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WWYD? To Clip or Not to Clip in CA - Sacramento Valley

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    WWYD? To Clip or Not to Clip in CA - Sacramento Valley

    So, it's 37 at night, 80 during the day, and this year my horses grew yak level coats. I moved them home last year and maybe because they spent some time in barns through November with lights in 2018, they did not have huge coats. We got 40" of rain and 100g sheets were my friend all winter long.

    Well, it's shaping up quite differently this year. So far no rain and none in sight. I don't want to clip, but my kids with hooves are sweating every afternoon when the temps are over 68. God forbid I work them in the morning because they just drip even when it's 60 out. I hosed them off the other day and even in the sun it took forever to dry and at night I think they were still damp.

    Sooooo... my gut is to clip my mare as she has trouble staying cool. I'm thinking a very conservative under the neck and maybe part of the shoulder - essentially just to unzip her jacket. I may clip my quarter horse gelding, but he just never gets too hot or too cold.

    I guess my question is if I barely take anything and don't get her back or belly, as I never use a neck cover anyway (hello California...) would you consider her clipped, or yak for the winter? I'd only take hair under her neck, chest, and the shoulder, stopping at the elbow. Nothing off the belly.

    Somewhere between this strip and trace, but no belly and not past the front leg:

    Based on their behavior last year, I was not going to blanket unless it was raining anyway. If it stays dry and I work them more than I intended I can always take more off and blanket more. I just can't put it back if the winter ever gets going.

    Ugh... every year it is something different. I don't like taking their hair, but I'm not going to let them get sick or riddled with fungus if they never dry out either. Work is 3-4xs a week 30 minutes. Both are coming back from injuries. They are 24/7 turnout with their own 10x12 run-ins. Free choice grass and alfalfa tossed am/pm.

    What would you do? The weather is great for humans, not so good when they grow thick coats in October. My mare totally messed me up with her hair.

    I'd do a bib, strip, or low trace. See how it goes, and if it's not enough, you can always take off more. I clip the underside of the head, since my guy looks like a goat and sweats a lot there. But I leave legs, belly, and top of neck and back since he lives out (mostly blanketed). So start with a little and see if that's enough.


      Original Poster

      Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post
      I'd do a bib, strip, or low trace. See how it goes, and if it's not enough, you can always take off more. I clip the underside of the head, since my guy looks like a goat and sweats a lot there. But I leave legs, belly, and top of neck and back since he lives out (mostly blanketed). So start with a little and see if that's enough.
      Thanks! I had not seen the bib clip before. I always have fine an Irish so I think that makes the most sense right now.


        I typically treat a bib type clip as unclipped unless the horse is a total wimp about cold weather. I pretty much do a low trace clip that stops just behind where the girth goes.


          I live in San Diego with my horse and pony at home. Same issue, pony has enough hair for about three full sized horses. I ended up clipping her last month leaving her legs and ears hairy (I was going to do full body but got lazy). She paces whenever I ride and will get sweatier than my horse so it was needed. I plan in the next month or so to do a full clip on my horse, her coat just grew in. I came from a much cooler climate so have a full force of blankets and for me it’s just easier to cut it all off.


            I third (?) the bib clip - it doesn’t put too much of a dent in their ability to stay warm but does make a difference when working. I have easy keepers out 24-7 in Maryland - with the clip underside of neck, across shoulders, and just behind girth I put a sheet on for cold rain and a 100 g for below freezing... we have mediums for truly cold (teens), but on your average winter day here, in the 40s and 30s at night, they are naked.
            The big man -- my lost prince

            The little brother, now my main man