Clipping your horse
Clipping, as is with most aspects of horse care, a personal preference for each horse owner. So, why do we clip our horses in the first place? In the winter, your horse will grow a long, woolly coat to protect them from the elements. If you are working your horse during the winter months, their long woolly coat can become a hindrance. Cold sweat on the coat can take a while to dry completely in the winter, and can lower your horse’s core body temperature and make it hard for them to keep warm, leading to an increased risk of catching a chill or having problems with maintaining condition. Clipping can help with this by reducing the amount your horse sweats, making them easier to dry off after exercise. Clipping can also help the coat condition and can make a horse look smart. When clipping your horse, it is also important to remember that you’re taking off their warm, efficient winter coat. Therefore, it is important to rug your horse appropriately for the type of weather during the winter.
There are many types of clips available, choosing a clip depends on how much your horse sweats, how much work you are going to be asking of them, what you think suits your horse and also, pricing can be an important factor. The harder your horse works, the larger body area it is appropriate to clip, so horses only in very light work will only require a small clip, or no clip at all if they do not sweat too much. The greater the area that you clip, you will have to ensure you keep your horse warm, with rugs, other protection and stabling.
If your horse isn’t a fan of being clipped, it is important to allow plenty of time and to apply plenty of patience when it comes to clipping time. Introducing the clippers slowly to the horse will help them become accustomed to the noise that they make and the sensation that comes along with being clipped. People often use a calmer to take the nervous edge of some horses and there are many to choose from if you wish to. However, if you feel the problem is too great for you to deal with, don’t be afraid to ask a professional for help resolving the situation.
By Emma Mills