What type of clip to choose?

What type of clip to choose?


Depending on what you are planning to do with your horse during the winter months, there are many types of clip to choose from.  If you have a youngster or older horse that is unlikely to be worked during this time, then leave him with his natural coat.  Generally speaking, horses that are not in work do not require clipping.

If you are fortunate to have turnout which is good all year round and affords adequate shelter, there is no reason not to have a clipped or partly clipped horse well rugged and turned out and managed in this way. 

Consider the actual work load that your horse will be doing, and clip accordingly.  A horse that is being ridden most days and competed or hunted regularly will benefit from having more hair removed, not only to make cleaning and drying off easier, but also to maintain condition too. 

Part clips are often the best choice.  This is a good halfway house and ideal for the young horse starting work, or one that may be a bit sharp, or for the owner that is going to ride a couple of times a week.


Horses in daily hard work – hunting, racing, competition and show horses.

How much coat is removed?  Absolutely everything – leaving no winter coat or protection.  Most horses that are clipped out fully will be stabled most of the time, rugged up fully to compensate for total coat removal. 

Benefits: The horse can be washed off and dried quickly after strenuous work. Minimises sweating as no thick coat to add to the additional heat generated on fast exercise.




Horses in daily hard work – hunting, racing, competition, riding school, trekking.

How much coat is removed?  This involves removing all the body coat, leaving a saddle patch, and leg hair.  This gives protection under the saddle and down the legs to protect from wet and mud.  Definition can be given to the backs of the legs by careful downwards trimming to remove excess hair without clipping down to the skin.

Benefits: Quick to wash off and dry after getting hot and sweaty but allowing protection.  Ideal for hunters and competition horses where some protection is helpful.




Horses in regular medium work – hunting, hacking, riding school, trekking.

How much coat is removed? The blanket clip is when the hair is left on the upper half of the body and legs and acts as a natural exercise blanket, keeping the back and loins warm.  Taking these areas of hair off alleviates additional sweating. 

Benefits: Ideal for a horse who is not doing quite so much fast work but allows the horse to keep cool without removing too much upper coat.




Horses in light to medium work – hacking, light schooling, young horses.


How much coat is removed?  The coat is removed from the underside of the belly, chest and halfway up the neck and takes its name from the position of traces, following the line midway up the belly or slightly higher for a high trace clip.  The hair is left on all legs for full protection.

Benefits:  This is ideally suited to the weekend rider who may be keeping their horses out for lengthy periods during the winter but still leaving a significant amount of upper coat on the horse for warmth and protection.




Horses in light to medium work – hacking, weekend riding, young horses.


How much coat is removed?  Hair is clipped in a diagonal line from either poll to stifle or bottom half of the neck to stifle.  Taking the lower line will ensure the head is left alone. Taking the higher line will ensure the head is included in the clip.

Benefits: The Irish Belly and Neck clip is ideal for young horses, just coming into work, and for horses that are just being ticked over.  A quick clip to get young or difficult horses used to clippers.




Horses in light work – hacking, weekend riding, young horses.


How much coat is removed? This is the least invasive of clips and just takes the front of the chest and neck hair off.  The clip can extend between the front legs to the girth area.

Benefits: Ideal for ponies and horses that are in very light work, or just being used at weekend.  Good as a starter clip for young or clipper shy horses.


23rd August 2019

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