Ah clipping. One of winter’s many joys when it comes to horse ownership. There are so many questions. When to do the first clip? How late can you do the last clip? To do it yourself or pay someone? How often to clip?
And perhaps most pressing of all, what sort of clip is best? Of course lots of factors will influence your decision, from where you keep your horse to what work he is doing and how long his coat is. And your primary concern must be his welfare in terms of keeping him as comfortable as possible through these cold and wet months.
In my family, we’re firm advocates of the blanket clip. And this is why…
Why it’s better than a full clip…
1. You can take your horse’s rug off while you’re grooming him and not worry he’s going to freeze to death.
2. You can stand still for a few moments while waiting your turn during a clinic and not worry he’s going to freeze to death.
3. You can stop to blow your nose during a lesson and not worry he’s going to freeze to death (see the theme here?).
4. You can leave your horse out overnight without being completely riven with guilt. He’s still got hair on his bottom, right?
Why it’s better than a trace clip…
5. Your horse looks really smart with his face and neck clipped.
6. And all the part you can see when you’re riding is clipped, so you can pretend you’re riding at Olympia or on the Spanish Sunshine Tour or — well, frankly, anywhere glamorous — without being brought back to your muddy field with a bump by the sight of inch-long hairs.
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7. You don’t have to deal with lots of damp sweaty long hair on his neck after you’ve had a bit of a canter about.
8. If the horse in question is grey, it’s much easier to keep a clipped neck and face clean than a hairy one.
And best of all…
9. You can still give him a full clip for his final clip of the winter and not have to deal with that bit of the year where all the long hair is coming out all over you, your car, the tack room, your house… I mean, we know it still comes off his legs, but at least having it off his back at that stage is slightly better, right?
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