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Clipping an outdoor horse

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    Clipping an outdoor horse

    My horse is now living in a "hybrid board" situation- basically out 24/7 but stall available for really foul weather, sickness, shows etc. I ride 4-5 times per week and we work hard enough that mare gets sweaty which will be a problem as the weather gets worse. We live in Ontario where winter temps are often -20C. I am planning to do a partial clip and blanket her up, but am interested in how other people manage in this kind of a situation. I have a full complement of different weight blankets, neck covers and liners, and BO will change wet blankets.
    I had thought of doing an Irish clip- a strip down the underside of neck, chest, shoulders,belly to just past girth.
    What sort of clip do you use? When do you clip? Mare is already getting fuzzy!

    You can always take more off, so maybe start with just a chest clip. If that's not enough, add the flanks.

    If she's already sweating to the point it's lowering the quality of her rides, or it's taking your or her too long to get her dried out enough for the conditions, it's time to clip now.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      I've done Irish and trace clips on my horse for years, and he lives out 24/7 with two run in sheds and (in cold weather) free choice hay. I blanket him heavily (he's also a hard keeper) and have liners/multiple blankets in different weights so that if one becomes unusable, there are spares he can wear.

      I'm doing either a full body or a blanket clip this year, undecided right now but will decide on Saturday when I clip him. I usually wait until November to do his first clip.


        My horse lives outside with access to a stall, works 5 days a week and is a heavy sweater. I started out with an Irish clip but it wasn't enough, so I modified it into a high trace clip - almost blanket clip. This usually works for him. Our temps don't get as cold as yours, but can hang out below 0 degrees celsius. I usually leave hair on the underside of his stomach, top of his neck, back and rump. I don't clip his legs either, only neaten them. I do clip the underside only of his head since he turns into yak. As long as you have a variety of blankets available, it should work fine.


          Yup, as long as you have a variety of blankets to cover the clipped areas than it shouldn't matter.

          When I lived in Alberta it was pretty normal to have the majority of the horses living out 24/7, but the arena was heated. This meant that everyone typically got everything but their head and legs and sometimes bellies clipped 2-3 times in the winter, and then the show horses usually got a full clip early spring if the show season started early.

          I much preferred clipping as much as possible and then blanketing. Once you've stood around for an hour or two post ride waiting for them to dry since it's -30C out, you'll regret not clipping more.

          I'm back in Ontario with one horse that is out 24/7, and one that's in at night. Neither are big sweaters and our arena isn't heated. I haven't bothered to clip the last two winters, probably won't this year either.


            You wouldn't be out of line to clip now. Mine will he done next Monday, only because I am waiting until we move to our winter barn with a heated wash stall to bathe her first. You will probably have to clip again to knock the hair back once its fully grown in.

            It depends on how sweaty your horse is naturally. Mine did not work terribly hard yesterday evening, and didn't require much walking out to get her respiration rate down (aka she is fairly fit) but she was positively drenched on her neck, chest, girth and rear flank. And her face. I am hoping a trace clip will be good enough, but I'm anticipating doing a hunter clip. My friend's horse with a similar workload only needs a chaser clip. Depends on your horse.


              Whatever clip pattern you choose leave the belly hair on. This makes a huge difference to how warm the horse is outside. Draw a straight line between elbow and stifle and don't clip below that.

              I do modified trace clips on mine - the modified bit being the unclipped belly. I will push it higher up the horse's sides if needed, but I usually start with an 8" wide stripe along his sides.

              I clipped one last week and will do the other in the next week or so.

              One wears a 200g Wug with a 100g blanket and neck rug over it for very cold snaps and nasty storms. The other wears a 280g or 340g quilt under a rainsheet and 200g neck rug (he gets cold more easily and usually has a narrower stripe) and can have an extra 150g quilt if needed. I found the full neck rug made a big difference for him.