What type of clip should I do on my horse?
This depends on how much work the horse will be doing during the winter months. For the owner who will only be requiring the horse to hack out at weekends and occasional work during the week, then a part clip would be beneficial. This will leave him with 50% or more of his natural coat for protection but allow the major sweating areas around the neck, gullet and shoulder areas to be free of thick hair.
The animal will be able to happily carry out the work required without becoming too hot and sweaty and will ensure that he can dry off quickly without losing condition. There are various part clips that can be used or adapted. For example, the trace or trace high clip where hair below the trace line is removed and also from the lower neck and jaw. The Irish clip is where the hair in front of a diagonal line from poll to stifle is removed. The bib clip is a popular choice for horses and ponies that still have to live out all winter, as it removes hair from and gullet and chest only which is where most sweating occurs.
Generally speaking if no more than 50% of the coat has been removed the animal will still be able to live out quite happily throughout out the winter, although adequate shelter will be needed and provision of a good waterproof rug.
For the owner who is expecting to work their horse daily and compete or hunt on a regular basis throughout the winter months a more complete clip will be necessary. The three main types of clip to consider are the Hunter clip, full clip and blanket clip. The full clip as its name suggests is where all the coat is removed, leaving no natural protection.
The Hunter clip is where a saddle patch and all the hair on the legs are left. This gives protection for the back from saddle rubs and allows the legs their natural protection. The blanket clip is when the hair is left on the upper half of the body and acts as a natural exercise blanket, keeping the back and loins warm.
For these types of clip most horses would be stabled at night and suitably rugged to compensate for the loss of natural coat and provided with a good waterproof rug for paddock use.
The machines that have been mentioned in this article have all been tried, tested and are available from stock. Please contact us for more details.