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Equine Body Hair Clipping

Horses in training often need their body hair clipped at the onset of winter. The winter coat begins to grow sometime during September (in the Northern Hemisphere) and sufficient time should be allowed for the new hair growth to be come established. Your horse can usually be clipped for the first time each year during October. The winter coat continues to grow, but usually not as quickly as the original unclipped coat. One to two additional clips may be necessary during the winter, but the coat should not be clipped early to mid-January. Any body clipping done later than this can interfere with your horse’s spring coat. To reduce the need for body clipping, consider exposing your horse to artificial light for 16 hours a day, beginning in October or November.

Reasons for Body Hair Clipping Your Horse

To enable a horse to be ridden and trained without increased fatigue and stress from excessive seating. To allow the horse to cool out and dry quickly after work.

As a training and /or competition strategy. A winter coat tends to make a horse quieter and may decrease the performance of warm-blooded horses. Clipping the coat invigorate a horse. Therefore, for competitions where steadiness is required, clip 2-3 weeks before the event. For competitions where brightness is required, you may clip up to the day before the event. A winter coat can also be used as a conditioning tool, leaving ion while conditioning and clipping it off before the competition.

For added comfort of old horse or horses with pituitary adenoma. These horses may need to be clipped several times a year. Consider clipping against the “grain” of the hair coat during warmer months to remove more hair and clipping with grain of the coat during cooler months.

Types of Body Hair Clips

Full clip: The entire coat is removed. The clipped horse then needs appropriate blanketing.

Hunter clip: The is left on the legs up the elbows and thighs, and a saddle pad outline of hair is left on the back, With his clip, the legs are protected cold, mud, cracked heels and injury from briars. The back is also protected from saddle sores and scaling. The clipped horse then needs appropriate blanketing.

Trace Clip: The lower chest, abdomen, flanks and quarters are clipped as far up as the traces would go on a harness horse. The legs are left covered with hair to the elbow and mid thigh. The clipped horse then needs appropriate blanketing. 

If you need sedation to clip Dr. Garfinkel recommends the Dormosedan Gel click here.

If you have any questions or concerns about clipping feel free to call us at 619.659.1180.

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