As winter fast approaches, and horses start to grow woollier coats, a lot of horse owners will be thinking towards clipping.
Clipping is something you can do to help prevent your horse from getting too warm and sweating profusely while exercising.
Before clipping, you need to consider how much work your horse or pony is doing, the sort of rugs you might need to keep him warm afterwards and whether your horse will be stabled or turned out.
What it involves: A full clip is when all hair is removed from your horse, including the legs, head and ears. It means that the horse dries out quickly after strenuous work as sweating is minimalised. Careful rugging to ensure your horse doesn’t get cold is essential, and you should also be aware of the increased possibilities of rain scald and mud fever due to the lack of natural protection offered by the horse’s coat.
What it involves: The hunter clip is another useful for those horses in heavy work. All hair is removed, bar the legs — the idea being the hair left on the legs helps to protect them from water and mud — and a saddle patch to help protect the back from the saddle. Lots of people will lightly trim the hair down the back of the horse’s legs to tidy them up. Again, careful rugging is required to prevent the horse from getting cold when not being worked.
What it involves: Hair is left on the horse’s legs, as is the area where an exercise sheet would be. These are both areas that aren’t prone to sweating and so is useful for those turned out regularly, but still in medium work.
What it involves: Very similar to a blanket clip but helps keep the muscles on the top of the neck warm too. The chaser clip is ideal for horses that are in medium work and turned out during the day when the weather permits. Many people lightly trim the longer hairs running down the back of the leg to give a neat finish.
Workload: Light to medium
What it involves: The horse’s coat is removed from the underside of the belly and the chest and neck, and hair is left on the legs for protection and also on their head. This clip is very similar to the chaser clip, but only half of the neck hair is removed. It is a useful clip for those horses in a medium amount of work and that are turned out frequently.
Workload: Light to medium
What it involves: The Irish clip is useful for young horses and those in light work as it is quite quick and easy to do. Hair is clipped from the neck and behind the elbows, where a horse is susceptible to sweating the most, but there is still plenty of coat left on for warmth.
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What it involves: Just the hair from the front of the neck and chest is removed when using a bib clip. Some people also carry on the clip under the belly to where the girth sits too. This is a good clip for horses in light work and who are turned out a lot.
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