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To Clip or Not to Clip? WWYD

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  • To Clip or Not to Clip? WWYD

    I have a TB gelding who has some identity issues. He thinks he's a draft horse... or a yak, not sure which.

    Anyway, here's the situation: Horse lives outside 24-7 while I'm in school in East TN. He is already pretty wooly and the temps are still getting into the 70s/80s during the day. Nights have been in the mid/low 50s with some nights lower. I have a sheet and a med weight turnout for him as well as a stable blanket that could be used for layering if necessary. He gets pretty sweaty when I ride even though we're not really doing much at the moment.

    I'm toying with the idea of clipping him since it's still quite warm out, but am worried that once the temps do start dropping he'll be cold since he stays outside. Barn where he is boarded is very willing to blanket as needed.

    "There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse." - Robert Smith Surtees

  • #2
    I clip mine and they live out with appropriate clothing and shelter, plus free choice hay. Have never had any issues, and have done it to countless TBs and this year, a WB. I sometimes full clip, sometimes trace, but usually a full, leaving the legs and only going to the cheekpieces of the bridle.

    I can/will not spend hours cooling out after a ride, and I would imagine it is uncomfortable for the horse as well.


    • #3
      A trace clip might be a good option for you. There are so many variations depending upon how much work he will be doing. I would clip him if he is getting really sweaty from work.


      • #4
        If the barn will sheet/blanket him appropriately then clip him. There is nothing worse than getting your horse all sweaty, then the sun goes down, it gets chilly and you're standing there toweling forever to get him dry.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Personal Champ View Post
          I can/will not spend hours cooling out after a ride, and I would imagine it is uncomfortable for the horse as well.
          This is my feeling, as well. My older mare has always grown a coat like a yak. She is miserably uncomfortable in the fall, when she simply has too much coat to work without becoming a sweaty mess. So she is clipped and blanketed appropriately.

          If I didn't clip, not only would I spend twice as long cooling out as I did tacking up and riding, but the poor mare would be miserable, as well.

          If the OP's barn offers blanketing services, it seems a no-brainer to clip and replace the missing coat with a blanket when temps are cold enough.
          Equinox Equine Massage

          In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
          -Albert Camus


          • #6
            Do a partial clip. By the time it gets really cold, he will have re-grown a lot of the hair, so you won't have committed to him being all naked, all winter. If you like the amount you've taken off, you can just re-clip him and blanket appropriately. If you need more hair off, you can do it later.

            You can always take more hair off, but never put it back on--start with a partial.
            Click here before you buy.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks everyone! For those who clip, how does your blanketing routine change when you have a clipped horse?
              "There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse." - Robert Smith Surtees


              • #8
                When clipped mine wear turnouts 24/7 unless temps are over 70 at which point they wear their fly sheets. Blankets rotated based on day temps - light turnouts for nice (cool days), medium for nights outside/light for nights inside. Once winter comes we start layering light and medium as temps require.


                • #9
                  I virtually never do a full body clip, usually some variation of an Irish/Chaser clip with the underside of the neck, chest, shoulders and girth/tummy area clipped in a semi-straight line from stifle to jaw. That's for a horse working pretty hard with a heavy coat. Mostly my horses work 30 minutes 3-4 times a week in the winter and it's bloody COLD, so they rarely work up a huge sweat. Sometimes I just clip the underside of the neck and that's enough.

                  I blanket them like normal because they have most of their fur: nothing until it's below 35, turnout sheet if it's wet or windy in the above-freezing temps, midweights down to about 20-25 degrees and heavyweights when it's colder than that, bringing out the heavyweight earlier if it's very windy or wet.

                  Last winter Keebler didn't wear any blankets at all since he was unclipped, on stall rest and only walking under saddle most of the winter. Didn't faze him one bit.
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eventingVOL View Post
                    Thanks everyone! For those who clip, how does your blanketing routine change when you have a clipped horse?
                    Blanket more and need more layers. Not sure what you are use to, many people blanket too much for a non clipped horse, but for a horse that is clipped they will need something before any other horses do, so like a sheet in the upper 50's for my horse (if it is 60's during the day and sunny he is usually naked). When it is first getting down in the 40's so like upper 40's he gets a mid weight when it starts getting colder than that (low 40's upper 30's) he gets a wool liner put on under his mid weight. This works for him for a wide range of temperatures, but my horse loves the cold (and can usually stand to loose a few pounds!) If it is going to be low 20's he gets another mid weight thrown on if hes going out at night. That is about as cold as it gets where he is, but he has a fluffy liner as well if he needs it. It would be nice if I had a heavy weight, but since I have 2 mid weights I just use those for layering instead of buying a heavy weight. It works well for him.


                    • #11
                      Trace clip.
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                      We Are Flying Solo


                      • #12
                        my horses were trace clipped with their regular blankets during a Minnesota winter. The only difference was they got an extra polar fleece layer when it got below zero. They were just fine.


                        • #13
                          Delta...do your horses sweat under the saddle area if they have a trace clip?


                          • #14
                            I clipped my mare last night - for her first ever clip, she was a star! Left the legs and only did to cheekpieces, as planned.

                            60+ she is naked. Chilly weather she has a sheet (50-60, varies with rain), she also has a midweight (40-50, varies with rain), a heavyweight (30-40, varies with rain) and a heavyweight with a hood (teens-30). Fortunately we don't get colder than the teens, often.

                            This mare is a tub and stays fat on air. Conicidentally my non-clipped, fine coated TB gets blanketed the same, if not heavier. Needs no help losing weight, don't want him shivering off calories.


                            • #15
                              Delta...do your horses sweat under the saddle area if they have a trace clip?
                              Mostly they sweat in the girth/chest/neck area, like most horses I guess. Any little bit of sweat under the saddle area is usually minor and dry by the time I'm done brushing them off after a ride. I don't mind putting a blanket on over a little bit of damp hair, as long as the horse is recovered in its breathing and not still sweating. As I said, mine don't work all that hard in the winter--no galloping, no intervals, just 30 minute schooling sessions several days a week.

                              Worse comes to worst, since the ones that are working for a living are boarded in the winter (can't ride at my place in the winter--no arena, no lights) I can always put a wool/poly fleece cooler on them in their stall and the barn staff will pop their blankets on for the night when they're all dry. A perk which I rarely need to use.
                              Click here before you buy.


                              • #16
                                When reading your post I laughed out loud (a YAK)

                                I have a yak too! So much so his leg hair curls..

                                I would do a trace clip or even a Hunter clip. I do a Hunter clip for my horses every winter. It's so much easier to cool them out - and you can ride them during the winter months.

                                I do change my blanketing when my horses are clipped because I don't blanket unless they are clipped.

                                If the barn you are at are willing to blanket and unblanket when necessary that's a big part of the trouble with clipping. Other than picking the day to clip them and you become a yak yourself.
                                Live in the sunshine.
                                Swim in the sea.
                                Drink the wild air.


                                • #17
                                  I partially clip my super-super-furry Shetland in the winter BECAUSE she is fat! A little bit of being chilly helps her burn calories, I leave her furry on top so she sheds water and snow (walks around with six inches of snow on her back, that's how well insulated she is!) and she is always "almost slim" in the springtime.
                                  Click here before you buy.


                                  • #18
                                    I just pretty much body clipped my guy and I'm over in Nashville. I left his saddle area (and a very cute elephant on his butt). But he has plenty of blankets to layer up should the temps drop. I would consider a modified trace of some sort. It was the best decision I've made to keep his partially clipped in the winter.