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Clipping Question

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  • Clipping Question

    I ride outside all winter in what can be cold/wet/snowy weather. Generally just hacking to help keep some sort of fitness level on both our parts. I usually start more serious schooling in early March and showing in mid to late April. Because horse is outside all winter (riding and turnout, but horse does NOT live out), usually I let the critter be hairy until the beginning of March and then he gets a full horse show worthy body clip. But this year, I have a new horse and he's getting too sweaty for the work we are doing NOW.

    Therefore, I am thinking of doing some sort of partial clip (maybe trace clip?). I have never done any partial clipping before (but am proficient at the body clip so no worries with the clip process). Wondering how effective a trace clip might be? Right now he's sweaty all over after working - neck, chest, back, girth area, flank. Is the trace clip going to keep him cool enough that his back won't get too sweaty? How would you blanket/sheet a trace clipped horse vs. the all natural hairy horse vs. the full body clipped horse?

    And equally important . . . how's it going to look if I do a trace clip now and then the full body clip in March? Is there going to be any way to notice that he was previously clipped in certain areas? Or will he look as he normally does when freshly body clipped? Can't have him looking awful for the show ring!

  • #2
    We have a horse at hte barn who I swear is a yak/wolly mammoth cross. He lives outside 24/7. Last year, he was so hairy that they did a trace clip on him so he wouldn't take 2 hours to dry out after a light workout. He was, of course, blanketed to stay warm enough.

    She did take him to a couple of smallish shows in April, then to a rated in May, and he was fine.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.


    • #3
      You'll have to experiment - depends on the horse and the weather. I have a yak-cross pony. We trace clipped him last year - first we started with under the neck, the chest and underneath the belly. Not enough. Moved to about 4" up the side of the belly, 1/2 way up the neck. This worked if we didn't work him too hard, and if he wasn't in the indoor.

      Ultimately, we ended up 1/2 way up his side, the entire neck, and part of the hind legs. This year, we full body clipped him :-).

      But, the trace clips worked fine when we didn't ride too hard. When you full body clip him, you'll just clip the previously clipped part and you won't be able to tell he was previously clipped.


      • #4
        I usually give mine a trace. It's like opening your jacket zipper: cooler than keeping it closed, but you can still get hot (likewise, you can also get cold if the temps really drop).

        In heavy work, she'll still sweat, but the trace allows it to evaporate much quicker making her happier and cool downs much shorter. When the temps drop, she still needs a sheet or blanket but not as quickly as one that's fully clipped.


        • Original Poster

          Hmmmm . . .

          From the stories here I am wondering if I might as well go ahead and do the full body clip. If I am going to need to clip so much of him to keep the sweating and subsequent cool-down time to a minimum that I am going to need to blanket him, I am wondering what the point would be in NOT doing a full body clip. Don't see the advantage/point of the trace clip I guess?

          The downside to all this, for me, is that I anticipate only "needing" the clip for about 6 more weeks! Then it will be cold enough that he won't be getting sweaty (between the temp and his lighter work load).

          Ugh!!! What to do . . . what to do?!


          • #6
            A couple advantages of a trace are that you don't as easily get blanket rubs (at least not for my horse) and they don't get as chilled when you take the blanket off (no need for quarter sheets, etc.).


            • #7
              I'm struggling with this too. I want to do a trace clip so I don't have to go bananas on the blanketing...but on the other hand, the worst place my horse sweats is under the saddle, and it takes FOREVER to dry. I may just try a trace clip and see how it goes...and knock the rest off if it doesn't help enough.
              Originally posted by barka.lounger
              u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

              we see u in gp ring in no time.


              • #8
                If the horse has grown his winter coat fast, the likelyhood of him growing in a bit of coat in 6 weeks is very high. I would full body clip him now and expect him to grow in some coat by the time it gets really cold. Its the best of both worlds. My current horse is like this and is a 2 clips per winter horse.
                Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA


                • #9
                  I clipped my horse 2 weeks ago. We got some unseasonably cold weather, he grew coat and he needs to be clipped again as it is now in the upper 60's and he sweats like mad. I know that by late Dec he will look like clippers have never been near him and will have a full winter coat. If only I could channel some of that coat growing energy into his tail!


                  • #10
                    I'd appreciate a link or links to any patterns/tutorials anyone knows of for clipping options. This is the first winter I'm considering some type of partial clip as my plan is to do hunter paces all winter and I want to figure out the best balance of not too sweaty/not too chilly. Don't mean to hijack - I'm probably looking at a trace, I just think seeing some details would be really helpful. Thanks!
                    Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


                    • #11
                      I've seen all of the first five myself and prefer the one in red and white. They're all pretty similar, though. I prefer not to clip the head if my horse is going to be out a lot in cold weather.
                      Faibel Farms Custom Fly Bonnets
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