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Marissa Raymo will discuss everything about horses, including horse health care tips, training tips, equestrian friendly trails, horse buying info and much more.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Clip Slip...

I’m a “learn by doing” kind of person. And patience is certainly not one of my strong points. I’ve always preferred the natural shedded look in the summer to a body clip, and since my horses prefer to sleep outside at night, it has always been the most practical way to go.
So I surprised even myself when a routine bridle path trim turned into an all-out clipper war. Of all of Lyric’s many quirks, she is surprisingly good with the clippers. She will stand statue-still and even lower her head to help me reach her bridle path.  So in her rare moment of serenity, I decided to take the opportunity to give her whiskers a little trim, and then I noticed her jawline wasn’t shedding at the speed of her body, so I gave that a little clip too…which was a little too close, so I then had to feather the fur around it to match. And before long, I’m standing in a pile of hair clumps and Lyric is too embarrassed to leave the stable.
There are many different types of horse clips , mostly for aesthetics or to prevent overheating on a heavily worked horse.  If you are unsure of whether clipping is right for your horse, consider this:
  • Mother Nature will provide your horse with the protection it needs against rain or snow. If you clip your horse for work or show, you may need to keep several different blankets on hand to make up for what they’re missing.
  • A horse’s coat not only protects from cold temperatures, but also provides a barrier to keep flies and other biting insects from their skin. Some horses (my Lyric included) are especially sensitive to insect bites, and can develop painful welts and sores from a single bite.
  • The whiskers, another commonly trimmed area, are actually an extension of their sense of touch, and can be particularly important to help them “see” people and objects in the front blind spot.
  • The fuzz around the nostrils and ears helps to keep flies and dust out in the summer months.
  • Fetlock “feathers” have a dual purpose. First, they funnel water away from the hooves, helping to prevent soft hooves and thrush (a stinky hoof fungus that eats away at the sole of the foot). Secondly, they offer protection to the sensitive fetlock area.  

That being said, I am not against clipping at all. I just find it important to consider the reasons that nature provides these features to your horse in order to properly supplement them once you clip.
And if you would like to learn how NOT to clip your horse, call me. Or you can check out this helpful YouTube video from Horse & Hound for real tips and techniques:

Cowboy logic of the day - “If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”



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August 22, 2010 at 7:49 AM 

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