I need to decide how to clip my horse and would like to get advice on an appropriate pattern. I live in NJ (not too far from Gladstone). I’m not sure how cold it is going to get since I haven’t lived here that long, but at the moment it’s in the 50’s during the day and down in the mid 30’s in the evenings. In January and February it can go down into the teens where my horse is and single digits occasionally.
My horse lives outside 24/7 but has a shelter she can go into which is basically like a small “barn” that is the size of one large stall. The barn has an indoor arena fortunately so it will be easy to continue riding and training over the winter. Most days I’m not riding hard enough for the horse to get really sweaty, but it’s starting to get cold enough now that damp fur can be a problem.
What pattern would people recommend for a horse in moderate work but who lives outside?
Up here, horses who live outside are clipped in usually a trace or modified blanket clip pattern. Focus on the areas that tend to get sweaty but only remove the hair if you can cover it with a blanket. So, if your horse normally gets a sweaty neck, only clip the neck if you have a hood. If you don't have a hood, most horses are okay with a swatch of 4-6 inches wide on the underside of the necks even in cold weather but definitely don't take off the whole neck.
Really, it depends on the blankets too. Can you keep your horse warm if you take off a lot of hair or no? If you've got lots of warm blankets, you can take off more. If you don't, then I'd recommend not clipping off too much. Leave the neck on, leave the belly, and just clip from the shoulder to the haunch but not widely.
I am in OK where it gets into the single digits in the winter but usually 20-40's most of it. I wack it all off. From elbows and stifles on up. I am too lazy to trim around for trace clips, etc. ;-) Then I blanket.
Oh, a hint to help with the transplanted horse hair problem when clipping: don't wear a bra!! And nothing fuzzy. I do a t-shirt or sweat shirt, and sweat pants usually. Not exactly a fashion statement but far more comfortable and not near as itchy.
A modified bib should do the trick. Since it does tend to get in the teens and probably at times colder [windchill] . Unless you can put a hood on the horse or bring in on the especially cold nights ,I wouldn't do much more.
I clip a lot, around 50 plus a year so I do all kinds of "patterns". For a horse that lives out 24/7 and is not worked too hard I would start with what they are calling an apron clip or Irish clip on the link that Moonwitch posted.
That will give you a starting place. If you mare still gets super sweaty around her stifle area you can always do a trace clip from there.
I usually start those clips about saddle pad level. Clip just past where the girth goes and then up the neck to the jaw. I clip about half way up the neck toward the mane. I also clip the chest and between the front legs.
Good luck and happy clipping.
"Half the failures in life result from pulling in one's horse when it is leaping."