Let’s Discuss: Clipping Time

The weather seems to be distinctly schizophrenic at this time of year, which makes managing ponies a little difficult. With highs fluctuating from the 70s to the 50s, and lows in the 40s, layering is pretty much the name of the game. But for horses, that’s a little difficult.

A before image of the giraffe

Jack is a bit of a ninny in some ways, especially when it comes to bath time. I’ve discovered that the key to getting him not to dance around is to use hot water. Even if it’s 75* outside, cold water is still an affront on his soul. So with that bit of knowledge tucked away, and the work load getting no lighter, it was only likely that he would get clipped sooner rather than later.

If he’s moving it’s harder to see how jacked up it is!

Normally I like to wait until mid-end of November to clip, and clip once and be done with it. I’m a fan of a full body clip if I can get away with it, and admit that I hate the look of hairy legs on a svelte body. But Jack isn’t so hairy at this point, just enough so that getting him dry quickly after a good workout is still tough. So I opted to leave the legs on (for now) and leave a patch for the saddle, since he has some pressure bumps (or something) that makes clipping a little precarious anyway in that area.

hello dapples!

Blending his face was a little difficult, and I bet I’ll be doing my fair share of tidying him up before our next show in a couple weeks. But still, I’m hoping he’ll be more comfortable now and maybe we can avoid baths altogether for the most part.

When do you plan to clip? Do you have a multi-clip timeline? What pattern do you intend to do? Or do you prefer your pony au-natural for the winter? Does anybody plan on doing a fun “brand” or marking on their horse?

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28 thoughts on “Let’s Discuss: Clipping Time

  1. I usually do a modified trace or Irish clip of some sort, and always leave the legs and face un-clipped. Dino lives outside year round and I like to let him keep as much hair as possible without making him a sweaty mess when he works!

  2. I’m a fan of the blanket clip, especially for my ponies who would spend time outside. I think Dante will get a full clip since he spends a bit less time exposed to the elements

  3. Oh man, Doc insists on hot water even in the middle of summer. Such a delicate flower. He’ll get clipped here in a few weeks – I think our beautiful warm fall is finally gone.

  4. I am trying to decide what I want to do with May this year… Last year I didn’t clip. The year before we did a blanket clip. My barn turns out at night all year round and my trainer goes to Florida for the cold months… Maybe just a bib this year? I’ll wait a bit before I decide. 🙂

  5. Johnny hated cold water too 🙂 Hot water all the time for him… my current guys have no choice but to deal with cold water b/c the only hot water heater is in the house! hahahaha

    As far as clipping goes I usually do an Irish or hunt clip on the horse depending on workload but I always leave the legs. I feel bad when it gets really cold to have naked legs and I’m not going to keep wraps on them since they live outside 24/7

    I do like cool quarter marks but lack the skill to do really fun ones… I did put a bow and arrow on Arrow a couple of years ago that I think turned out pretty cool!

    • I completely forgot the option to do a quartermark on Jack, though now that I think about it nothing inspiring comes to mind! A bow + arrow is pretty awesome though.

  6. I generally clip out and then the youngsters get blanket clips. I tend to clip beginning of October and then again generally twice more up until March and if need be I’ll clip out again in March. If’s it really hot in the summer I’ll clip out the established competition horses.

  7. If I have a stable I will do the hunter clip first week in September in Australia.
    If paddock-kept I will do a bib/trace clip and maybe a little more of the girth area but that is it.
    In the summer I like to cut off their fore locks and mane when I’m done competing. Makes it a lot easier to see paralysis ticks !!!

    Mel x

  8. Midge just got an Irish clip yesterday. She’s a shaggy, round, pony, so clipping is necessary if I want to ride in the winter and not spend hours drying her off.

  9. I did a bib on Harley last week since it was my first time clipping, but I’m going to need to take more off- probably some kind of trace. I have nightmares of clipping straight lines though!

  10. Spring lives outside year round, so I probably won’t be clipping her. No one at my barn clips, actually. Although if she keeps growing hair like a crazed muskox, I may have to invest in some clippers..

  11. I LOVE a clipped horse and do Henry every winter… normally a full body but have left a blanket on his back/booties too.

    Once baby is born and I’m back riding I’ll probably clip him in some fashion or have trainer do it but for now it’s easier to let him be au natural lol

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