I'm going to be clipping my horse this weekend and am deciding between a full clip and a hunter clip. The horse is in northern california where it can get chilly (as cold as 30) and then it can also get unpredictably warm. He lives out in a padock with a large fully covered shelter that is enclosed on three sides. I of course have a heavy blanket for him and can add a sheet if necessary. I prefer the appearance of a full clip but don't want him to get cold if I take off his leg hair. My only concern with doing the hunter clip is that the soil is really prone to harvesting the virus/bacteria that causes scratches. At the barn last year every single horse got scratches regardless of if they were in or out, the ones that had full clips did better because there were less places for the bacteria to go and it was much easier to clean and treat.
Also, something to know, I normally ride in the evenings around 5, 3 times during the work week and then ride in the mornings on the weekend.
I always like to leave hair on the upper back, quarters and upper neck unless the horse is getting really sweaty and taking forever to dry. You can always take more hair off, but once it's gone, it's gone.
I'd vote hunter clip at first, taking more off later if needed.
I'm also in Northern California and had great experience last winter with doing a trace clip on my jumper mare. She is also in a large paddock with three sided shelter attached. I blanketed her just at night with a 200 fill rambo turnout blanket and she did wonderfully through the winter. Dried quickly after exercise, was easy to keep clean and didn't seem stressed during workout. All my working horses will have a trace clip and evening blanketing this winter !
I am in Delta's camp.. the more natural you can keep them the better.. I live in N.CA too, my mare lives outside.... thus a trace clip to keep her comfortable for night riding but enough hair to keep her back warm on cool days with the blanket off!~
Less is more and like said... you can always take off more if need be later on..
I live in SoCal and it is still quite hot here. I did leave Frodo's legs, but everything else is GONE! Last year I left his head and legs, and with Bugs, since I was still occasionally riding her, I did a blanket clip. Having done that last year, I have to say, out here in the desert, it is either all off and blanket, or all on and don't blanket. I just found that she'd get too hot too easily because she still had the "quarter sheet" hair,or I'd under blanket and she'd be cold. So, she is fully furry and Frodo is fully clipped. I think if I were up north, some kind of partial clip would be more ideal and I certainly would not worry about leaving leg hair, it is better, IMHO.
~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding* My Facebook
I live in San Francisco too. Our horses live on the coast and it gets to 40 degrees at night regularly, 30s occasionally. They live out, have hunter clips, and wear a 200g rug at night, a sheet during the day. If it's above 65 degrees they go naked.
For prolonged wet and windy times, a layer of fleece too, but that's very rare.
They are also fed 2x daily (grass hay and grain). One is a thin-skinned TB who runs cold, the other a Friesian x who is always hot.
I live in southern California on a ridge near the coast. But I grew up in Marin. The weather here is similar to the northern California area near the bay. My horses are out as much as possible.
I was pondering this very question earlier this month. I was mainly concerned about sweating and drying off time, as well as keeping blanketing routines simple. goeslikestink provided this great link http://www.peasridge.co.uk/clipper-a...se-clips.shtml Lots of good choices there.
Just bumping this up. I'm debating about whether to clip mine this year. I have a TB that is stalled during the night, and turnout out about 8 hours a day. He is going to be jumping a few times a week, and possibly showing. Last year we full body clipped him, but I'd like to do something that leaves some hair. I think he was chilly last year (he felt good if he didn't have his quarter sheet on!) I have two other TBs that live outside. They have shelter, but it's an in and out. All of the horses I blanket. One got very fuzzy last year, and I'm trying to find a clip that will help him cool out, but not make him freeze outside! The other TB that lives outside gets a bit less hair, but I'd like to do something to make cooling out easier. Each horse will be ridden 4-6 days per week. The two ridden outside get moderate work (walk/trot/canter starting jumping for about an hour each of those days). The horse that is stalled inside as I said does more work, and my trainer gets on him frequently and schools him fairly hard (lots of walk/trot/canter, leg yielding, changes, jumping etc.)
Thanks for the great replies everyone. I think i'm going to start with a hunter clip and if I end up showing later in the season i'll re-clip and do a full body clip. LOL...yes for those of you east coaster and midwest folk I realize that 30 degrees insn't THAT cold but it's still chilly for me especially coming from southern california.
I'm in the PNW and I've gotten in the habit of just doing a full clip (including the head), but I leave the legs. Come spring I'll clip those too. Right now we're still enjoying mild temperatures in the 40's-50's with occasional sunshine. We rarely get colder than 30, but it is wet. So the giant mare currently just wears a sheet and I also put her in a medium weight when we get *cold.*
She is out all day wallowing in the mud. Her favorite activity. She gets worked 5-6 days per week and even with a trace or modified clip she takes a long time to cool out. This way I can throw on her wool cooler and get her groomed up and dry in about 30 minutes after a sweaty workout.