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Body clipping hairy paint horse in mid/late summer? WWYD?

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    Body clipping hairy paint horse in mid/late summer? WWYD?

    It's been horribly hot and humid where I live and it looks like it will continue to be that way for a while. My gelding has had a thicker and longer summer coat than usual, so the poor guy has been pretty sweaty with all the heat. (Vet saw him on Monday to take blood and check ACTH and insulin, still waiting on the results.) I've been thinking about body clipping him to help him stay a little cooler. However, he is a paint with a lot of white so I'm concerned about sunburn. I do have a fly sheet with UV protection, but he gets hot underneath it, which seems to defeat the purpose of clipping to keep him cooler.
    Is it worth it to body clip him if he has to wear a fly sheet? I've never had to body clip him before, is there any other reason I shouldn't clip him this late in the summer?

    I've done it in the past. If it's the only way to keep the horse comfortable and healthy so he can continue on, then with the protection you plan to provide, do it! I bet you'll have a completely different, happier horse. His winter coat shouldn't be coming in yet.
    Can't learn anything with a closed mind! with thanks to mug


      We clip our retired QH a few times over the summer. He has a thick course Cushings coat that doesn't shed well. There's no reason not to clip if it makes him more comfortable. You could clip him to remove the heat factor, then add the fly sheet for skin protection.


        Original Poster

        Thanks for the replies. I’m going to go ahead and clip him this weekend, hopefully he’ll be more comfortable without the extra hair!


          Definitely clip him! We have a few (of all ages) that have to get clipped year round to be comfortable. If you are using a standard body clipping blade, there will be enough hair left that you don't have to worry about sunburn.


            I agree with everything said above! A horse at my boarding barn has Cushings, and we just clipped him a few days ago as he was just so hot and miserable with his thick coat. Regarding sunburn, he should be alright. If you use a standard blade, his hair shouldn’t be so short that he’s getting burnt.
            Best of luck!


              Original Poster

              I am planning on using a standard blade, good to know that I shouldn’t have to worry about sunburn! Only a couple other horses at my barn get body clipped and they looked pretty bald, so I was worried that my guy would turn out the same.


                Just do it. I am about to do one of my friesians. She just handles work better without all the hair!!!


                  Just clipped mine last weekend. She wasn’t particularly hairy, but enough that she has been terribly sweaty so far. She’s been much more comfortable since being clipped.
                  "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


                    Isn't there a fly spray or coat spray that has sun screen in it?

                    I agree, clip. #10 blade or longer


                      Can you pasture him somewhere out of the sun? Pink skin will definitely burn. My old mare just got clipped nearly bald. She is in the shade during the day and only turned out at night.


                        I did my younger horse a week ago and put a stiffer mesh (think Farnam Supermask type mesh) fly sheet on him for bug protection. The stiffer mesh stands away from the horse a bit, provides shade and allows the breeze through. Yes, it's probably warmer than wearing nothing but cooler than his own coat. The sheet is a Rambo Protector with neck cover.

                        I usually try to clip at the end of May/first week in June so he's got a bit of coat grown on the clipped areas and I can take off the fly sheet in July, but it was not to be this year.


                          Discussion with vet yesterday as every horse around the barn seems to have much thicker coat this year. So she has been testing for cushing like never before. Her advice is to clip as Mme Mare was tested and she is fine. Just very low energy and longish hair ( very easy to see as her winter coat is 2 tones darker than her summer coat) I am also a bit worried about flies but as she goes out at night with a fly sheet I expect she should be fine.
                          As per the others on keeping the sun away. Or do a different cut: like neck and u shape in the back ( plenty of examples on you tube).
                          The vet puts it on the weather we where in winter coats until mid May and now it is really hot.


                            Go for it! Perhaps night turnout would help with the sun factor?? I clipped my Paint earlier this spring after his diagnosis of Cushings and IR (hooray for both..ugh!). He is a roan with a big white face, and so far hasn't had any issues. It has been mild and muggy here, with so many many awful, biting bugs this year! He destroys fly sheets, regardless of brand, so he goes sheetless. His big buddy with Cushings cannot tolerate bugs or heat. I am considering a body clipping of him too. I've never done night turnout but am considering it.
                            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                              If you want to play it very safe and still help with cooling, AND you happen not to be to concerned with looking weird... you could go with a blanket clip or something similar. This would leave natural protection for the flat of his back which takes the direct hit of the sun (and is the only place I've seen a clipped pinto burn, besides the nose) while still giving you ventilation.


                                Original Poster

                                Update: Thank you for the advice/tips everyone! I went with a full body clip as his hair was so thick everywhere. I just got finished clipping him, he stood like a champ for the three hours it took. Not the prettiest clip job, but it’ll do. He’s out in his fly sheet happily munching on lunch now.

                                The vet left a messaging saying his ACTH came back normal, but insulin was borderline. The vet is supposed to call me back Monday to discuss the results in further detail.

                                mscapen That’s been happening at my barn too. Many of the horses here had abnormally long, thick coats and all those who had blood tests had them come back completely normal, with the exception of my horse, because isn’t that how it always goes!


                                  Could also turn her out at night, instead.
                                  My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                                    Glad your horse did not have Cushing. Hopefully the elevated insulin resolved easily with more work or feed change.

                                    i never clipped my horses legs in the summer months as the flies can get nasty! I would trim some
                                    of the long straggly hairs off with scissors