With the temperatures dropping horse owners are sure to have noticed their horse’s developing thicker coats. It’s like they know winter is on it’s way! If you haven’t started already then it may be time to start thinking about clipping your horse. However before clipping off all his hair and taking photos of your stunning hair free steed it’s most important to consider whether clipping is right for your horse and if so which would be the best clip. Two big factors that impact the need to clip are the level of work your is horse doing (and how this will progress/ change over winter) and his lifestyle – is he stabled/ turned out etc. If you are considering clipping remember to think about how much your horse feels the cold and whether you have the appropriate rugs for him. If you decide to clip then there are many options available. We’ve focused on the most popular ones but there is a wide range available as well as some extra decoration if you manage to find an real expert to clip for you!!
For horses in heavy work, all hair is removed apart from the legs and a patch for the saddle. Plenty of rugs will be needed to keep your horse warm when not in work.
More suited to horses in medium work, hair is left on the legs, half a face and an area over the back to help the muscles across his back warm. This clip works on taking off the hair in the areas that are most likely to sweat.
There is a bit of variation with the trace clip as it can be done at a low, medium or high point depending on how much hair you want to take off. Depending on your line height choice this clip can be suitable for horses in light to medium work.
If your horse hasn’t had a clip before or is only in very light work then you may want to start off with a Bib Clip. This just takes the hair off the neck and chest and often stops behind where the girth will sit. This will prevent your horse sweating too much without loosing too much of his natural coat and warmth.
If it’s your first time clipping this season then it’s best to have an experienced person with you to help it go as smoothly as possible for you and you horse. Alternatively there are experts who offer clipping services and will travel to your yard to do your horse. Ask around in the local area and see if you can find someone through recommendation. This can be a lot less hassle, quicker and easier for everyone involved! Happy clipping!