When is a good time to clip?
The winter coat starts to form (in the UK) during the second half of August. In September the sleek summer look is going and in October the winter coat is apparent. It continues to grow until the year’s end. Generally, the first clip is done in early October, second in November and third and final clip late December or early January. Obviously each horse is different and re-growth should be clipped accordingly. Clipping much later than January is not usually necessary, and some say, can interfere with the growing of the new coat, but again, if you have an exceptionally hairy animal than he will benefit from a later clip. We clip our cobs all though the year with no detriment to coat condition, and if the horse is well rugged this will help the new coat come through and prevent the long cat hairs from growing, a sign of a cold horse.
As the winter progresses you may find you do less riding due to the long nights, shorter days and poor weather. The second clip may therefore be less extensive than the first. We always clip everything off including the hair on legs on the first clip, then leave the hair on legs and saddle patch, especially for the hunters, on the second clip. Thereafter, giving protection, but without the thick unmanageable hair growth you would get if left from the first clip.