I keep putting it off, but I'm going to a show next weekend and am going to finally suck it up and fix my hideous trace clip/hunter clip my horse.
The artsy side of me decided that it would be fun to leave behind a set of unclipped flames on my horse's butt (about 6" tall and 11" long). I don't have any "symbols" for XC, my horse would kill me if I left behind a heart or star, and I think the flames fit his personality. I might even write his show name in cursive above the flames?
But seeing as it's not October and this clip is going to be visible for all the spring shows (including USEA stuff), I was reconsidering just how appropriate it is or is not to leave shapes behind on your horse's butt when he'll be going out in public. Will dressage judges hate me? Will people think it looks super tacky?
Well, I am 53 and love seeing the artistic designs, if they are done well. One of my boarder's horses was named Ty, and she clipped the heart, and put Ty in it like a beanie baby I like Shamrocks too, but they are hard to do. I always did a heart on any horse I clipped over 30 years ago. Flames sound fun! Post a photo! You can always clip it off if it does not turn out well.
Because spring is looming, you should consider whether the intricate clip job will leave a mess on your horse's quarter. Usually when doing a design you have to go around the design and it's finnicky and often requires a finer clipper blade. In the winter, the coat grows out a bit and it looks fine - but now you might be clipping into summer coat and it will remain rough in the areas you clip.
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
The important thing is, do YOU care what other people think? It's not illegal and unless you spray paint the flames blaze orange, I can't imagine judges will give a darn, they are too busy looking at other things. As long as you are ok with being really memorable, then don't worry about it (and don't fall off, or else people will never forget "remember who fell off that flame horse?).
I've done tons - those are just the first pictures I could find. I did a variation on the above last year - a kinder, gentler anarchy symbol (an A inside of a heart). I also did The Incredibles logo on another horse, which looked fantastic (that one was actually clipped into the fuzz - he had a blanket clip). Every year that I body clip, I always leave some kind of butt-art - it's usually a play on names (the Superman and Incredibles) or personality (the anarchy symbols).
I keep trying to come up with something really good to put on my younger horse - fortunately, he doesn't grow a winter coat so hasn't yet needed to be clipped, 'cause I don't know how to convey "I am a complete and utter spaz but will make you laugh and/or cry by the moment" with a set of surgical blades.
There was a thread about this in the fall. I clipped a rocket ship and moons on my horses hinney. It's still there now, but when I do a full clip it should clip out. And I do not plan on clipping it back in until fuzzy fall weather. My opinion is they're fun in the fall, but not for spring/summer. If you want to, go for it and post pictures!!
Just do it. Seriously, this is eventing, not subjective hunters (sorry no offense to hunters, but you can't expect flames to secure your ribbon there). Do whatever makes you happy. Dressage judges will not knock points because your horse has flames on his butt, and we all know it couldn't matter less while you're jumping!
I've evented P/I with a heart and in recent years wine glass on my pony's butt. I'm on a homebred mutt pony, judge away I figure! I even rode Prelim at the AECs with the wine glass (her name is Madeira). Got a ton of compliments! I already did my spring clip and its my favorite wine glass so far.
Getting to wear neon orange for XC and put crazy stuff on our horses is one of the reasons eventing is the best! We get away with some pretty awesome stuff!