long. It just gets too hot some days to have all that hair when doing gallops and x-country schools.

I second the Dormosedan and Torbugesic mix for clipping the naughty ones if your vet can be around to give it. I've used it a couple of times starting this year and it worked great. No sweating, no movements.

KBG Eventer
Jan. 10, 2010, 05:26 PM
If the winter temperatures are pretty mild than I would do a full clip with or without leaving the long hair on the legs and/or head depending on your preference. My horses always get a full clip with a saddle patch and sometimes we leave the hair on their head. It has gotten quite cold here lately (Negative single digits at night with the windchill), and my horse has done fine with his Rambo (and his neck cover below 30). He goes out during the day with no shelter and is in the well insulated barn at night. :)

Jan. 10, 2010, 06:21 PM
Lows in the 40's with a horse in daily work? I would clip the whole horse (minus legs, just too much of a PITA). I don't tranquilize any of mine, they don't mind clipping in the slightest.

Jan. 11, 2010, 10:32 AM
I'm in Ontario (Canada...not California ;)) and a lot of horses are body clipped. Most leave legs. All wear rugs in and turnouts on top to go out. So at the temps you see I am sure a body clip would be fine.

Jan. 11, 2010, 10:33 AM
Lows in the 40's with a horse in daily work? I would clip the whole horse (minus legs, just too much of a PITA). I don't tranquilize any of mine, they don't mind clipping in the slightest.

the stuid psuedo winter we just had for the last week is over and the temps are back to the 50s.

My horse will be clipped this week. (excluding legs).
I'm not good enough to get lines straight so I need to do the whole body. :yes:
He's a grey and really really nappy. I can't wait to get that coat off of him. He smells like he's been sleeping in crap for 3 months (which he has!). :lol:

Jan. 11, 2010, 10:40 AM
He smells like he's been sleeping in crap for 3 months (which he has!). :lol:

Eww! Don't you hate it when they get hot and the stink just eminates up at you? With mine it is more a hot urine stench then crap though.

Jan. 11, 2010, 10:48 AM
I'm not good enough to get lines straight so I need to do the whole body. :yes:

Agreed. Everytime I have tried to do a trace clip, I ended up doing a hunter because I couldn't get the sides even or straight. Also it just gets too hot for them to go unclipped if they are in regular work here in Tennessee. We never have weather in moderation, and it is easier to manage thier comfort with blankets IMHO.

Jan. 11, 2010, 08:47 PM
Since ours are event horses they get a full body clip - with legs left on .. and the "top" half of their head (clipped up to the cheekbone) .. we have several going to Wellington for some special schooling so they'll get their faces, ears and legs clipped as well before we leave..

Jan. 11, 2010, 10:26 PM
Summerly, I'm just down the hill from you, so to speak, and we've been doing full clips. I leave a saddle pad so that their backs are covered. I second the tranq recommendations.

Jan. 12, 2010, 12:09 AM
I am in NorCal and we always did full body clips. Some times the legs would be left in subsequent clips, but first clip of the season was a full body. Its just not cold enough for them to need much hair. It would have to be a REALLY cold day (for us nor cal wimps, that means in the 40's) to pull out the quarter sheets. Blankets and sheets worn much of the winter though.

Never once had to tranq a horse to clip it (I have probably clipped 100+ individuals). You are much better off just training the horse. Work slowly and in their comfort zone (I liked doing skiddish ones in their stall).

Mtn trails
Jan. 12, 2010, 01:46 PM
Not trying to hijack but need some advice on clipping. I am in western WA and we have pretty mild winters although they are wet with temps in the 40s to low 50s during the day. Nights are down to low 40s upper 30s.

I have a mustang who is my main eventing (if you can call the weenie division eventing) horse and she lives outdoors with a shelter, just a roof basically with hogfuel bedding. I would like to clip her because when we work which is several times a week, she sweats hard. I have no problem needing to blanket her so what type of clip do you think would be best? I was leaning toward a high trace because she'd still have some hair but would look a little less "yak like" and would cool out faster.

Comments? Thanks. Again didn't mean to hijack.

Jan. 12, 2010, 01:54 PM
For a starter clip I always just do the underside of the neck and the chest. You can always take more hair off. If a horse is really furry and I know they're going to be working and sweating, my next level of hair-removal is sort of a chaser/Irish clip: start at the throatlatch and draw a straight line to just in front of the stifle. Remove everything below that line, not including the legs. Looks AWESOME and does a great job keeping the horse cooler and drier. You can aim for the mid-point of the belly if you don't want to go as far back as the stifle. It's so much easier this way, just drawing the line and following it, than it is to try and draw patterns, etc. You can just use your eyeball with a little practice. :)

Jan. 12, 2010, 02:28 PM
And don't forget that the lines don't have to perfectly match from one side to the other - since you only see one side of the horse at a time!

On a new or skittish horse, start with accustoming them to the clippers turned off, then turned on, then against their skin while rubbing them with the lie of the hair. If they will stand that, then you can start on the shoulder.

For a horse getting its first-time clip, the modified clip deltawave suggested is good - I leave the head, and do a line that is about 6 inches below the crest (so it stops beside the cheek, not the ears) and take that line down over the shoulder and 1/2 way between the elbow and stifle. That way you aren't bending over and clipping the REALLY sensitive area under their flank which is also in the major Kick Zone.

This modified clip can easily be done by one person with a horse tied up or in cross-ties. Keep a twitch handy. You can reach all parts without a stool, and do the sensitive belly/girth area by holding up a hoof if needed.