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Clipping for Horse Shows?

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  • Clipping for Horse Shows?

    I will be attending a USEF B show in October and am wondering how to cip my horse.

    This will be the first time she shows during a season where she needs a clip. When I clip her, she usually gets a field hunter clip (head, legs, saddle patch left unclipped) because these are the areas where she's most susceptible to rubs (under the bridle, under boots, and under the saddle). I also want to leave her with whiskers, she's clutzy enough as is in her stall, I don't need to take away any of her senses.

    Horse will be showing at a large USEF B show. Thoroughbred jumper. She will be showing in some weekend money classes where I will be wearing a coat, although she won't be doing the mini prix at the end of the week.

    Wondering whether I can do a hunter clip and not look too out of place at the show. Of course, I will chalk the lines and make sure everything is even.

  • #2
    You're lucky -- as a jumper, it doesn't matter one bit how your horse looks after you clip her!!

    However, I understand wanting to fit in and not looking like you don't care.

    At small A's in the winter I'll usually see a couple trace clipped horses. One does the jumpers and one does the modified children's. Every one else is full body clipped. So you may be one of only a handful, and you might even be the only one, but trace clips are there to serve a purpose, and it serves YOUR purpose, so I wouldn't worry about it.

    If you were doing rated hunter divisions, I may feel differently. But a well done trace clip on a well groomed horse doing the jumpers at a B should wouldn't worry me...


    • #3
      Personally, I'd clip if she was a wooly mammoth. But sometimes if they don't have a crazy coat, it could work. If you were concerned about being out of place.

      Missed the part it was rated.... I'd clip (yes, even her whiskers). That is just me.
      Last edited by Pennywell Bay; Oct. 6, 2012, 08:24 AM.
      Come to the dark side, we have cookies


      • #4
        Clip the entire horse. If you are showing at a rated show, you should clip (flame suit on!!). The upside is that if you clip now she will probably grow enough coat back that you can do your normal clip in 2 months.


        • #5
          Originally posted by skyy View Post
          Clip the entire horse. If you are showing at a rated show, you should clip (flame suit on!!). The upside is that if you clip now she will probably grow enough coat back that you can do your normal clip in 2 months.
          Agreed. I don't show enough to be a regular among the local rated shows. When I'm there, I try to blend in. Having anything but a full clip does not help that mantra.

          Do as you wish. If it's best for your horse not to do so, then don't. But if you want to blend in to your peers and the judges (for better or worse) clip the whole way.


          • #6
            Stick with the trace clip if its what your horse needs and a full body clip won't suit. I personally would trim whiskers and do an overall trim of stray longer hairs, but for the jumpers at a B show you won't get kicked out for not.

            I showed in the modified adult hunters at a local A on a trace clipped horse and pinned fairly. Just make sure the rest of your turnout is immaculate.
            friend of bar.ka


            • #7
              As you can see, it's debatable. Personally I'd do a full body clip and then repeat a field hunter clip later in the season. It's early enough in the season that the hair will grow out relatively quickly. I would not ever recommend to anyone to do a trace clip for showing, but that is personal preference.


              • #8
                IMVHO, there's a big difference between a Hunter Clip and a Trace Clip as far as appearance goes. While I don't know that I'd show with a trace clip, even in jumpers, I have shown and plan to show again this winter (at jumpers, an event, and dressage) with a hunter clip.
                A Year In the Saddle


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks everyone! Just to be a bit more specific, I would not be doing a trace clip, but a field hunter clip. I described it in the first post. More opinions are always welcome! I think the trainer will eventually get the final say, but I want to have an idea of what is acceptable before I make my case.


                  • #10
                    A hunter clip is fine in the jumper ring. Frankly, it SHOULD be fine in the hunter ring, but...

                    Do what's best for your horse, go ride well, and just have fun.
                    "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


                    • #11
                      I think a hunter clip would be acceptable at a B show, especially if you're only doing jumpers. However, I would tidy up her face, whiskers included. You don't need to fully clip her ears, just close them and clip what sticks out. Trim up her fetlocks and use clippers to make a nice edge around her coronary band. With a nicely pulled mane and all other turnout impeccable, I think you'll look fine leaving her head and legs fuzzy.

                      Last B show I did was in February and I saw one or two hunters not clipped at all. They did stick out. I saw trace and blanket clipped jumpers as well.


                      • #12
                        We keep our horses fully clipped all winter (and clip out their summer coat if it comes in long). I can understand leaving the legs if the horse is going through a lot of brush hunting, but sweaty matted hairy heads are gross and difficult to clean.

                        In all my years of horses and showing, I have yet to see a properly fitted and adjusted bridle leave rubs, clipped or not. Most of the rubs I've seen on clipped horses are through the shoulders from turnout blankets that don't fit quite right.


                        • #13
                          Thank you for the thread bluebuckets! I'm doing jumpers at a bigger show myself in November and I've been debating what type of clip to do. My decision is further complicated by the fact that I fully plan on taking the winter off after December. After seeing the answers here, I think I'll do a hunter clip myself, with a very well clipped chin and ears. A trace clip or no clip just won't look nice in all the awesome pictures I plan on getting out of the show but I don't want to worry about my mare too much as it gets colder and she's not in work anymore either, after I steal her coat away.


                          • Original Poster

                            I talked to my trainer today, and he requires a full clip for all horses going to the show.

                            He did, however, bring up an important point I hadn't thought of:

                            We live in a warm climate (Daytime highs get into the seventies well into November) that can also be pretty moist during the winter months. Any patches of hair that will get very sweaty during rides and will take a long time to dry are perfect places for fungus to grow.

                            We'll be doing a full clip. I've done my rounds with fungus, thanks very much.


                            • #15
                              I'm in the same situation righ now. Horse isn going to his first rated show this week. He lives in pasture and is so fluffy. He's not mine so it's really not my decision, but he's going to look terrible. Sigh. If anyone sees a wooly mammoth of a pinto in the hunters this week, come by and say hi! It's probably me and the yak.
                              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                              • #16
                                Do a hunter clip! It's jumpers, so it doesn't matter how the horse is clipped, and as always horse health comes first! If anyone gives you grief over it say somethings along the lines of, "Thanks for the advice, but I think I'll stick with keeping my horse comfortable this winter."


                                • #17
                                  I agree that a hunter clip would be fine, as long as the legs were carefully trimmed with the clipper upside down to trim off all the 'elephant' hair.

                                  I do not believe that whiskers on a horse make him more aware of his surroundings. I think that a horse who lives in a barn and/or a well cleared and tended paddock is not in an danger of injuring his muzzle without whiskers. Perhaps a horse living in the wild might still need whiskers, but not the horses we own.

                                  I happen to be a whisker Nazi and all my horses have their whiskers clipped (except the old retirees in fly season) weekly. None of the suffer from it, and they all look so much nicer.

                                  If you do not plan to clip ears, I encourage you to squeeze the ear together and clip down the front, then clip the edges and about 1/2" into the ear. This leaves a tidy appearance without removing the inner hair.

                                  Also clip a nice bridle path and clip the face up to the cheekpieces of the bridle.
                                  "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                  Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


                                  • #18
                                    I actually like the look of the hunter clip. I don't see why it would be looked down on this time of the year.
                                    Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                                    Takaupas Top Gold
                                    Gifts Black Gold Knight


                                    • #19
                                      I think a hunter clip is fine for a B show. I don't like to do a full clip because I like my guy to be outside as much as possible. I think it depends on how hard they will work, the climate you live in, their turnout situation, and what kind of shows you will do.