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Why don't H/J riders keep horses under lights?

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  • Why don't H/J riders keep horses under lights?

    I just had a random thought that I'm now quite curious about.

    I know certain areas of the horse world tend to keep their horses under timed lights to prevent them from growing a winter coat (rather than clipping them).

    Any ideas as to why H/J riders don't this? In theory it seems like such a good idea, especially when you consider that a lot of horses are in at night in the winter anyway...

  • #2
    Don't they sleep better with the lights off?


    • #3
      When one puts horses "under lights" it is not for the entire night. The Stock horse people use this technique to keep the horses coat short as if it was summer time and it does work wonderfully. Hwoever, you MUST keep the horse under lights ALL THE TIME or they will sprout winter hair. So that means taking lights and timers to shows etc. with you. I do this with some horses and it is great, I have timer come on at dusk and stay on til about 9:00 at night. You can take them off light when the day gets long anough in summer but put them back on by beginning of August.


      • #4
        Because my horse goes out to pasture from 3:00 in the afternoon till 7:30 in the morning. It only takes one day to clip and you're done with it. Lights might be a good idea for other people but I'm going to just keep on clipping. Plus, I make $$ clipping other people's horses


        • #5
          Lights do a fantastic job and lead to a nicer coat than clipping. I don't do it because my horses are out at night well into the fall.


          • #6
            What about putting them under lights in the winter to get them shedding out earlier?


            • #7
              My lights stay on in the barn until 10pm each night. Helps keep their coats down.
              Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN


              • #8
                it just seems much more complicated than clipping, a lot more upkeep, and from what Ive seen, you only have to miss one night for the horses to sprout a coat...


                • #9
                  How/why did you come to the conclusion that H/J riders *don't* keep horses under lights?

                  My trainer has always had a few stay under lights, starting around mid-August when the days begin getting shorter. I've known plenty of other H/J trainers who do the same.


                  • #10
                    Also, it's not really that complicated to do. Just go pick up a light at Home Depot, clamp it on the corner of the stall and pick up a cheap outdoor timer - works like a charm.


                    • #11
                      Some barns do, but so many barns spend the late summer, fall and winter in temporary stabling at shows. And many remember the tent fire in FL as a reminder of the fact that plugging things in on the road is not always a great idea.


                      • #12
                        I believe that the quarter horse people do it because most of them think it's blasphemous to body clip a show horse. (Oh the lectures I got from QH friends when I clipped mine for a winter circuit!)

                        For HJ people, it's perfectly acceptable to show a clipped horse.

                        I just think clipping is less complicated and saves on my electricity bill.
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                        • #13
                          klmck63 has it right. Stock breeds don't get their winter coats clipped; simply isn't done.


                          • #14
                            I was in training at a facility with lights and the horses looked much better than those that get body clipped. Some barns do it, but you are right not as many as you would think considering how cheap and effective it is! I am body clipping right now but I would much prefer to have my horses under lights.


                            • #15
                              A couple of weeks at a show without lights won't trigger hair growth.

                              A lot of the big shows, (Congress, World, etc.) are held in the fall. The horses have to be in top form and this includes hair coat. There's no comparison between a clipped horse and a horse that didn't hair up in the first place. Grooming is everything with these horses...a clipped horse, in my opinion, looks bad.

                              My BO won't leave lights on 16 hours a day so I have to clip. Hate it, hate it, hate it.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ellem
                                The h/j trainers I've worked with have generally relied on some excuse like wanting their horses to be able to sleep, but I get the impression that there's just some disdain for the practice since it's considered a stock breed thing.
                                I agree, I remember once working at a H/J barn that shared a facility with a QH barn.

                                The H/J horses were always clipped, and in many ways it was carrying out tradition. I always looked forward to the fall, clipped horses and wool coolers.

                                The QHs had lights, and were blanketed 24/7 (this is mild CA). They couldn't believe we clipped our horses, and didn't keep them under lights. I don't know why we didn't. I was never given a reason.

                                There is some thing I like about a clipped coat. I like the goofy colors! It reminds me of the changing of the seasons. Plus, when you clip often, their coat is even shorter then a summer coat, making cooling out mid winter a snap.

                                That said, my TB had such a fine coat that I didn't need to clip, or use lights, blanketing alone kept his coat short. The QH trainer always complimented me on his coat!
                                APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                • #17
                                  I think we (in Alaska) would be reported to the ASPCA if we didn't let the ponies grow coats.


                                  • #18
                                    I have a private barn, but my thought is that the fewer electrical things to cause fires the better. Barns with lots of plugs, cords, lights, warmers, etc., especially up where cobwebs are, seem unsafe to me. Mine start getting sheets and blankets fairly early and don't grow coats that are bothersome, even at shows.
                                    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                                    • #19
                                      I showed an appendix mostly TB who was a true jet black. I kept him under lights w/ a slinky on and regular winter stable rug. By Devon he had the most fabulous coat. By association the horses who were stabled by him also didn't need to be clipped. I hate clipping, the hair, the lines, the missed spots...for the minamal cost of the lights and they go on @ Dusk off @ 8:30 or 9 its so worth it.
                                      And remember they do the same for Broodmares to jump start their ovulation.

                                      I agree tent stalls make it an issue for some.

                                      But mine stay home most of the time anyway


                                      • #20
                                        When I was away at college there was a guy at my boarding barn that did reining QH's. Apparently he was a big deal and kind of famous in that world. He would often lecture me when he saw me clipping my show horses. I always thought it was kind of funny b/c when I first arrived he RAVED about my horses coats asking me what my 'secret' was. Just good feed, plat performance and oh yea...I clipped them a week before leaving for school.

                                        I felt kind of bad for his horses. They were in stable blankets 24/7/365 and never, ever turned out. It would be 100 degrees outside and there they were in their stable blankets under lights in their stalls. I'd rather clip and not have to deprive my horses of being horses. Plus when I show my horses have to acclimate from freezing temps at home to summer heat in Florida. With clipping I can let them grow a coat for extra warmth at home and then simply body clip a day or two before shipping to Fla. Our groom is a body clip master, their coats are shiny and perfect the day they're clipped and we don't have that 'lag time' that some people talk about where the horses are weird looking.