Whitney Weston

Whitney Weston Eventing

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why Clip?


Even though it is still early in the year, it’s time to get ready for show season! That means more riding, more conditioning……and more sweat! This can be trouble for your horse, since his shaggy winter coat can take hours to dry, and the chill from the cold may make your horse sick. Think of wearing a heavy wool sweater in 30 degree weather…..and that sweater is soaking wet? Yikes! I know I would instantly catch a nasty cold.

By giving your horse a snazzy clip job, you will not only keep him more comfortable, but save you time cooling him down after a hard workout.

For horses in light to moderate work, I recommend a trace clip, which shaves the hair off the bottom half of the horse. From the hind legs to under the chin, where most of the sweat gathers. For horses in heavier work, I like to give them a full body clip, which takes care of everything except for the legs, front of the face, and a saddle patch.

You can make the clip look sharp by creating angles at the point of shoulder then angling down the elbow, as well as angling from the stifle down to the area that joins the hind leg to the haunch. For a final touch, create a point above the tail. If you are showing or clinicing before their summer coat comes in, make the most of your clip!

Tips:
As always, be cautious of a kicking horse, even if clipping is done properly, it can tickle!
Have a friend hold the front leg so that you can clip the arm pit area
Have a friend hold the nose away from you, so that your clippers can smoothly run up the length of the neck.
Try to keep the clipper blades parallel to the horse’s skin. This way they wont feel a poking sensation, and your clip will be more even.

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