Autumn is upon us and the days are certainly getting shorter – soon we’ll be back to only visiting the yard in darkness before and after work!! Anyway, enough of that depressing thought, we still have plenty of Autumnal weather to enjoy and it certainly is looking beautiful out there. We’ve even had a few days of sunshine in Hertfordshire!
Now we’re into October it’s the time of year when we think about clipping our horses. Have you noticed your horse turn rather woolly over the last few weeks? At this time of year horses start to grow their Winter coats and prepare for the cold weather ahead. This is ideal if you have a hardy horse that lives out as this coat should help protect them from the harsher elements. However if your horse is in regular work and is beginning to sweat heavily then it might be best to give them a suitable clip. Not clipping may result is your horse excessively sweating and struggling to dry and regulate his temperature when cooling down. This risks your horse getting a chill.
Remember to choose what is right for your horse and not what’s right for the horse in the stable next door! If your horse is in minimal work, is a field companion, or doesn’t really grow a think coat then clipping may not be appropriate! Think about the level of work you will be doing during the winter. If you’ve had a busy summer with your horse but daylight hours/ work commitments during Winter mean you won’t be riding as much, now would be a good time to slowly start reducing your horse’s fitness levels. If you decide not to clip you may just want to smarten them up with a little face trim to get risk of any stray hairs, or neaten up feathers if you have a cob or native type.
Benefits of Clipping:
- Reduces Sweating during exercise
- Makes it easier for your horse to cool down after exercise
- Generally reduces grooming time
- Your horse will look super smart
- Can improve the condition and appearance of the coat
Things to Consider:
- If you clip your horse you need to consider how you will protect your horse from the winter elements. A variety of turnout rugs will be needed as well as stable rugs if your horse comes in at all.
- Your horse will also require some shelter from the harsh elements.
- Type of clip. There are various clips you can opt for depending on your horse’s workload and coat type. Choose from hunter, blanket, chaser, trace, bib clip or some people have been known to make up their own!!
- Clipping can be quite scary for some horses. Be sure to ensure your horse has had time to get used to the clippers before you attempt to clip. An expert for clipping is always advisable, especially if your horse is unsure or nervous.
- You’ll probably need to clip your horse 2/3 times over the winter but preferably with their last clip no later than February as this is when horse’s begin to grow their summer coat.
- You’ll be endlessly checking the weather forecast to ensure your putting the right rugs on – but we tend to do that anyway so nothing new there really!!
We hope our clipping blog has provided some useful info to consider. If you do decide to clip your horse we often find our horse’s clipped coat can be sensitive to brush there so use only a gentle body brush initially.