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Digital Subscriptions > Horse Illustrated > December 2018 > THE 10 CLIPPING COMMAN DMENTS

THE 10 CLIPPING COMMAN DMENTS

10 steps to a successful body clip this winter.

You may dread it, but it’s that time of year again: the time when your horse’s winter coat sprouts long, thick and fluffy. You pull him out for a ride and spend 40 minutes knocking the mud off every part of his body, and another 60 minutes trying to dry him out after your ride. If this situation sounds familiar, body clipping might be just the solution you need.

1 Blanketing

The first commandment of clipping is thou shalt blanket. If you or your boarding help aren’t available at least twice a day to switch out blankets from light to heavy or remove when needed in warmer climates, you’re better off not clipping and leaving your horse with his full coat, using a lightweight waterproof sheet as needed.

When you take away your horse’s natural protection, needless to say, you’ve got to commit to keeping him warm and dry with the right wardrobe of blankets.

2 Choosing the Right Clip

The next step is to decide how much hair to clip. This is dependent on your climate and your horse’s workload. Horses living out on pasture for the winter should generally keep their leg and face hair for protection against cold where blankets don’t reach. If you live in a warmer climate or your horse is usually kept in a stall, you can consider a head-to-toe full body clip. These are usually reserved for horses that will be actively competing and training over the winter or in early spring before they shed, since they need to look show-ring ready.

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